Thursday, January 15, 2009
It’s a jungle out there
My knobby bicycle tires purr softly as they claw the carpet of freshly plowed snow on my way to work. I’m a pussycat with pedals in the midst of ferocious beasts that grumble ominously at my back when the narrowness of the road doesn’t allow them to pass at will. Given the opportunity to barge by, they growl loudly with their internal-combustion lungs and spew foul odors at me, clearly showing their disgust that they had to share the road with me for as much as a heartbeat and, undoubtedly, determined to intimidate me from ever impeding their progress again. That’s more than just flowery prose. It’s science. Recent research has shown that “ If a Toyota Prius just looks too friendly for your tastes, you’re not alone. People readily see faces and traits in cars, and a new study suggests that they prefer cars to appear dominant, masculine and angry.” In other words, people want to be behind the wheel of a vehicle that helps them feel like they have a chance at winning in the survival-of-the-fittest drama that plays out among herds of stampeding cars and trucks every day. People want to be in cars that say, “Watch out or I’m going to kill you and eat you.” Now that I understand that, of course, I’ll pretend to be impressed and act scared when an angry-looking car pulls up behind me. I mean really, f that’s what motorists need to feel good about themselves, I’m happy to indulge them. Poor, sweet babies.