I waste a huge chunk of my day in my car. I’d complain, but the alternative is to spend that time with my family. I won’t fall for that trap again. My commute to work is 25 miles of blissful solitude down a major two-lane highway. Under normal circumstances, it’s a safe, boring trip that lets me zone out and ponder important topics like what would happen if the Justice League got in a bar fight with the Care Bears. The answer is obviously that Sunshine Bear would break a bottle and stab Batman. There’s a reason my wife no longer asks what’s on my mind.
In the winter months, I have extra time to consider which beloved children’s characters would commit second-degree murder. Indiana is the A-cup of states. The flat, unbroken terrain enables even an inch of snow to drift into 10-foot ice walls that shut down traffic until mid-August. My county allegedly has snowplows, but they’re like Bigfoot: There’s no physical evidence they actually exist, but drunken rednecks swear they’ve seen them. My midsize sedan does fine during the summer months, but this time of year my normally 35-minute drive becomes a six-week polar expedition. I need something that’s better for crossing Midwestern glaciers but still gets at least 30 miles per gallon. There’s no point in surviving the trip if it costs a few cents extra. Here are my options.
The mountain bike is unfairly overlooked for winter travel. True, I’d be exposed to the wind and snow, but that’s the reason I have an entire box of brightly colored sweaters. I’d be fine as long as I wore sixteen of them at once. A bike’s narrow wheels would get terrible traction, but sliding off the road wouldn’t be a big deal. I could simply pick up my ride and walk out of the ditch, but only if I landed on my feet. If I fell over, I’d be like a Cosby turtle. At least the eye-catching patterns would make it easy for people to find me. Of course, they’d only point and laugh. Midwestern hospitality is a myth, just like snowplows.
Pro: I’d never actually make it to work.
Con: Exercise is a fate worse than death.
|The large, narrow wheel on an old-fashioned bicycle is perfect for slicing through snow and seducing all the babes.|
A Harley offers the same disadvantages as a pedal-driven bike but at much higher speeds. With impending disasters, faster is generally better. I hate wasting time. At that rate of travel, the cold air would slice right through my sweater cocoon. My nerve endings would freeze and render me incapable of feeling pain. Within seconds, I’d be an invincible ice man, which would look awesome on a résumé. The only problem with a motorcycle is operator error. Even in warm, dry conditions, I couldn’t keep one upright. I’d have to find a chopper that came with winterized training wheels before I’d fit in with the rest of the Hells Angels.
Pro: I’d look super cool as I rapidly froze to death.
Con: It’s hard to fit a leather jacket over sixteen Cosby sweaters.
Sport Utility Vehicle
SUVs offer unmatched torque for blasting through snow, but power corrupts. If people in Cadillac Escalades drove at 20 miles per hour on frozen highways, they’d be the kings of the road. But people with decked-out 4-wheel drive vehicles paid extra money luxury features. If they don’t travel at double the speed limit, they might as well sit at home like all the poor people. The result is inevitable: SUV drivers pass everyone else on the road only to end up in a ditch seconds later. It turns out wealth doesn’t magically give ice more friction. It’s impossible to own an expensive, powerful vehicle and not be a jerk about it. That’s science.
Pro: I’d finally reach my full potential as an awful human being.
Con: Such a dense concentration of suck would form a black hole and destroy the earth.
|SUVs are only fashionable when they aren’t necessary. Most military-grade off-road vehicles are used by soccer moms in suburban Atlanta.|
Before I get a snowmobile, there’s one thing I’ll do: move. If it’s practical for me to own a vehicle that costs as much as a car but can only move when there’s a foot of snow on the ground, then I live someplace far too cold to support human life. Home buyers know this essential truth. If there’s a snowmobile dealership within fifty miles of a house, that home’s appraised value instantly falls by half. In terms of my resale prospects, I’d be better off living next door to a crack house.
Pro: I would get to work on time.
Con: I would get to work on time.
Huskies are both the most beautiful and creepiest dogs on the planet. My friends own one, and its piercing blue eyes bore straight into my soul. I know it can see the real me because every time it stares me down it gets a perplexed look on its face and then throws up. Huskies are fast, smart, and immune to fatigue and cold. If they had thumbs, they’d replace humans as the dominant species on the planet. But they made the evolutionary misstep of staying on four legs, and for that we punish them with manual labor. Dog sleds don’t use gas, but as a trade-off I’d have to feed a dozen hungry animals every day. I’d either have to get a second job to afford dog food or turn the canines loose to eat squirrels and slow pets. My neighborhood’s yappy dog problem would be gone overnight.
Pro: If I got stranded, I could eat the dogs.
Con: They would probably eat me first.
|We know very little about huskies. There’s a chance their eyes have that unholy glow because they shoot laser beams.|
I couldn’t go wrong with any of these choices, which is exactly how I screwed up: I picked none of them. My wife and I are saving up to buy a minivan, which will be necessary to haul our several dozen children. We might not have quite that many, but I’ve been too busy getting stranded in snowdrifts to take a head count. I won’t be upset if that underpowered family vehicle can’t get me to work in a blizzard. All I ask is that it at least gets me to daycare. I don’t care if there’s 25 feet of snow on the ground. I’m not watching these kids myself.