Posts Tagged satire

You meet the safest drivers on a Kawasaki

As I got cut off on the freeway today, I muttered to myself “probably a Celtics fan.”


You see, in one of my all-time favorite books ‘Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs,’ Chuck Klosterman made an epic and never-before-heard-of argument that the ‘80s rivalry between the Lakers and the Celtics represents everything in life and the world.


He didn’t just argue that there were two kinds of people on the planet. Chuck goes off. He says that the rivalry explains race relations, religion, politics, math and even the metaphor of Man vs. Beast. I’ve been a Lakers fan since Jim Brewer was lacing them up with Jamaal Wilkes. I get it.


As I pulled into my garage, there it was. Chuck’s holy grail of modern media based satire sitting on the shelves next to my Kawasaki. I flipped to the Lakers chapter. His first quasi-sociological test is this question:


“What kind of car should I drive?” 

If you’re a Laker Person, buy a two-door car, preferably something made in America. I’d go with a Camaro IROC or possibly a Ford Probe. These are fast, domestic vehicles, just as the “showtime” automaton was a sleek, streamlined machine that came from the streets of Michigan (which is where Magic was raised). Meanwhile, Celtic People are four-door sedan owners. I lean toward the Chrysler LeBaron and the Chevy Cavalier, the veritable D.J. and Ainge of the automotive universe.


I swear. He wrote that. And, as I re-read it, I still think he’s more right than wrong.


If I could build a case to Chuck to update his thinking, I’d say that there is another way of looking at the denizens of the world: two wheel drivers and four wheel drivers. Now that I’ve been riding a motorcycle for more than a year, the world is far clearer to me. Those who voluntarily risk their lives by balancing themselves on 100 horsepower rockets in rush hour traffic are the most careful, most defensive drivers on the planet. In all my years of driving a car, I’ve never once been cut off by a motorcyclist. But the minivan swoop into my lane or up my tail pipe is a regular activity.

Chuck Klosterman striking a pose for Spin

Chuck Klosterman striking a pose for Spin

Short of making every drivers license test include a motorcycle safety course (which would teach all motor vehicle drivers the life and death proposition of getting behind a wheel or straddling a bike), I’m wondering why we can’t simply turn those oversized shoulders into motorcycle only lanes?

With the international push to be green, can’t people see that even the least fuel efficient motorcycle gets more than 30 mpg? My Kawasaki gets 45 mpg and would be my daily driver if it weren’t for that Chrysler Town & Country lurking to cut me off at freeway speeds because junior is late for a play date.

It’s a given that riding a bike 70 mph is dangerous. So is cutting a bagel, but most of us don’t get tackled by a car while spreading cream cheese. And if it does happen to you you might want to think twice about eating breakfast on the median. While Chuck is right that the Lakers – Celtics rivalry explains humanity, driving or riding with the fear of death explains how people go about their days.

Riders know. For the most part, bikes don’t kill people. Crashing does.

– Jose Mallabo

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