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Jul 21 2006

Environmentally-Conscious Midlife Crisis

Tesla Assholemobile

The reasons to appreciate PZ Myers are many and varied, but today I focus on his having revealed to me the existence of the Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car that is actually in production and will be available for purchase by mortals next year.

Big whoop, you say?

Look, if I have made a secret of my profound failing for small, lithe, exhilarating, roofless automobiles, it was thoroughly unintentional. I love them. I love them. I love them. The instant I got ahold of my first butch German sports car I became smarter, rosier-cheeked, springier, and better-looking. That was several years back. I’m now on my third such roadster, and, well, you’ve seen pictures of me. You have to admit I’m off-the-charts gorgeous. It’s all because of the rejuvenating, neck-snapping horsepower, baby.

Yet there’s no denying that these cars are shockingly gas-guzzly. I often feel as though my relationship with my car parallels that of Dorian Gray with his portrait. OK, that metaphor isn’t quite right–I’m still popping Vicodins like they were Cheetos–but you get what I mean. In exchange for the thrill-ride I have to pony up crippling doses of shame, pacts with the devil, etc. “If only,” I have often mused, brushing a guilty tear from my eye, “Porsches came in electric.”

Could the Tesla be the answer? It does 0-60 in 4 seconds and emits no poisons and depends not a whit on foreign oil and, get this, has an iPod input jack! On the downside, it costs about a gazillion bucks, must be serviced in California or some other such godforsaken place, bears an unfortunate resemblance to the teen-male-fantasy Lotus Elise, has a top speed of only 130 mph, and may or may not make it from Austin to Dallas on a charge. And I wonder whether it would be cool and stealthy, or just sad and weird, not to hear the engine rumble like a DC-10.

But it has an iPod input jack!

29 comments

  1. vera

    So you have to get it serviced in California? You can stay at my house! Or just leave the car here; I’ll take care of it.

  2. Pony

    Why I do believe there’s a service garage for that here too. Now that you mention it Vera.

    I think you should buy it Twisty but there’s one niggly detail: will it pull the silver bullet?

  3. lavalamp

    Please tell us yer not doing the driving and the Vicodin-taking at the same time– we want you around for a good time longer.

    And who wants to go to Dallas anyway?

  4. yankee transplant

    And you would look totally hot in it!

  5. Twisty

    “Please tell us yer not doing the driving and the Vicodin-taking at the same time”

    Nah. The pain in the hole where my uterus used to be currently makes it impossible for me to hoist the Twisty corpus in and out of the low-slung vehicle, much less wrestle it into gear.

  6. Jezebella

    I am so glad someone else, someone female and smart, will cop to loving stupid fast, beautiful convertible sports cars. No, I’m not driving one now but I’m scheduled to purchase one in a year and three months, for my fortieth birthday. For this reason, I look forward to age 40 as most of my peers do not.

    I spent the first five years of my life traveling on my mother’s lap in the passenger seat of a silver 1966 Corvette convertible, so really, I can’t help but love the damned things. I was heartbroken when they sold that car – without checking with me!! I was five years old, and I was certain I should have been consulted on such an important matter.

    No matter, now: I’ll buy my own, by gum, and maybe it will be electric! Maybe it will not be gas-guzzly! Maybe I’ll be able to get from Hooterville (my current location) to New Orleans on one charge! That is indeed a foxy automobile.

  7. Cheryl

    Very sexy! I share your passion, if not the purse size to accomodate it. Here’s some more on the model from

    Enjoy your lust and your Vicodin.

  8. Cheryl

    ::sigh:: Someday I’ll get the html right. The above link is to an article about the Tesla Roadster on Wired News.

    I *still* hope you enjoy your Vicodin…no point in having pain if you can’t enjoy the painkillers!

  9. shannon

    Now that’s just pretty.

  10. KMTBERRY

    I share your love of the sports car. My Austin-Healey didn’t guzzle gas AT ALL though…I think I got something like 40 miles a gallon. (sigh-I sold it for 2 thousand-I think the same model sells for 20,000 now.) They don’t make them like they used to. But they sure didn’t make them with iPod jacks!

    Note to Pony: It won’t pull a silver bullet. You pretty much have to have a F350 pickup to pull a silver bullet. Or a fucking NAVIGATOR or something. Ability to pull an Airsteam Vs. Gas Guzzling is a REAL heartbreaker, because one ISN’T going to be pulling the Airstream ALL the time, but you DO have to drive the Airstream-pulling Car all the time (unless you have multiple cars).

  11. Sarah Parry

    Totally refreshing to hear a woman who knows what she is talking about car-wise… plus of course you’ll look fab behind the wheel of it!

    A male, piggish media always trys to make out that every female driver doesn’t even know how to change a flipping tyre: you’d prove them wrong!

  12. schatze

    I suggest you record the sound of a regular Little Red Sports Car to keep handy in the iPod to hear an engine roar as you “shift”. If you are good at sound effects you could just fake it yourself. If this car has sparkage like a Tesla coil, it would be way cool. I’m a bit concerned though as I see no mention of cupholders, the mainstay of today’s automotive excellence. And of course, will Bert fit?

  13. Pony

    Oh won’t Bert look fab sitting on the front passenger seat with spittle flying from his grinning mouth? He’ll be wearing one of the drink things mountain rescue dogs wear.

  14. Celia

    Dammit! Now I want one.

  15. Twisty

    Cupholders, I know! Could anybody with half a brain manufacture an $80,000 car without’em? I have already emailed the Tesla company with an urgent request to supply this cupholder (also, what about a nav system, heated seats, and trunk space?) information. So far I haven’t heard back.

  16. CatStaff

    I, too, am a sports car slut, and have been so since I was so high. At age 20, I had a brand-new VW bug, with which I was attempting to prove to the world at large that I was sensible and practical, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a 5-year-old sparkling red TR6 convertible on a lighted stand at Ye Local Rip-Em-Off Used Car Dealer. It was lust at first sight, and if the use by the dealer’s entire sales force of my nubile young self had been required to seal the trade, I wouldn’t have hesitated. Sadly, my little red convo was an abusive partner, catching fire on me not once, but twice, going through trunions like they were going to be outlawed, and needing a 3-inch coating of Gunnite to keep the inside dry if there was even a heavy dew, never mind actual rain. Ah, but I loved that little car. Nothing like having the top down on a chilly late fall day, the heat and the radio cranked up, and racing down leaf-strewn back roads.

    After that, I managed to adopt a used Porsche 944 and a new Porsche 928 (I should have stuck with the 944). Then marriage and a family struck, to say nothing of indulging another dream, that of having my own horse, so I’m currently sports carless. But I may have to sell the house after all, and pick up one of the new Teslas. Yes indeed, I may just have to. And the patriarchs can just eat my dust.

  17. Vibrating Liz

    Car sluts? Feh. Tell me about it. I wasted three fucking years going to a therapist who tried to convince me that rather than actually spending my entire life savings plus prematurely cashing in my retirement plans on the down payment for a Riverside Red 1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe Tanker with matching numbers, I should make an effort to “get in touch” with my “inner Corvette.” Bunch of woowoo-lala bullshit: inner Corvette my ass, it turned out I was talking to my damn pancreas for three years. Now I’ll eternally regret that I didn’t spend the money on the car instead of the therapist.

  18. W. Kiernan

    bears an unfortunate resemblance to the teen-male-fantasy Lotus Elise

    Oh, so now I’m a teen. Yeah, I sure feel like a teen. Anyway, it’s manufactured by Lotus. Fancy that, an electric car that handles like a Lotus!

  19. Gertrude Strine

    I see.

    A body undergoes multiple amputation to reduce the risk of death by more-or-less degrees of disease, in order that a body may survive to continue to risk death by meeting hard things at fast rates in open-topped caskets.

    Glad that’s all cleared up then.
    Pause for benevolent intentions to be signalled along with the irony.

    For environmental brownie points however, the leckie car is a much less life-endangering choice than a cycle of any description, notwithstanding the much better speed thrill available.
    You know of course that it has to be red.
    Red goes faster.

    Pleased to see the writing cobwebs are getting moved aside at last and I applaud your devotion to paracetamol – acetaminophen as you call it – for a base anti-inflammatory mediator.
    It is a wonder drug in my humble lab-rat opinion.

  20. Ms Kate

    In Texas, you could get around the charge issue by supplementing with a custom spoiler. Said spoiler might ruin the looks a bit, but it would tilt to maximize the intake of Texas sun, bolstering the charge situation and adding range over the range.

    Who said environmentally conscious and responsible living had to be boring and crunchy anyway! Thought = style!

  21. Pony

    Gertrude

    Neither paracetemol nor acetaminophen are anti-inflammatories.

  22. Gertrude Strine

    http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2006/07/21/environmentally-conscious-midlife-crisis/#comment-23701

    Neither paracetemol nor acetaminophen are anti-inflammatories.

    Yes it is – paracetamol is a synonym for acetaminophen.
    It may not be a steroidal or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory with the same sledgehammer effect of the COX-1 and COX-2 isozyme inhibitors (both the general and the selective ones) but it does have an anti-inflammatory action and remains grouped with the other NSAIDs in the pharmacopaeia.

    I may have confused you with the term “anti-inflammatory”.
    I could have chosen the more precise term “anti-pyretic” but the distinction is not one that I’d make when contributing to a forum comprising the general population – and in the light of recent elucidation of the COX-3 isozyme mediation by paracetamol, I’d be really stupid to disregard its anti-inflammatory effects.

  23. Pony

    Hmm must be *very* recent. The last I have says it is not an anti-inflammatory. Like heroin and morphine they are related but not the same. So no, not synonyms either. If anyone needs anti-inflammatory action, as for example with menstrual cramps or arthritis, they won’t find it in paracetemol or acetaminophen.

  24. frumious b

    depends not a whit on foreign oil

    Oh? So all the petroleum energy used in the manufacture and transport of its parts comes from the US? Do they offer a certificate asserting this when you purchase the vehicle?

  25. Mar Iguana

    “…California or some other such godforsaken place…”

    Please don’t hate us because we’re beautiful.

  26. firefall

    Range on a full charge is supposedly 250m (I’m assuming that’s miles, not meters), so Dallas should be in reach, provided you can manage to not go top speed the whole way. Cupholders & heated seats I can see, but luggage space – not a chance.

    As for the engine rumble, I believe they offer that as a download for your IPod

    A snip, for a mere $80-120k

  27. Ken C.

    This is obviously a fusion of the twin ideals of patriarchal phallus-worship and consumerist gadget-love, its silence only enhancing its thanotic appeal. It might be possible to “enjoy” driving/identifying with such a sextoy-on-wheels, but only years of societal training gives the susceptible the “need for speed” that such identification fulfills. Objectively, a funk-filled bratwurst of a car. (Plus, charging takes three and a half hours.)

  28. Charles

    A late comment. You might possibly approve, at least in part, of the 77-year-old mother of my legally conjoined significant other. For the last 20 yeasr she has insisted on driving in a Corvette (the last two iterations of which have been cherry-red). Yes, a Porsche would be better but ya gotta love the spirit.

  29. kreepyk

    Unless you are plugging this into a system that charges on renewable energy (which is possible if you have your own renewables, if you buy greentags or greenpriced power), this expensive toy will be powered by coal and nuclear. This is not exactly a coup for the environment.

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