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So what's the deal with microcars?

January 11, 2013

So what's the deal with these microcars people are driving now?

Everyone already knows the benefits of driving these cars: better gas mileage, less expensive to purchase, easier to park, go nicely with a Matchbox car collection.

I suppose they are more environmentally friendly and help prevent greenhouse gas emissions which, in return, reduces the probability of global warming.

That concept seems mute to me because I feel global warming will be pretty sweet — we can swim outside in November!

It will, however, force the ice caps to melt in Antarctica.

A bigger issue is, who cares about Antarctica?

I don't need an entire continent to keep my ice cream and popsicles cold; I own a freezer.

The biggest downside to owning one of these cars would be every time that you get out of one.

There is no way to look cool stepping out of a car that looks like Steve Urkel's Isetta.

Every time I see one of these tiny cars pull up somewhere, I expect a bunch of clowns to come cartwheeling out, as I have grown to expect from any circus I've ever attended.

If you are above 5'10'', I don't know how you could fit in one of these cars.

At 6'7", I would have to "Houdini" myself into the tiny space provided and somehow contort my body into a manner in which I could fit my long legs into the car and be forced to maneuver the steering wheel with my knees or elbows.

Things would only get more complicated in a standard, as I imagine I would have to shift with my teeth or somehow put the stick shift under my armpit.

I would need a sunroof so I could put my head out to see traffic.

My legs are long enough that if I stuck my leg out the window, I could push to go faster.

I would look a lot like Dino in the Flintstone's car, but I run into a safety hazard when I place a baby on my head.

I guess I could always sit in the backseat and drive from there — just kidding, these cars don't have back seats.

I would also have to begin the slow and steady process of replacing all my friends with action figures and army men because that is the only way they could fit in the car with me.

However, if I could convince two of my non-action figure friends to purchase these cars, I would be able to successfully pull off the Shriner's parade routine on the road.

Another downside is the crash test safety ratings on these cars.

Even a minor fender bender could result in serious injury or death or, at the very least, draw more attention to the fact that you are driving a bumper car.

Pedestrians can find solitude in the fact that if they are walking or rollerblading through town, and one of these cars happens to hit them, they most likely will walk away unscathed, but sadly, the driver of the car will be dead.

If these cars had training wheels placed on the side of them, maybe people would be more cautious around them. I feel everyone driving these cars should have to wear a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, Teflon body armor, swim floaties, a parachute and nose plugs, in addition to having a seeing eye dog and a pocket protector.

My solution, if you decide to drive one of these wacky cars, is that you should own the fact that you look ridiculous getting out of one.

My proposal is that you decide on a comical routine every time you step out: have a bunch of packing peanuts spill out, cartwheel out or carry a remote for a remote-controlled car, etc.

It will take a ton of work and will make your life pretty miserable, but it seems like the only realistic solution to me.

The only other benefit I could find for these cars is that if you decide to get rid of them, you can nicely fit up to four of them in a dumpster.

Dan Long is a sports reporter for The Punxsutawney Spirit and Jefferson County Neighbors.

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