Columnist for Thursday, 1/18 - jims

The SUV and the nesting principal

This last week, various news sources were running a story about a visitor to one of Donald Trump's properties killing a goose with a golf club. Various quotes from members state that the goose was known for being aggressive and this is supported with further comments from the scientific community. They state that an animal is going to be territorial when it deems something to be a threat to its nest and its young. While quoting scientists gives the statement credity, it is pretty much common sense. Many of us grew up watching different animal shows, be it Wild Planet, The Crocodile Hunter, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, etc.

The fact is, we don't have to look to our animal brethren to observe this trait. We simply need to look to our streets. Over the last few years, there has been an explosion in the number of mobile nests / roving toxic sites / SUVs, what ever you prefer to call them. Early on, environmentalists decried these beasts as gross polluters, having worse gas milage and producing more pollutants than even larger passenger cars. Despite that, the numbers grew and grew, with the demographic known as "Soccer moms" being among the largest group of buyers. Families wanted space for their children, their gear, etc. Growing up, my family did just fine with pick up trucks and cars, but.

However, what I believe to be the true reason, these same families are now adding the justification, that they want to feel safe and protect their children. We are back to the motives of the goose, these soccer moms have found a mobile nest to protect their young. (For now, I will ignore the fact that these vehicles are often seen with only one passenger.) As such, observing these vehicles in their natural habitat -- mini-malls, the highway, our local city streets -- one can see the nesting principal in action.

Just like the goose, the owner of the mobile nest will exhibit behaviors they deam appropriate to their environment. Most notable among the observed traits are those involving a feeling of danger. Signs of aggression may include:

1. Blocking any suspect vehicle from entering the lane space of the mobile nest. 2. Speeding up and very closely following a suspect vehicle which may be in front of the mobile nest. This is often accompanied by flashing lights and maybe loud honking -- similar to the goose. 3. In gathering spots for mobile nests, termed parking lots in every day language, the mobile nest is likely to be seen occupying as much space as possible. This prevents others from getting too close as well as protects the nest from possble damage.

Now, on a societal note, unlike the man with the golf club, there is no simple way to do away with an agressive driver of a mobile nest. Generally these methods are restricted by the societal heirarchy that we must live under. However, it does not stop us from lavishing ridicule upon them. Just be careful, they will react to perceived threats, especially while operating their mobile nests.


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