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Saturday, July 7, 2007

Nine Reasons I Love My Prius

With Live Earth playing across the globe today, I thought I'd share with you 9 reasons why I'm delighted to be driving a Prius (which I've been doing since last August):

1. Obviously, I'm spending less money on gas.

2. But filling up at the gas station is no pleasure even when the price of gas isn't a problem. Who wants to bake in the hot sun and breathe in fumes in the summer? Who wants to shiver in the wicked cold wind and breathe in fumes in the winter? (This may be a special issue for me - every gas station I visit in the winter seems to be on the windiest corner in the world.)

3. It's fun to lord it over Cro-magnons* and other recalcitrants who love to say, hey, you talk the environmentalist talk, do you walk the walk? Well, I drive the drive, baby...

*(In view of the Geico commercials, I'm sensitive to the species-stereotyping that Neanderthals regularly receive, and therefore I'm refraining from using "Neanderthal" as a colorful synonym for "benighted". Also, Neanderthals play a role in my first novel, The Silk Code.)

4.. Birds and other little critters don't flee for their lives at the approach of my car. When the ICE - internal combustible engine - is off, the Prius drives in stealth mode, and it's sweet indeed. I'm hoping one of these days the birds and chipmunks and who knows what else will follow me down the road, and we'll all burst into song, like in a Disney movie.

5. On the Wikipedia page for the Prius, there's section that appears on and off again with a list of famous Prius owners - you know, like Larry David - and I was on it. (Actually, the list was up for a year, and some Cro-magnon removed it in May. You can see it in archive here, if you're interested. Anyone can reinstate it...) (I could, but won't, because I'm too modest ... nah, not really, I just don't believe in editing Wikipedia pages that concern me, unless it's correcting an outright error.) (When the list was up, being on it was sometimes my #1 reason for loving my Prius...)

6. I love listening to podcasts via my Prius' Bluetooth feature. There's something very cool about hearing a voice that you know as you drive with the windows open on a Spring day. (If you want to hear me, by the way, you can dial 415-223-4124 for my Levinson news clips 3-minute TV reviews, 510-248-0382 for 3 minutes of advice to writers, 415-223-4122 for my infamous Light On Light Through podcast.) (It's all free, except of course for the call.)

7. The car unlocks at your mere approach. This feels to me like something straight out of a science fiction story I read back in the 1950s. Maybe by Alfred Bester?

8. Locking the car is cool, too - by pressing any one of the small black buttons located strategically around the outside of the car.

9. The rear window actually is in two parts, and the lower part somehow rarely gets covered with snow, even in big storms. This means you can jump in your car and get going without having to clean it off completely off - especially useful to me when I'm late and in a hurry, which is almost always.

And I'll leave it there. Not every list has to come to ten.

And I actually have more than ten reasons, but I do also want to mention one thing I don't like about my Prius, just to prove how very objective I am about the car:

I don't like the silver color. For some reason, that's been the color of almost every car I've ever owned. Actually, I do know the reason - I'm always wanting to get my car as quickly as possible (see #9 above), and so I accept whatever color the dealer has in stock. And it always seems to be silver.

But, hey, boring color is a small price to pay when you can do something for the environment, and smile down critics who like to say that environmentalists are hypocrites.


Like science fiction? Jump into my short story, The Other Car, in which a Prius is a bridge to an alternate reality

Useful links: "My Sweet Prius" and "Prius and the Reunion of Talking and Walking", both at Light On Light Through podcast ... Sweet Prius is near the middle on Light On Light Through player, Talking and Walking, from October, is at the bottom...

See also Lovin' My Prius, Part III

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