Friday, March 14, 2008

Me, Stuart Little and the roadtrip


And on the ninth day, God created the Expedition and he said, "Ginormous, it is good."


The boy is an adorable little six year old, and he was invited over to play by none other than my daughter Patience---of her very own independent voluntary volition.

He was excited because he got to bike over to our house.

He's a native Texan, too.

That's relevant because of the priority system of most native Texans:

1. Church and God and Jesus
2. Motorized vehicles (bigger really is considered better, and newer is the cherry)
3. the GOP and maintaining the status quo, even if it does destroy the planet
4. Football, especially their college team
5. Everything else

(Note: I struggled mightily with numbers 3 and 4. Oh which is more important, which which which? I chose as I did because I have lately decided Texans would rather asphyxiate than change one iota of their lifestyle. Football is king, but I've never seen people as passionate about even the UT v. A&M game as I saw people fight to not recycle or xeriscape.)

Now, because this boy is under 28 (6, as I said), I think number two slides up to first place. In fact, I'm not sure, but it might do that for boys over 28 now and again, too.

So as we rode our bikes to the house, he kept up a decent running commentary of the motorized vehicles we passed. It shouldn't have surprised me, then, that he had a comment about my car, too. I suppose the fact that he commented didn't surprise me, although what he said did.

After we parked our bikes in my driveway, he pointed to my car and asked, "Is that your car?"

"Why, yes it is," I said.

"Wow!" he said.

"You like it?" I asked, "I do, it's a good car."

"Is it...is it real?"

"Is it...what?"

"Real! A real car! Can you really drive it?"

"Yes, it's real, really real, a real car that I drive, on the real roads and everything," I said.

"Wow!" he said, "It's just so small! Like a mouse car, yeah, like a car small enough for a mouse! I didn't know people could ride in cars so small!"

"Well, it's not big, per se, but it's not small, either," I said.

"Oh yes it is," he said, "It's small, a mouse car! You have a mouse car."

"All righty then," I said.

Small car. Mouse car. I drive a Subaru Forester.

I am pretty sure it doesn't meet Texas criteria for "good car." Although we call it the new car (it's nearly 8) and the big car (our other car is an Integra), I suppose it is neither new nor big. But it's not mouse car small, LOL.

Oh but he was thrilled. Such a tiny car! A mouse car! He could not let it go.

Thus, I now think of my car as Stuart Little.

Stuart Little is going to take me and the fab Kyla on a roadtrip.

So adios muchachos.

Copyright 2008 Julie Pippert
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42 comments:

wheelsonthebus said...

How we know we don't live in Texas -- Zach keeps asking for a small car.

Laura said...

I always name my car...do you? If not, Stuart Little is perfect!!!!

Out of the mouths of babes!

Mama Drama Jenny, the Bloggess said...

So jealous.

Hug the Canadians for me, okay?

Gwen said...

And this is why I hated driving in Texas.

Enjoy your road trip! I hope Kyla can fit in your car, too!

Sober Briquette said...

As I was driving in my ginormous vehicle just yesterday, I dreamt of the car I'd get to replace it.

I thought, A Subaru Forester would be nice.

Uh-huh.

Have a great trip.

alejna said...

That is too funny. And a little bit frightening. Your list of Texas priorities makes me very glad to live in my very blue state, with its green leanings. Recycling is the norm here, but I did have to look up xeriscape. (Of course, we have wetlands in our area. Also quite a bit of rain.)

Our "big" car is a Subaru Impreza stationwagon, which is their smallest car. (They call "sportwagon." It has a spoiler, even. Vroom!) I think of the Forrester as the big Subaru. I can only wonder what the boy would think of our little cars...We have two Minis. (Okay, I'm embarrassed that we have 3 cars. We've been planning to sell one.)

Have loads of fun on your road trip. I look forward to hearing about the whole thing!

Julie Pippert said...

Jenny, I'll pass along your love.

I feel sorta bad for the people in Austin today. It's going to be 92. Yes NINETY TWO FARENHEIT.

I could cry and I'm used to warm right now.

At least it is cooling off tomorrow.

Karen said...

sounds like he's been reading Richard Scary, all those little rodents in their vehicles - and also that Lowly worm in his apple car. Have a lovely road trip in your little car.

Jeff said...

Our next car is going to be a hybrid of some sort. I wonder if your little friend would think they were real?

Julie Pippert said...

Emily, LOL, I prefer small cars and usually have one. We thought of the Forester as HUGE, but of course it is THE car of New England.

You know, for example, New Hampshire:

State Motto: Live free or DIE!
State Car: Subaru Forester, with cold package

However, I am tee-niny on the roads here. There are so many big-ass vehicles and half can't even see me (based on how often they try to run over me). I'm frightened to death of driving in the Integra on the roads here. Plus, as I've mentioned, I think the highways ought to be called Death Row.

***

Laura, I do not name my car usually, unless "The Forester" is a name. ;) However, it's got one name LOL.

***

Gwen, I hope Kyla can fit in my car too. I hope she is not appalled by my car (the state of it, not the size---she drives a mouse car too, just a different brand). But just in case, I'm cleaning it today even though it's raining. Ish.

***

De, you could name it Lenny. Of mice. And men.

***

Alejna, this is the subtropics---in fact, we're built on wetlands. There is no need to water here. It is wet year round usually. Sure, water to get roots established, but after that, with native and compatible plants, they should be self-sustaining, able to weather lots of rain or mild droughts.

So what did you think of xeriscaping?

The Forester did used to be the big car, but now they have the Tribeca. We looked at the Impreza, but the dog didn't fit in the back.

I love the minis. I think they would be death cans here, though.

I'll try to come back with photos and stories. I believe I'm designated driver so I should be able to keep it in mind LOL.

Julie Pippert said...

Karen LOL! So right! I'm going to call my husband's car the Lowly car. ;)

***

Jeff, that's the irony: he sees little hybrids often. We live in Rocket Town. The little Honda hatchback used to be the engineer car of choice, and now it's the Prius. There are tons of those on the road in our town.

Just watch the hybrids. Hybrid doesn't per se equal green.

You might be just as well off getting a used diesel and converting it to use vegetable oil. I've seen it done and it's pretty easy. Plus you can get paid to use the oil (from restaurants).

Oh wait...sorry. I went all preachy. SORRY!

You're smart and will choose well. *slapping forehead*

You go and enjoy!!

Kathryn said...

That is hilarious! It really makes me miss my tiny little Saturn. It really WAS a mouse car. TINY.
I really did try to cram three carseats into the back of that thing, but no matter how I shoved and pushed it didn't work. :(

Rob said...

This is one of the few points in which I take no pride in being a Texan. I'm flat out ashamed that I live in a state (and for that matter, most of the danged country) where the implied dimensions of a man's, um, "package" is proportionately tied to the size of his vehicle. It's as if the unspoken motto for the state is, "By God, if you ain't got yerself a big-dick truck, well, hell, ya ain't much of a man, now are ya?"

There's so much emphasis placed on having a big honkin' truck of SUV and yet I see the vast majority of these hulking behemoths clogging up the roads on the commute to work - with just a single occupant. Now, lemme get this straight... You drive a lumbering beast that features 8 cyclinders, 9 cupholders, and gets about 10 m.p.g. and you use it to transport 1 person to and from work - which is rarely more (and quite often much less) than 20 miles away?

Shameful. I drive a Honda Element a.k.a. "Darth Vader's Toaster" and it's perfectly roomy enough for 2.5 people to commute to daycare & work everyday. But when I admit to other guys that I'm driving a 4-cylinder vehicle, well, I get looks that vary from shamefulness to pity to disgust.

And my wife drives a Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible a.k.a. Caliente. It's also a 4-cylinder, but with a kickass turbo that makes it rocket down the road like you wouldn't believe! And it too is roomy enough for 2 large adults and one cute & cuddly little boy.

Now here's the kickers: both of our vehicles get double (or better) the m.p.g. of most SUVs & trucks and collectively our 2 vehicles cost us less than the price of many big honkin' SUVs.

So, suck up that Texan pride and drive an appropriately-sized car, for gosh sakes!

And don't even gimme that lame ol' crud about SUVs being safer than smaller cars. Sheesh!

Family Adventure said...

That is hilarious! A mouse car, indeed.

Come to Europe...your car would be GINORMOUS here. I promise you!

Heidi

Mad said...

Wow, I wonder what he'd call our '98 Toyoto Tercel?

Have fun BUT I just read Kyla and now I am worried that she won't be able to go. Sigh.

OmegaMom said...

So there I was, reading, and I figured your car was going to turn out to be a MiniCooper. Har! Wouldn't that blow that little boy's mind?!

I used to think of the Forester as a "big" car. But now I've got a Freestyle, and it's a honkin' big car. But boy, it drives nice on snow and ice!

Bon said...

that funny. mouse car. very funny.

my, erm, Kia Rio? i guess it's a bug car. or whatever is smaller than a mouse.

i now am warned about driving to Texas, and i thank you.

travel safe and have a fabulous time!

Magpie said...

That's funny. So, no Mini Coopers down there, huh?

I am glad I don't live in Texas because I don't do 1, 2, 3, or 4.

Robert said...

When I lived in Atlanta, I bought an F150 to maneuver in traffic. People hear me say that and scratch their heads, but I drove a car and got sick of nearly getting killed, never knowing when a major slow-down was coming, and certain lanes moving in sludge while others zipped along. The F150 made a huge difference in commute time for me, and I never regretted having it. I've never wanted a sedan since because of my experience with driving a big car.

My wife loves sedans, for the record, and feels like big cars are much harder to drive.

Melissa said...

thank you for taking pity on me today. It is hot...so hot we may go swimming later.
And have fun on your trip!

Yolanda said...

Wow. If the boy saw my 91 Honda Civic hatchback he might just faint.

jennifer h said...

Ah, Texans. At least they produce good music.

Have a great road trip!

Kyla said...

Yup. Those are the priorities alright.

crazymumma said...

my husband is a Canadian Texan. (about cars that is). Go figure.

Have fun and hug Sage for me.

damn. I'm jealous.

flutter said...

have fun!

Ria said...

OMG too funny and I must have been a Texas Man in a previous life, because the big truck thing has me hooked. I had a conversation with someone last year in which I told them that I currently have a Dodge Dakota Sport. It's one of the bigger small trucks out there and that I want a bigger Dodge like the Dodge 1500 Hemi, big, loud and good in mud. I just prefer trucks, now so...

@ Robert, I understand what you mean. I also maneuvered in Atlanta traffic and a hell=a little car in that mess, unless it's a fast little car, even then. I had a 2 hour commute one way for more than 2 years. TWO hours to drive about 65 miles. Sheesh

Julie have a great time on your road trip.

Angela said...

My sister and her former husband did the vegetable oil conversion thing. She said it was a piece of cake. Of course, she also lived in a yurt for a year to conserve energy. In NY. In the winter. So perhaps her perspective of easy is a bit different from my own.

Aliki2006 said...

Mouse car!!!!!

Hey, are the seatbelts regular sized, or mousse-sized?

Have fun!

slouching mom said...

that's FANTASTIC.

Stuart Little...

(shaking my head in bewilderment -- because i have one, and i think it's pretty roomy!)

Minnesota Matron said...

Texas is for sure a different planet from my world, where biking to work in snow is a badge of honor.

LaskiGal said...

Well, if everything is bigger in Texas, then doesn't logic dictate that the mice are bigger as well? If so, maybe that was a compliment. Just thinking . . .

Jennifer said...

Never really having spent time there, I have all of these stereotypes and preconceived notions about Texas. I know that's wrong, and I have good friends who live in Texas, and I try to keep an open mind about these things.

But. Well. My preconceived notions would be...your list.

I'm not sure I'd survive in Texas.

Though, dammit, 92 * is just about right for me, so maaayyybe.... *grin*

Safe travels!

Robert said...

Ria,

If I didn't leave work by 4:45 most days, I generally worked on to 6:00 or later because there was no point in going home.

Angeline said...

This is so funny, Mouse Car! Hmmm... I wonder what should I call my Toyota Liteace van? Shrek? Because it burbs sometimes...*wink*

jeanie said...

Oh - a Subaru Forrester is my dream car!! Is it green (as in colour)?

The little guys can be so cute - we had Boy Next Door over this morning, and a car hooned past. He told us the name and type, but was most impressed that it was "RED".

a. beaverhausen said...

So glad I'm not like the stereotypical Texan. It's lonely here when you don't "fit the mold".

Christine said...

a mouse car! hehehe i guess my subaru legacy would be a bug car then.

kiss kyla and have a great time.

Running on empty

Emily said...

Ha. That's awesome.

And you're right about the order of priorities. My dad graduated from A&M. His brother, from TU--as it is NOT THE University of Texas but A University in Texas. I've been trained well. That game is HUGE.

Incidentally, he drives THE MOST GIGANTIC FORD you've ever seen and follows the Aggies with a fervor rivaled only by his loyalty to the Republican party. :)

Gotta love stereotypes.

Her Bad Mother said...

'Mouse car.' LOVE.

If I ever learn to drive, I want a mouse car.

Ally said...

Oh my goodness Julie, this post killed me. You and your mouse car! So funny.

Mary Alice said...

If you drive mouse car, my new to me car (VW GTI) must be a MINI mouse car.

Andrea said...

(Tapping toes, checking watch.)

When are you getting back again?