Monday, April 19, 2010

Rant: Leaving the Engine Running

When I lived in Manhattan, I had to walk down a street that was lined with USPS trucks in the morning. Nearly all of them left their engines running, turning the street into basically a huge carbon monoxide cloud that spewed black particles into my hair. Each morning I would fantasize about new ways to make them shut off their engines.

Ever since those days, I have had a pet peeve about people who leave their car engines running for no particular reason. For example, yesterday I spied a fellow in a black TransAm. He was parked at my supermarket, talking on the phone, and running his engine. It wasn't a hot day. There was no need for airconditioning. In fact, I can't help but think the sound of his engine would have interfered with the clarity of his call. 10 minutes later, still running, still on the phone.

As always, it is behaviour like this that leaves me baffled. Here are the possibly explanations I have arrived at so far. Please feel free to comment with your own:

  1. He is trying to commit suicide. He doesn't realize he needs to be in an enclosed space or have something that hooks his exhaust directly to their car interior. Or he is trying to do it quite slowly.
  2. His wife doesn't know he lost his job yet. He is hoping that the empty gas tank will make it look as though he went somewhere. Sadly, he is not smart enough to realize the odometer is going to give him away. It is this lack of brainpower that demonstrates why probably why he lost his job to begin with.
  3. He doesn't know how to shut off the car (this explains a lot about the overall look of the TransAm. Perhaps it has been running since he bought it?)
  4. He is preening. "Hey look at me! I have a car that runs!"

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