On the “What! You’ve got to be kidding me!” list this week is the discovery that the loathsome crapvan I drive does not qualify as a “clunker” under the new clunker law. It’s not that I’m seriously shopping for a replacement vehicle. I’m only dreaming of a replacement. But that little bit of biting reality has me reeling in disbelief. I just naturally assumed that my 1996 Dodge Voyager, which wheezes its way through Houston, doggedly spewing out greenhouse gases, would be a natural fit under the new clunker law. But it’s not. We checked and according to the EPA, the crapvan actually gets (or got once upon a time in a land far, far away) 18 mpg combined city and freeway driving. I don’t know what they are smoking in the EPA offices, but they need to come and watch the crapvan smoke and then tell me it’s not a clunker.
Seriously, this has been a shock to my system. For several years now I’ve thought of the crapvan as the quintessential clunker. Only it turns out it’s not. It’s going to take me a while to get used to the idea that I’m actually driving what is considered to be an earth-friendly car. I mean, I’m right up there with all the people who drive a Prius; or at least on the same planet.
So when you see me toddling down Chimney Rock trailing exhaust fumes, don’t be giving me any dirty looks while you say disdainfully, “That woman needs to do the environmentally responsible thing and trade in that clunker for a more fuel efficient new car!” Because, I’ve got proof that officially the EPA has no problem with the crapvan.
Which is more than I can say for myself.