Tuesday, May 09, 2006

How to View Those Flooded Cars

Much has been made (e.g. by Mr. Shinn) of the previously flooded and now really gross cars that sit all over the streets, underpasses, and commercial parking lots of New Orleans. The subtext of most of the questions and complaints is, "Gee, Nagin (or Blanco or Bushor FEMA) ougta do something about all those cars. Clean the place up!"

I want the cars gone. However, I want to point out a key factor.

Those cars belong to individual human beings, who have now abandoned them. Each of those people has left a 4,000 pound piece of trash on our streets. No one seems to be pointing this out.

Let's stop being stupid Americans for a minute and state what ought to be obvious. A car is not a consitutional right. A car is not a vital organ, part of who you are as a physical being. A car is a thing that you buy and use. You are responsible for it.

The people who own the cars need to get them off of our streets NOW.

Oh, you don't want to? Okay. We'll do it for you. NOW.

However, the next time you go to renew your license, buy a car, get a brake tag, or renew your registration, you will get a bill that you must pay on the spot. Whatever it cost us to remove your car, YOU MUST PAY.

If you don't pay the bill on the spot, you don't get whatever it is that you want (license, car, brake tag, sticker for your license plate). You can't drive anymore until you deal with the consequences of your previous driving habit. Deal with it.

Cars are not vital body parts like hearts, brains, and livers. Cars are wetlands-consuming necessary evils that we tolerate until we can quit this addiction and come up with something better (bikes, public transportation, fusion-powered Jetson-mobiles, whatever).

Don't forget that crucial tenet of "All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten":
Clean up your own mess.

5 comments:

Covingtongirl said...

Bravo! Thank you MR.Clio.

Nabil said...

Well, I suppose that sounds fine from here (VA), not having a flooded car -- but if I was sitting in Houston living from FEMA check to FEMA check, I wouldn't have the first idea or inclination as to what to do with my flooded car in NOLA.

Mr. Clio said...

nabil,

I honestly believe if you own a car, you must know how to use a phone to call your insurance company or a tow company.

If not, no worries, unless you want to get a La. license etc. Then you have to take care of business.

Yes, this sounds rather tough. However, we're talking about a freaking CAR, not food. A car is a very large, dirty, loud imposition on society. I think we have to stop looking at cars as some harmless personal possession that is constitutionally protected in an absolute way.

Look at maps of the wetlands since the storms. Cars don't look so harmless and fun anymore. They're a threat to my city--like I said, a necessary evil--and we should view them that way in terms of setting a high standard for people to own and use them. They impose a serious cost on society, so their owners (e.g. ME) should be treated as such.

ashley said...

Yep, chances are most all of these cars are insured, and the owners have collected. So send the bill to either the owners or the insurance companies, and let the city get something for the salvage value.

Lady Morwen said...

I am in total agreement with Mr. Clio's thoughts.

Our tenant left her van in front of the house... had to get it removed myself so the FEMA trailer could be installed. (She also left all her stuff in the rental, and now we must deal with it.)

I know folks were hurt by the flood, but darnit! Please be responsible for your stuffs. Be an adult.