Hummer – Rust In Peace

Some good news for environmentalists, and great news for car-lovers with good taste everywhere: Hummer has bitten the dust.

I’m happy that these machines won’t be spewing their pollution any more, which is nice, but the importance of the eco-factor is moot, since other over-cylindered, excessively powerful cars live on as objects of desire (supercars in general, SUV’s, sport saloons, etc.). The reason why Hummers are such abominations is that they were simply symbols of ostentation and stupidity, with their disproportionately gigantic dimensions, pointlessness of use and offensive looks.

I never understood what sort of moron would drive a Hummer. Americans driving them, that makes sense, since from what I can tell they have zero taste in cars and will drive anything that’s got a big engine, that’s impractical and no-one else in the world would be seen in (except for filthy-rich Arabians). Then I saw one of these abominations live and in colour a few years back, on a Spanish number plate with darkened windows and stickers on the outside. So Spaniards drive them, which shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, Spain has taken the place of former-Warsaw Pact countries as the last European bastion of the mullet, and buying a new car in colours such as purple, orange, yellow and vulgar gold aren’t even an option in other car markets but are sported in profusion by the Spanish. And on Monday I was nearly run over by a Hummer while I was using a zebra-crossing, and I’m lucky the driver braked, since he looked like a drug-trafficker covered in bling and techno-music or some shit blasting out the open windows.

I’m also flabbergasted every time I think how stupidly huge the damn things are. Military Humvees were originally designed with their wheels far apart so they could follow behind tanks and use the furrows created by the tank’s tracks. To make a civilian vehicle with such characteristics shows a complete aloofness from reality. But that’s easily explained by the fact that the culprit was none other than Conan the Barbarian, who now governs California, a state whose tight emissions regulations should mean death to this petrol-thirsty behemoth. But Arnie, it would seem, has a collection of the damn things, but who am I to criticise people for their ride. I myself have a 2.3-litre gasoline/GPL car, so I’m no-one to throw stones (none of us are, even if we drive a fricking hybrid). What amazes me is that its size makes driving it in town, with badly-parked cars everywhere that only narrow down the street, and its gigantic, thirsty engine make its natural habitat the petrol pump. It’s supposed to be good at offroad stuff, like ploughing through the desert in Iraq and muddy woods at weekends, but for that, you’d want a more practical, less thirsty, prettier Range Rover or something of the sort. Inside, it seats four people, who are so far apart they have to communicate in sign language because you can’t hear the over the roar of the engine. And despite its exterior size, being inside is not as spacious and lovely as being in the back of, say, a big Citroen. An interesting review of it was done by Fifth Gear, they used it as an emergency vehicle to rescue a stranded hiker in the middle of nowhere, and as far as getting there it was alright. But inside it was so cramped that for the patient to return reclined, two of the rescue team had to walk it back.

Now if this were a pretty car, that would forgive all its flaws. But it’s hideously boxy, and the H2 and H3 have a disgusting, super-kitsch chromed grill, that make it look like it has piano-key teeth. When I nearly became Hummer fender-meat on that zebra-crossing last Monday, it looked like the damn car was going to chomp my head off as much as iron me into the street.

So, the Hummer is dead. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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