Walking to the post office earlier today, I came across an SUV that had been ticketed for parking in a street-cleaning zone. Nothing unusual about that. But on the other side of the windshield flapped a big piece of paper with the headline, “Oh No! A Fu–ing Ticket!” That was unusual – enough for me to read the note myself, which said as follows:
“It’s not just a ticket.
When you leave your car in a street sweeper zone, the garbage that is under your car stays on the street all week.
In effect, you contribute to the ugliness of the world.
You make San Francisco ugly and dirty.
Your lack of responsibility is one more tiny part of The Problem.
Assume some responsibility for your role in the world.
Mama’s not here to wipe your ass.
You are responsible for your car.”
Whoever left the note didn’t leave a signature. Nor an email address. Nor any other way to contact him/her. Nope. Just the darkly-humorous invective on a white piece of paper, meant to change the thinking of the SUV owner. Obese cars aren’t welcome in San Francisco. Their fuel-inefficiency, their contribution to global warming, is an affront to everything San Francisco stands for. Do they warrant the aforementioned “liberal hate note”? Let’s say this: It’s not just San Francisco where SUVs are vehicles non grata. Signing out of my email tonight, I was greeted by a series of news and feature-story headlines, including this one: “Big, bad SUVs might be on the outs with most Americans, but the utility vehicle is far from dead, as consumers usher in the era of the crossover.” The “crossover” is a kind of “car-based utility vehicle” – i.e., a small-sized SUV. Stay tuned. In San Francisco, these kinds of automobiles will be targeted just like the SUV near my neighborhood post office. It’s another “only in San Francisco” phenomenon.