I'll cut to the chase here; car pools are evil.
Besides occasionally giving a co-worker a ride to work when their favorite mode of beige transportation was having its headlamp fluid replaced I had never been in an actual carpool group until yesterday.
After one day of carpooling I can already tell you there is no worse method of transportation.
I woke up like any other day, groomed myself enough so I don't offend The Man, walked groggily to my 1994 Honda Accord EX and after a 5 minute drive to the local Park and Ride off the interstate I joined my carpool group.
Seeing an advertisement for the group in the classifieds section of our corporate employer's Web site I thought to myself, "this might be a good chance to meet some new people and save a little cash in the process." Sure, I would lose the joy of driving to work every day but construction season in Wisconsin is still in full swing and it'd save the wear and tear on my already tired and broken Accord.
Worst idea of my life.
First off, the types of people who carpool are clearly not the type of people you would want to spend any amount of time with. One woman spent the entire time knitting and muttering something about cats, two spoke in a language I could not understand and the driver kept talking about how excited he was about the menu in the cafeteria that day.
These rowdy four had jointly purchased a mid-90s Dodge 10-passenger van that wouldn't be out of place in a field with a tree growing through the hood. The driver said his brother had gotten a great deal on it and it was perfect for the commute because they could fit tons of people inside. I thought it'd be perfect rusted out companion for the MG shell sitting in my backyard.
The van was huge and I was sitting in the front passenger seat next to the driver, in the back I could barely make out my two co-workers of indefinable nationality and the woman in the middle seemed to have enough space to knit a life-size quilt of Wisconsin. I had to admit I was a little doubtful as to whether they needed all the space.
Talking to the driver a bit more I found he was endlessly optimistic he could fill the van with commuters. The carpool had been together for nearly a year and clearly he wasn't having a lot of luck.
I think I know why.
Besides the array of allergies that had been awaked by the upholstery which seemed to suck in every allergen known to man I realized I really don't want to know people who don't like driving themselves. Apparently, the two foreign guys in the back had no form of personal transportation other than bicycles and didn't seem the least bit concerned about it.
Before responding to the advertisement I thought of all the reasons a car pool could help me and the world around me. I'd save loads of cash, wear and tear on my Accord (which was also the most stolen car of 2009, so I'd also keep it safe) and of course I'd save the whales, bring the Dodo back from extinction and keep the world from being hotboxed.
My mind snapped back to reality as Mario Andretti in the driver's seat crossed the double yellow line and almost struck another car to which he just shrugged and moved back in to the correct lane. Silently I prayed that at least I would make it to work alive.
Forget all the reasons why a carpool is uncomfortable and you're left with plenty of reasons why it doesn't even make economical sense.
First, this guy wanted me to pay $75 a month to join this carpool which is ridiculous; I only spend on average $120 a month driving myself to work. Secondly, for four people a van which gets -2 mpg is hardly a great economical alternative.
Time is money and the carpool wasted an extra hour of my life, the guy driving is destined to crash and kill me which would be rather unpleasant and the diseases captured in the blue suede upholstery will undoubtedly send me to the hospital. No to mention the fact that he would undoubtedly kill me at some point and that would be rather unpleasant.
In theory, carpooling is a great idea. Who needs to drive to work in a car all by themselves and clog up the roadways when they could share?
I didn't like sharing in preschool when I threw a block at little Timmy for trying to steal my toys and I don't like sharing now because it's unpleasant and will most likely kill me.
This piece was written and submitted by a Jalopnik reader and may not express views held by Jalopnik or its staff. But maybe they will become our views. It all depends on whether or not this person wins by whit of your eyeballs in our reality show, "Who Wants to be America's Next Top Car Blogger?"