Monday, October 03, 2005
The Tank and the Hummer
On Getting Back at the Road Idiots
Have you ever wished for a tank when you were being harassed in traffic, sideswiped, or rear-ended? Have you ever been the victim of road rage, blatant and disgusting? My answer is that many times in the traffic of Washington, New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles I have shouted: "if only I had my tank!" One guy's engine compartment would have been squashed flat. Another guy's front end would have accordioned into my tank's rear. And sideswipers would have had their fenders ripped off and left on the road. My Tank! My Tank! My kingdom for a Tank!
It was just a dream! Something to keep me from losing my cool when these road idiots were in full sway, which was most mornings before coffee had taken effect and I was still on autopilot. I can still see the man who jumped out of his car to plaster his face on my right window out of rage that I had fairly beaten him into the middle lane by at least ten feet. I was so surprised that I let him jump back into his car and veer into my lane ahead of me! He would never have thought of that if I were in my tank!
The dream has persisted, but in reality, I recognized that tanks are not economical on gas; I believe they get about 1 mile to ten gallons. And the Army doesn't sell M1A2s to civilians at any price. Besides, their tracks can really tear up the roadway if you turn them too sharply or brake too fast. And who needs a 120mm cannon anyway? I don't want to commit wholesale road-slaughter even if I could afford the rounds of ammunition. Howsomever, there is a glimmer on the horizon! A Hummer of a Glimmer!
What you do is go down to your local Hummer dealer and buy an H3 model! It is small enough, and it is supposed to get 20 miles to the gallon. Then you take the H3 to your local armorer (you do have one, don't you?), and have him lay on some panels of this Cobham stuff, or Kevlar, or all of it together, around in important places on the H3. While this may decrease your mileage some (significantly, I think!), you are now the proud possessor of a genuine armored car, which is better on-road than a tank, and still more like an old Model T for strength. Just to make sure, have them weld some high-grade steel to your frame to stiffen it up a bit fore and aft. And sideways too, of course, to guard against being T-ed. Make sure also that you have those puncture-proof tires mounted. They do cost a bit more (about $400 each), but you are then good to go for many a collision, and you can drive away virtually unscathed.
My first trial run with the H3 in traffic is tomorrow, but it may turn out to be a milk run! The wife wants to come along, and she frowns mightily at my aggressive ideas against the road ragers. As Commander, she will sit in the right seat, and I can't let her be harmed, now can I? Oh well, there's always the next day, and the ragers will be there again for sure!
I'm counting on it!
(Update: the milk run was successful today.)