Monthly Archives: April 2007

Death, Taxes and Hybrid Minivans

Like death and taxes, there seems to be 2 inevitable consumer truths that come with having multiple kids.

  1. You will buy a double stroller
  2. You will covet your friends minivan

I know, I know…you swear up and down that you can get by without either, especially the minivan since it carries a whole whack of baggage with it (both figurative and literal). But in the end, you will succumb to the lure of extra room.

We broke down on point one this week and purchased a double stroller. Not quite what we wanted, but we weren’t prepared to take out a second mortgage, so we settled for a much more modest Schwinn Safari that was on sale for 1/2 price at our local auto centre (go figure they would sell strollers).

My advice to my expecting-a-first-child-with-plans-on-having-two friends is to take the plunge, save yourself some cash and get the double right off the bat. Skip the single stroller completely and jump in with both feet. It’ll save you having to convert your garage into a stroller showroom with a vast collection of singles, doubles, umbrellas, etc..

Now, onto inevitable truth #2. Lately, I have begun coveting my friends minivans – a menagerie of Toyota, Mazda, Ford, and Dodge units in all shapes, sizes and colours.

We have resisted, mostly because our basic 4 door Mazda Protege is paid for full and clear and I’m not hot on going 30k into debt just for a bit more luggage space. However, with camping/beach/outing season coming quickly, I can see where the pull will become stronger.

So, here’s an obvious question to the auto industry. Why no hybrid minivan? I mean, I can get any number of SUV’s in hybrid mode, but can’t find a single minivan on the market using hybrid technology. Certainly ours is not the only family out there that would love to go hybrid, but the options for a family friendly version are not there.

All my research has shown that the earliest we’ll see a hybird minivan on the market is 2008 – a Toyota Sienna. And that is it. No other car manufacturer seems to have a hybrid minivan on the radar.

Are we the only family in North America chomping at the bit for a hybrid minivan? I know the auto industry is downright hostile when it comes to the idea that vehicles can run on energy other than petroleum. But a hybrid minivan seems like such a no-brainer to me that the financial lure would be too strong even for the auto industry.

Looks like our next vehicle will be a Toyota.

Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie counsel overweight kids

Man, someone please tell me this is a really bad joke. From CommonSense Media.

The media is buzzing about the new season of The Simple Life in which scary skinny rich girls Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton take on the role of camp counselor, including counseling kids at a fat camp (or as E! prefers to call it, a weight loss/ fitness camp).

Seriously, this program idea is about as good as the one from last year where the Olsen Twins pitched a show about healthy eating.

You can just hear the inspiring and helpful advice coming from Ritchie, with her history of eating disorders, and Hilton, who once paraded around in a commercial in a swimsuit and a 50 pound hamburger.

“Like, you guys are so, like, fat.”

“Don’t you know people like us make fun of you.”

“Cause you’re fat and no one likes fat people.”

“Maybe you should, like, try sticking a finger down your throat.”

“Or drugs. Because then you wouldn’t be fat.”

“But we would still make fun of you.”

I know I should really have something much more intelligent and constructive to say here to add to the public discourse about this idiotic, and absurdly cruel, concept. But reading this and I have suddenly regressed back to being a fat little 8 year old kid with people poking me in the belly and laughing. I found that experience utterly humiliating and can’t imagine how horrific it might be for a kid to have their belly poked by a couple of uber Queen Bees in front of an international audience.