Alright people- It's story time. Back before a SMART Brabus graced my driveway and a Volkswagen Jetta Turbo captured my heart, I drove a Hummer. Yes, I am not afraid to admit that despite all of my adoration for vehicles that handle well or are innovative with their engineering, I drove a vehicle that was the polar opposite of both things I find desirable in a vehicle. It wasn't bad enough that I drove a Hummer, the insult to injury (to my image) was that it was also an H3 and white.
If you were anyone besides a Right-Winged, soccer mom (no offense to the sport, parent or political stance), you found yourself in the middle of image mockery. The larger Hummer drivers made fun of the fact that it had 5-Cylinders and was based off of a Chevy Colorado, while Prius drivers felt I was single-handedly responsible for raping the environment every time I fueled up. The truth was, that the moment snow began to cover the rural roads of Wisconsin (which I used as my partial justification for driving a Hummer) my phone began to ring.
Driving a vehicle with higher ground clearance and full-time four wheel drive, made my phone number quite popular during snowstorms as friends found themselves "mysteriously" in ditches after leaving the warmth of a local pub on a snowy night. I recall that one such night, I was laid out with the flu as my friend affectionately nicknamed "Beast" called me ten times in an hour begging for help. In spite of a fever pushing 102, I found myself in a dizzying haze, yelling at the navigation system (and at Beast over the phone) as I tried to find my marooned friends who swan-dived into a snowbank on an unmarked, rural road. Luckily, Beast had the inclination to leave on his hazards and within 5 minutes- I had his Eclipse back on the road and I was now trying to find my sick-ass a bed ASAP.
Friends and illness aside, I always thought it was a good idea to keep a shovel and tow strap in the back, just in case I felt like being a good samaritan. One snowy afternoon, I found myself in a very giving mood as I found myself on the traction end of 3 vehicles... within 45 minutes of each other. In fact, two of those tows took place 2 minutes from each other as I saw a Toyota driver pirouette into a ditch as I tugged a Chevrolet back onto the road. Needless to say, I was not lectured about my carbon footprint by any of those motorists that day.
Regardless of your views on people who drive larger SUVs and trucks (along with the obvious remarks about their genitalia), I kindly ask that you consider that there are some people behind the wheel who care about other motorists and have a vehicle that is capable of proving that statement. So as we approach the infamous Chicago winter season, keep close tabs on your SUV driving friends as you quote Benjamin Orr and ask yourself- "Who's gonna drive you home... Tonight?"