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The Volvo Driver

December 3, 2011

Volvo Driver(This profile will be part of a future book that features satirical portraits of the most laughable members of our society — and what is more laughable and irritating than The Volvo Driver?)

The Volvo Driver believes that the true objective of automotive transportation is to demonstrate moral superiority, if not angelic ascendency, in direct opposition to the rest of us who believe that the purpose of driving a car is to get from point A to point B. The VD achieves this blessed state by always traveling below the speed limit, even in one of those 25 mph zones in the middle of the wilderness that the rest of humanity – and cops, too – recognize as some weird clerical error that the local hicks have come to regard as a funny novelty, as they pass the sign at the more natural speed of 55 mph…until they almost hit the rear-end of a Volvo barely registering on the Doppler radar gun. The carefree hick will wonder if he should call 911, seeing that the Volvo Driver is gripping the wheel with knuckles so taut and white that, if sharpened to a point, would cut a diamond.

What the hick fails to understand is that the Volvo Driver is proving to society that he or she is a GOOD PERSON – never mind that, everyday, they come within a saint’s hair of causing a four-car pile-up, as the rest of the mobile world has to cater to their self-righteous vehicular crawl. To see – or to have the misfortune of being stuck behind – a Volvo Driver making a ninety-degree turn is to witness someone treating a simple navigational maneuver as if they were piloting a space shuttle through a dense asteroid field, except the astronaut knows not to stop dead at the point most requiring forward movement. Why does the VD cease all Swedish-import-motion for no sane reason? Because the stoppage midway through the turn is done to make sure that God, or Jesus, or the Atheistic Moral Arbiter has the time to note their supreme caution

and thus put them at the head of the list of people slated for Heaven, where the streets are paved with gold and the traffic is forever at a standstill.

This description takes on an even more catatonic hue when the VD has their precious kiddies in the car. One can note their mental and emotional strain as they focus all their attention, all their motor skill, all their moral training, all their self-worth on the heavy responsibility of transporting little Kendra and Jordan down an empty leafy suburban street, as would the hero of an action film making his way through a maze of dark tunnels en route to defuse a hydrogen bomb that will kill millions of innocent people. At this juncture — with Kendra and Jordan fastened to their seats with enough leather straps to hold down a truck-full of logs, and wearing helmets built to protect NASCAR drivers – the VD will pour a deluge of self-righteous scorn on anyone daring to pass their sedentary Volvo, no matter that the passing car is being driven by another parent rushing to the hospital with their own kid in the backseat dying of a severed artery.

A city-dwelling VD is someone who will forever spawn gridlock in the wake of their plodding course through tight busy streets. They view stop signs as veritable oases at which to rest and regroup for a few hours, or, again, as a way to serve as a positive role model to the rest of the community as to the definition of an industrial-age saint. This strategy turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophesy as the trail of frustrated motorists threaten to kill, if not crucify, the VD, who now sees the situation as a path toward Swedish manufactured martyrdom. Such threats are never more close to the actual homicidal deed as when, on a straight city street, the VD stops dead in their holy tracks for what seems like no apparent reason, though there is a reason: The VD may have gone five minutes without demonstrating to the world, and to God, how much better they are to the rest of this metro Sodom and Gomorrah, and so feels that the only way to save their cautious soul to come to a total rolling halt – and to hell with the cars behind them having to slam on their brakes, as, let’s face it, they’re going to Hell anyway, right?

This begs the fundamental question: What came first, the Volvo Driver or the Volvo? In other words, was the VD presupposed to equate pathological safety with an eventual seat at the right-hand side of God before buying a Volvo? Or did this person morph into a caution freak at the expense of the rest of the driving public after taking the Volvo out of the lot? Does the circuitry and boxiness of the Volvo somehow permeate the neural network of its owner to transform what was once a cool, forgiving human being into a paralyzed Grand Inquisitor? This may be the most pressing philosophical question of our time, and will be debated for years to come – and if the debaters fail to meet each other in time, it is only because they will stuck behind a Volvo Driver.

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