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Spokes: SUVs and Dave Barry

Humorous, albeit a little long.  I try to avoid posting non-Audi
messages to the list, but this one was too funny to pass up.  Plus,
it coincides nicely with the q-lists unofficial bitch-about-SUVs
policy.  :-)

MAC:  My urquattro seems to be running OK again.  All I did was take
the intake apart and put it back together for a 3rd time.  The only
explanation I can devise is that a hose clamp was loose enough to allow
pressurized air to blow past it, but not loose enough for it to slip
off of the turbo or intercooler.  Pretty shakey, I know.

'85 CGT, '82 urq
Eric J. Fluhr                                Email:  ejfluhr@austin.ibm.com
High End Processor Design                    Phone:  (512) 838-7589
IBM Server Group                             Austin, TX

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>Dave Barry is my hero:
>                    DAVE BARRY : Oink if you drive a sport utility vehicle 
>                    By Dave Barry
>                    If there's one thing this nation needs, it's bigger cars.
>                    That's why I'm excited that Ford is coming out with a
>                    new mound o' metal that will offer consumers even
>                    more total road-squatting mass than the current
>                    leader in the humongous-car category, the popular
>                    Chevrolet Suburban Subdivision - the first passenger
>                    automobile designed to be, right off the assembly
>                    line, visible from the moon.
>                    I don't know what the new Ford will be called.
>                    Probably something like the "Ford Untamed
>                    Wilderness Adventure." In the TV commercials, it
>                    will be shown splashing through rivers, charging up
>                    rocky mountainsides, swinging on vines, diving off
>                    cliffs, racing through the surf and fighting giant sharks
>                    hundreds of feet beneath the ocean surface - all the
>                    daredevil things that cars do in Sport Utility Vehicle
>                    Commercial World, where nobody ever drives on an
>                    actual road. In fact, the interstate highways in Sport
>                    Utility Vehicle Commercial World, having been
>                    abandoned by humans, are teeming with deer,
>                    squirrels, birds and other wildlife species that have
>                    fled from the forest to avoid being run over by those
>                    nature-seekers in multi-ton vehicles barreling through
>                    the underbrush at 50 mph. 
>                    In the real world, of course, nobody drives Sport
>                    Utility Vehicles in the forest, because when you have
>                    paid upwards of $40,000 for a transportation
>                    investment, the last thing you want is squirrels
>                    pooping on it. No, if you want a practical "off-road"
>                    vehicle, you get yourself a 1973 American Motors
>                    Gremlin, which combines the advantage of not being
>                    worth worrying about with the advantage of being so
>                    ugly that poisonous snakes flee from it in terror. 
>                    In the real world, what people mainly do with their
>                    Sport Utility Vehicles, as far as I can tell, is try to
>                    maneuver them into and out of parking spaces. I
>                    base this statement on my local supermarket, where
>                    many of the upscale patrons drive Chevrolet
>                    Subdivisions. I've noticed that these people often
>                    purchase just a couple of items - maybe a bottle of
>                    diet water and a two-ounce package of low-fat dried
>                    carrot shreds - which they put into the back of their
>                    Subdivisions, which have approximately the same
>                    cargo capacity, in cubic feet, as Finland. This means
>                    there is plenty of room left over back there in case,
>                    on the way home, these people decide to pick up
>                    something else, such as a herd of bison. 
>                    Then comes the scary part: getting the Subdivision
>                    out of the parking space. This is a challenge, because
>                    the driver apparently cannot, while sitting in the
>                    driver's seat, see all the way to either end of the
>                    vehicle. I drive a compact car, and on a number of
>                    occasions I have found myself trapped behind a
>                    Subdivision backing directly toward me, its massive
>                    metal butt looming high over my head, making me
>                    feel like a Tokyo pedestrian looking up at Godzilla. 
>                    I've tried honking my horn, but the Subdivision
>                    drivers can't hear me, because they're always talking
>                    on cellular phones the size of Chiclets. ("The Bigger
>                    Your Car, The Smaller Your Phone," that is their
>                    motto.) I don't know who they're talking to. Maybe
>                    they're negotiating with their bison suppliers. Or
>                    maybe they're trying to contact somebody in the
>                    same area code as the rear ends of their cars, so they
>                    can find out what's going on back there. All I know
>                    is, I'm thinking of carrying marine flares, so I can fire
>                    them into the air as a warning to Subdivision drivers
>                    that they're about to run me over. Although frankly
>                    I'm not sure they'd care if they did. A big reason why
>                    they bought a Sport Utility Vehicle is "safety," in the
>                    sense of, "you, personally, will be safe, although
>                    every now and then you may have to clean the
>                    remains of other motorists out of your wheel wells." 
>                    Anyway, now we have the new Ford, which will be
>                    EVEN LARGER than the Subdivision, which I
>                    imagine means it will have separate decks for the
>                    various classes of passengers, and possibly, way up
>                    in front by the hood ornament, Leonardo DiCaprio
>                    showing Kate Winslet how to fly. I can't wait until
>                    one of these babies wheels into my supermarket
>                    parking lot. Other motorists and pedestrians will try
>                    to flee in terror, but they'll be sucked in by the Ford's
>                    powerful gravitational field and become stuck to its
>                    massive sides like so many refrigerator magnets.
>                    They won't be noticed, however, by the Ford's
>                    driver, who will be busy whacking at the side of his
>                    or her head, trying to dislodge his or her new cell
>                    phone, which is the size of a single grain of rice and
>                    has fallen deep into his or her ear canal. 
>                    And it will not stop there. This is America, darn it,
>                    and Chevrolet is not about to just sit by and watch
>                    Ford walk away with the coveted title of Least Sane
>                    Motor Vehicle. No, cars will keep getting bigger: I
>                    see a time, not too far from now, when upscale
>                    suburbanites will haul their overdue movies back to
>                    the video-rental store in full-size, 18-wheel
>                    tractor-trailers with names like "The Vagabond." It
>                    will be a proud time for all Americans, a time for us
>                    to cheer for our country. We should cheer loud,
>                    because we'll be hard to hear, inside the wheel wells.

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