The Insatiable SUV

Millions of Americans are faced with a dilemma: What to do with that nice, big, comfortable and highly inefficient SUV? You could continue to drain your bank account to fill the thing with gas, or you could try a few other suggestions.

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MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Here's another man of many talents, Brian Unger in his report today. What to do with your SUV, now that it's bigger than your bank account. Here's humorist Brian Unger.

BRIAN UNGER: We're all hurting at the gas pump, but some are hurting more than others. Take a look at the car, rather the SUV and the driver. The one traveling next to yours. It may seem awkward, I know, but if you can hear my voice, fix your gaze upon that Range Rover next to you. Stare into the eyes of that ranger who loves to rove, or blaze that trail, cruise this land or tundra, or whatever terrain that Mountaineer, Explorer, Navigator, Path Finder, this great Montero of ours fancies. That person there stuck in traffic next to you. Look at them, raise your hand, the hand without a cell phone in it, and point with your index finger and mouth the words, bet you feel kind of silly.

Now, toss your head back, laugh a little like you're gloating, then poke your finger in their direction again. Go ahead, poke, poke, poke. One more head toss, one more laugh, kind of like a chortle. Now freeze. Now make a frown face, stick out your bottom lip and tilt your head slightly. Now drive away before they get out of their car and beat the living snot out of you. NPR-listening, hybrid-driving Samaritans, the person in that giant car filling your rearview mirror, is hurting badly, and needs compassion, not ridicule. They just filled up their tank and emptied their wallet with incredible speed, zero to sixty dollars in eight seconds flat. That's pretty fast. And a steep price to pay for the confidence of knowing that when a blizzard hits Vegas, you've got four wheel drive to whether the storm.

To find a way out of this mess-per-gallon, here, a few things you can do with your SUV now that you can't afford to drive it. Live in it, cheaper than an apartment. Finally a mobile home that doesn't make you feel trashy, or gauche. Turn it into a planter. Now an SUV makes a terrific greenhouse. Convert your dome light to a grow light, plant some tomatoes. It's a terrarium. Now that's doing something really green. Use your SUV to transport other people. Follow those overcrowded buses, and help out an overburdened public transportation system by giving folks a ride. Now, turn your SUV into a childcare center, or a nursery school. Many parents are in need of good child care that comes to them, in any kind of weather condition. Lastly, and perhaps the most important thing you can do with your SUV, help heal a divided Democratic Party by driving an Obama supporter and a Clinton supporter around the block until they can come to terms. I'm sure Howard Dean will reimburse you for the gas. And that is today's Unger Report. I'm Brian Unger.

BRAND: Our humorist Brian Unger is here every Monday on Day to Day. Day to Day is a production of NPR News with contributions from slate.com. I'm Madeline Brand.

CHADWICK: And I'm Alex Chadwick.

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