By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Imagine my influence on gang warfare. Soon, gangbangers will start whipping out business cards to end disputes: "Freeze, motherfucker, or I'll, I'll . . . throw this piece of thermographed card stock at you!"
Man No. 11: Hey, I received one of your cards saying that I'm a really creepy person for driving a big V8 engine, and let me tell you, it's people like you that really make me want to pollute even more. Actually, I can't wait to go home and just get all the batteries I've saved for the last several years -- just dump them into the ocean -- and just drop cans at random in nature. And when I go hiking, just drop all my plastic and nonbiodegradables and saran wrap. I mean, I just want to pollute as much as possible because of idiots like you.
Spoken like a man with a "Heal the Bay" sticker on the back of his Chevy Suburban. Those people are my old favorites.
My new favorites are those with flags sticking out of their SUV windows. If we didn't need so much Mideast oil for these losers' mobile living rooms, Osama, Saddam and friends would probably be looking for work as goatherds. You wanna be patriotic? Shove that flag up your ass and get on the bus.
Amy Alkon described her ideal man based upon his car. If she were woman enough, she'd realize her dreamboat drives the biggest SUV on Earth.
By Robert Neslon
My penis is six and one-quarter inches long. I measured it once in high school while watching Cinemax. Perhaps it has grown since then. It doesn't appear to have shrunk.
Since high school I have only driven small economy cars, cars that, according to Amy Alkon, indicated that I had no need to compensate phallicly. I drove those cars because I was poor, but I liked doing so because I was treading lightly on the earth.
I am a stud, according to her nearby screed on Los Angeles' SUV drivers, even though I'm only a quarter-inch above average peniswise.
But I am a stud in the more traditional, horse-inseminating sense of the word.
Meaning I am a breeder, the alpha rabbit, a human king bee. Meaning my six-and-two-bits are the procreative Domino's Pizza delivery boy -- on time all the time or the next one's free.
And my anchovies swim, baby.
My wife of 10 years is a working environmentalist. When she met me, I had greasy long hair, a folk-rock band and a sporty two-seater Mazda that got 30 miles per gallon. It was all too much for her. She was pregnant within months of marrying me.
The two-seater was soon replaced by a four-seat Ford Tempo, which, when it wasn't vapor locking, got 27 miles to the gallon.
Such fuel efficiency caused my wife to swoon. We had a second boy. So we bought a 24-mpg minivan, a vehicle I complained made me feel like a "soccer-eunuch."
Not long ago I bought a different second car, an old Volvo, which is more or less a mobile bomb shelter that gets 31 mpg. My new environmentally chic-mobileagain made my poor wife loose with her uterus. We now have a 9-year-old, a 5-year-old and a 10-month-old boy.
Because of this third child, last month, about the same time I scheduled my vasectomy, I fell in love with an 18-mpg 1996 GMC Suburban, the biggest and baddest of all the road-hogging, gas-guzzling SUVs.
And I know why the freeways of Phoenix are clogged with thousands of SUV-driving men just like me.
Here is my story of how a good man came to love a bad car:
My neighbor, Brandon Sullivan, is an auto wholesaler. He often brings home his latest prize from the auctions he attends.
At first, I didn't think much about the Suburban he brought home last month. It was that ubiquitous Chevy tan, that fleet-truck tan, and it was the Suburban's older, boxier body design.
It was the "other, older sister."
I also had a hang-up about Suburbans. Where I grew up, they were the "Cowboy Cadillacs," gunked-up monsters that rolled in from the country carrying who-knows-what sort of dead animals. We were city people -- station wagon people. We had nothing to haul but books, children and a small, live dog.
Still, I remember being cramped. I remember constantly wanting to strangle my sister while cowering from my big brother. I remember the rearview mirror serving as a picture frame for my dad's furrowed brow.
Latent in me was the equation that large families in small cars equal unmanageable stress.
Brandon had bought the Suburban at an auction in Denver. His wife flew up with their toddler to meet him for a small vacation. Then they drove the Suburban back to Phoenix.
Brandon gushed to me about the trip back. Their toddler watched movies in the back. His boy was actually happy during the trip. So Brandon was happy. So much space. The Suburban rode like a dream.
A/C like an icebox. Killer sound system.
And that Vortec engine. Remarkable, he said. Eighteen mpg from Denver to Phoenix, even with the 4X4.