June 14, 2006

Stop Guzzling

Could we please, please, pretty-fucking-please, PLEASE do away with the term "gas-guzzler?"

Don't get me wrong, I think monstrous Hummers and SUVs and other vehicles that are totally pointless unless you live in an active volcano are stupid status symbols with little or no practical use.

That said, I still despise the overused term "gas-guzzler." Vehicles don't "guzzle" anything, okay? Vehicles are totally oblivious to the amount of gas they require. Their rate of guzzlement, such as it is, is determined entirely by the manufacturer and the person actually pushing down on the accelerator.

The vehicle itself does not have an addiction to gas. It would be perfectly happy with an empty tank. It doesn't care if it's in motion or sitting on the side of the road. So, please, stop attributing the term "gas-guzzler" to large, unnecessary vehicles as if they're toothless bums begging for spare change outside the nearest Shell station.

Also, I don't know if you realize it, but the term "guzzler" is actually kind of cute. Admit it, if you saw a wounded, furry guzzler on the side of the road, you'd go over and try to help it, wouldn't you? You wouldn't worry about rabies or guzzler flu, or anything. You'd be intent on getting that guzzler back to health and back to its family of other cute, furry guzzlers.

So you see, calling a vehicle a "gas-guzzler" doesn't actually radiate the shame and derision it was intended to back when it was first invoked. If you're aiming at getting some linguistical kick, try calling an SUV a "petroleum decimator," or maybe a "dead dinosaur re-killer," or a "gas price increaser."

But, you see, there's an even more practical reason for not calling vehicles "gas-guzzlers." By calling vehicles "gas-guzzlers," you're essentially letting the vehicle owners off the hook. The owners aren't the shameless over-utilizers of our planet's natural resources, their VEHICLES are. Once they're encapsulated in their 3,400 square foot Hummer Mansioneer, the drivers are no longer held accountable for the petroleum-torching requirements needed to propel them the four blocks from the grocery store to their home.

Essentially, the vehicle driver can just shrug and say, "Yeah, it's a gas-guzzler, but what can I do? It guzzles gas. It has a gas-guzzling problem. I've suggested treatment, but it just sits there and won't say a word. You can't help a gas-guzzler that doesn't want to be helped. There's nothing I can do."

We need to remove that protective barrier on non-accountability that we and the media have bestowed upon the owners of vehicles that tout one mile per gallon. No longer should we call an inanimate object a "guzzler" of anything. The blame should be removed from the vehicle and placed squarely on the shoulders of the owner.

The next time you see someone filling up their Ford Abrams Roadmaster, don't remark to them that their vehicle is a "gas-guzzler," because that absolves them of guilt. Rather, say something along the lines of: "Hey, do you mind not sucking down the earth's natural resources as if they're your own personal endless line of cocaine?" In other words, make it about the owner, not the vehicle.

And be sure to help a wounded guzzler if you ever seen one, because those little fellas are just too cute.

Posted by Ryan at June 14, 2006 10:29 AM | TrackBack

It does sound cute! Inspired by this post, I did a google image search on the word "guzzler..."
but I found the results disturbing.

Posted by: flamingbanjo at June 14, 2006 11:55 AM

Of course, I just had to do the same.

I had no idea there was a video game called "Guzzler."

Posted by: Ryan at June 14, 2006 12:15 PM

I too have a gg, but it is a motorhome, gets 13 miles to the gallon, but the thing is, I can take it anywhere, park it, not have to eat out, or rent hotels, and what I spend in gas, I save there. When I retire, I plan to travel, stop and stay in places for awhile at a time, work for awhile, (going to school for that) and see the sights. I can't imagine renting an apartment or hotel for just a few months here and there, so this will work perfectly.
Driving it to work or to the store everyday? Um, no, I've got a little hyundai tiberon for that. I just don't see the sense in driving a hummer, unless I had to go cross country to get to work everyday, or into a war zone, (there are neighborhoods that could qualify for that I guess), so what are they for really?
Guzzlers do sound like some kind of little animal, like a cross between a beaver and a prairie dog maybe. Or an otter and a beaver. Heh.

Posted by: donna at June 14, 2006 12:53 PM

I don't harbor the same derision for motorhomes that I have for SUVs. They're apples and oranges in my mind.

Posted by: Ryan at June 14, 2006 01:22 PM

Or apples and... watermelons. Grapes and watermelons?

Something like that.

Posted by: Joshua at June 14, 2006 05:44 PM

Big slow moving watermelons. Blocking your lane. Making wide right turns. Obnoxiously large. (But my dogs love it, and when you get into little backwoods towns, I make my sister pretend she is a skinny Wynonna Judd. It amuses me, and I always want to sell bootleg cd's.)

Posted by: donna at June 15, 2006 02:12 PM

Can we also ban reporters, who are actually paid to use words and occasionally put them in new combinations, from typing the phrase "pain at the pump?"

In other news, the next person who conflates two celebrities names should be hung.

Posted by: DG at June 20, 2006 01:14 PM

Soooo, I should probably stop referring to you and Joshua as Joshgrenier?

Posted by: Ryan at June 21, 2006 10:04 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!