I was driving into work with the top down, as is my wont. What’s the purpose of having a convertible if you don’t put the top down. I mean really. Down is the default setting for the roof of my car, and I’ve even gone to a haircut that driving with the top down won’t affect. But it does expose me to every noise the road has to offer, and that’s where the problem lies.
Now, I’m no stranger to loud. I’ve played in my share of 3 chord rock and roll bands over the years. I was a disc jockey for a lot of years, and I ran my headphones way too loud. So, in some instances, I can understand loud. I’m just not sure why someone would want to make their car sound like it was broken.
I’ve started referring to them as “go-loud” cars. They make lots and lots of noise, but can barely get out of their own way. Often, there’s a cheesy plastic poorly installed air dam or foil attached to a car which will never go fast enough to have it feel their effect. But should they manage to be pushed to a speed that’s above the legal limit … why in gods’ name would you want to have it be so loud that you’re sure to attract the attention of local law enforcement? And of course, should the driver of such a “car” be pulled over for speeding, or what ever infraction he or she happened to commit, they yell their being profiled.
You drew all that attention to yourself. Of course you got profiled. I keep thinking about those two yahoos in the Dodge commercials that ran a couple of year ago when they brought back the Hemi … but instead leaning out the window and asking “Hey … that thing got a Cuisenart?” It’s not an Acura … it’s an angry bumble bee.
So this morning, it was a motorcycle. I absolutely loathe being behind anything resembling a Harley, though the rice burners can be as bad when the riders wind them out. Today’s though, was a Harley-like product. Big, two cylinder, LOUD motorcycle. He’d sit at the stoplights and rev the engine, and pulling away, when you’re behind one, the radio be cranked enough to be heard. The only thing worse than being behind one in traffic is being behind one on the freeway. I’ve had one of those big hogs blowing me out of the car from 100 yards away. And I can’t for the life of me understand the appeal.
Large pickup trucks too. You’d think just the physical presence of a large pickup truck would be enough, but with a set of straight pipes blowing the rest of the drivers off the road with the noise seems to me to be the height of self-absorption. And maybe that’s what it’s really all about.
I’ve long held a theory that one of the reasons there is so much road rage is because many people feel like the only place they have any control over anything is in their car or truck. They’re king or queen of all they survey from behind the wheel, particularly if it’s a big, powerful truck or SUV. And maybe the loud is an extension of that. “Look at MEEE!!! I’m bigger and badder and in front of YOOUUUU!!!!. Eat my exhaust and put up with my NOISE!!!!!”
Or maybe I’m over reacting. I’m a middle-aged white guy. There are a lot of things people would say “you just don’t understand”. OK, I’ll grant you that. But what’s the point, really. And why is your loud truck or motorcycle more important than my Morning Edition? It’s not. But mornings like this one make it darned hard to follow the nuances of how Super Delegates will affect the Democratic National Convention … at least until I could get past the motorcycle.