Four-Wheel Drive (SUVs) in the City

Finally, I’m grumpy enough to post again… on the subject of four-wheel drives. I need to get something off my chest.

Why are there so many of these four-wheel drives in the city? What is the chance of getting bogged on the school-run? Come pick-up time at many suburban schools in Perth, and I’m sure other cities too, there is a queue of these cars. I’ve seen them at traffic lights, ten in a row, all full of school kids and never to be allowed to claim their birthright of actual four-wheel driving. Is this really what they are for? Sadly it seems that the answer is, yes. Did you know that over in Brisbane some guy even sold fake mud to splatter your vehicle with so that it looked like you’d been out bush? I’m serious about that. It is how shallow and desperate some of these people are.
And yet another thing!

These vehicles are stacked full of electronics and fancy gadgets, most which wouldn’t survive six months of real exploration work. Can you imagine the conversation when you break down half way across the Tanami Desert?
Technician: ‘Hi there. How can I help you?’
Field Assistant: ‘I’ve broken down and I want some advice on how to fix my engine.’
Technician: ‘I’m afraid you need a powerful laptop computer and an advanced degree in electronic engineering before you should even open the bonnet. I should also advise you that if you fiddle around with it you’ll lose your warrantee cover. You should take it to your nearest licensed repairer.’
Field Assistant: ‘But I’m in the middle of the Tanami Desert doing gold exploration!’
Technician: ‘Why on earth did you take it out there? They’re very fragile things you know, what with all the delicate electronics.’
Field Assistant: ‘Well, it’s a four-wheel drive isn’t it? Isn’t that what they’re for?’
Technician: ‘Good heavens no! Nobody even engages the four-wheel drive anymore. I don’t think they even include it; they just put the markings on the gear stick as a sort of status symbol. I thought everybody knew that.’

I am comforted that manufactures still make off-road vehicles for functional purposes, such as exploration and mining, which are simple ‘nothing-much-to-go-wrong’ models. And just a word of advice to all those reading who have a four-wheel drive – you really don’t need to use the four-wheel drive function very often at all, unless you’re in a job that takes you off-road. Even most dirt tracks and unsealed roads don’t need it; the school-run certainly doesn’t need it. You may need a large car if you have to pull a very large boat or caravan, but it doesn’t have to be a four-wheel drive. But I repeat; it is not necessary for the school run.

About George Fripley
I am a writer who enjoys writing humour, satire, poetry and sometimes a bit of philosophy. I live in Perth, Western Australia and occasionally get a poem or article published. It's all good fun! I have two books available for unwary readers, Grudges, Rumours and Drama Queens- The Civil Servant's Manual (This contains all that anybody could ever want to know about why government runs so slowly) and More Gravy Please! - the Politician's Handbook. (available through Amazon)

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