Calling Tim Tomecko

The following are actual quotes from a letter to the editor in the Wheels section of today’s Toronto Star. Since The Star is firmly ensconced in the 20th-century internet—that is, no user interaction on their site—I’ll reply to the letter here. Tim Tomecko, I hope you find and read this!

I am sick and tired of hearing from people concerning the high cost of fuel who say things like “I have no sympathy for complaining SUV drivers.” Well, I drive an SUV and I never complain about the cost of fuel. I never have in my life. I knew what I was getting into when I bought my SUV and was prepared to deal with it.

And why should the rest of humanity have to “deal with” all the unnecessary pollution that spews from your tailpipe? Why do think summers in this city have become so unbearably hot? What do you really think is behind the devastating hurricanes in the United States, or the polar ice caps melting?

I’ll tell you: It’s you and your SUV.

When I watch the news, it’s the single mothers with three kids driving a van who they always show complaining.

That’s because minivans actually serve a practical purpose—hauling around kids. Have you ever taken your SUV off-road, or are you worried that all those bumps will knock your Super-Big Gulp into your lap?

I have yet to see an SUV driver on camera complaining. I did see a Hummer driver telling the reporter that he pays $80 three times a week to fill up. He didn’t look like he was going hungry, either.

But he is going without sex, because as everyone knows, the only reason men buy Hummers is to draw attention away from their small dicks.

I refuse to take what passes off as public transportation in Toronto … crammed into slow, smelly, overcrowded TTC vehicles full of the great unwashed masses who think garlic is a food group or who yell at the top of their lungs in a non-stop babble into a cellphone. No thanks. I will sit in my SUV, alone, with my radio on, my own thoughts and quite comfortable, thank you very much.

Sitting in your SUV alone, huh? I wonder why? Maybe because you are an intolerant, racist bastard? Or do you just want to sing along with your Sharon, Lois & Bram CDs without anyone knowing?

And in the winter after a snow storm, I will weave through traffic in four-wheel drive while watching the look of terror on the faces of the people in their “responsible” cars while they slide down the roadways backwards on an icy hill.

And I will be a safe distance behind you, phoning in your license plate to the police so they can arrest you for reckless driving. I’ve seen just as many winter accidents involving SUVs as cars, maybe more. Fact is, if you can’t slow down and take extra care in bad weather you shouldn’t be on the road at all. Jerk.

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7 Responses to “Calling Tim Tomecko”

  1. Ari Burkes says:

    Hi Andrew;

    I sent the following letter to The Star in reponse to Tim Tomecko’s comments. Here’s hoping they print it, at least in part:

    Upon reading Tim Tomecko’s Wheels section letter last week, I was immediately filled with indignation at his oblivious self-absorption and brazen arrogance. David Suzuki once said, “Anyone who buys an SUV doesn’t give a about the environment”; Mr. Tomecko’s attitudes, so succinctly espoused in his letter, certainly lend credence to that statement.

    Mr. Tomecko’s letter occupied my thoughts for much of the weekend, and as my thoughts began to distill, my anger turned to bewilderment. How could anyone have so clearly missed the point on fossil fuel consumption? How could anyone deem that this type of egocentricity and utter contempt for society is the correct point of view, and be so certain in it as to desire to share it in a public forum?

    Indeed, in Mr. Tomecko’s letter is crystallized much of what is fundamentally amiss in our civilization. We in the industrialized world — and in North America in particular — have mastered the fine art of conspicuous consumption, of living so far beyond our needs that we can no longer distinguish between need and desire. We live in a pre-packaged, single-use world, cocooned in our single-family suburban homes and gas-guzzling SUVs, wantonly discarding those possessions which have outgrown their usefulness. We assign a person’s worth based upon net worth, and bother ourselves not with those less fortunate — “the great unwashed” — or, God forbid, with the world which we leave to future generations.

    What is required is a fundamental shift in our point of view. We need to search for ways to curb (and eventually end) our collective addiction to fossil fuels. But alas, how can we expect industry leaders to take action when we continue to purchase fuel-inefficient vehicles in record numbers, when our primary concern is the price of fuel at the pump, not the cost of our consumption to the earth? How can we expect our governments take action on global emissions when those who we elect to serve our interests are beholden to the oil lobby? How can we hope to foster a change in our way of thinking when the world is inhabited by the likes of Tim Tomecko?

    And so, my anger cum bewilderment was transformed once again, this time to sadness, for I realized that for every one David Suzuki there are a thousand Tim Tomeckos. Our global economy will continue to be fueled (both literally and figuratively) by oil, until such time as our earth becomes uninhabitable, or it becomes fiscally unfeasible to continue extracting it from the ground. So go on Mr. Tomecko, keep driving around that SUV; think not of global warming and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, of the frightening escalation in the number of catastrophic ocean storms, of the ever-multiplying greenhouse gasses which are quite literally chocking the life out of the earth. The only thing that truly matters is whether or not you can afford to fill up your truck every week. Rest assured that millions of others feel exactly the way you do.

  2. Hi Ari,

    Great response—I’ll look for it in the next Saturday Star!

    I don’t think they’d print mine because of the comment about HUMMER drivers and their small dicks…

    Seriously though, your observation about the Suzuki/Tomecko ratio is all too true. As I get older I come across more and more people whose entire world view goes only as far as their SUVs will take them.

    Hmm, this gives me an idea…

  3. Ok, so here’s my idea. I’ve buried it here in the comments so as not to get sued:

    http://www.cafepress.com/acurrie.32391765

    FYI, there’s a $1 mark-up on the item, which I’ll gladly pass on to the Canadian arm of Greenpeace if there are any takers…

  4. Ari Burkes says:

    That’s fantastic, absolutely hilarious. I’ll purchase one today.

  5. Mrs. Tomecko says:

    You’re a self-righteous bastard and have more than missed the point. Are you so foolish and blinded by your arrogance that you truly believe that all SUV’s consume more gas and create more pollution than the family minivan? Not a chance. Than the family sedans, many 8 cylinder and some now equipped with hemis? Not even close. Pick-up trucks, most all of them 8 cylinder with hemis optional? Trust you’re not missing my point.

    There is no racist epithet in the letter and if you believe there is, then that is where your racist sensibilities have taken you. I’m not aware that being smelly or eating garlic is confined to any identifiable group. Just people.

    I must say that I didn’t know that not slipping and sliding around on snowy streets constituted dangerous driving? Quite the contrary, being in control of your vehicle is a pretty basic requirement of safe driving. As is staying off your cell-phone when on unsafe roads

    Now to you. I trust you received permission from the newspaper to reproduce its material here on your website? Hmm, I didn’t think so. Now that is truly illegal.Are you familiar with the concept of libel? Maybe so since you didn’t advise the author you illegally posted the letter on your site. Looks like other have followed your libelous lead.

    Now, to show you up for the schmuck that you really are …. we are both DISABLED! Hence the SUV, with its disabled permit. Stop to think about the myriad reasons people are in an SUV before you choose to libel them here on your website. Libel….. copyright infringement…. I wonder what my lawyer will say? What will your website readers say, or the editorial readers, when they find that you have actually attacked disabled persons, a group that is protected under the Ontario Human Rights code, unlike smelly, garlic eating people.

  6. Thanks for this… It really made my day!

    I would take even more joy in picking apart your feeble arguments line by line, but an old adage comes to mind, and instead I’ll just say this:

    1. Believe it or not, the smelly garlic eaters of this country are also protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
    2. Driving is a privilege, not a right. And nobody needs an SUV. Period. I’m sure it sucks to be disabled, but would you really wither up and die if you were forced to drive a smaller, more environmentally-friendly vehicle? Or does your treatment necessitate rumbling down the highway in a HUMMER with your Shari, Lois and Bram CD at full volume?
    3. That was a rhetorical question, because you’re hereby banned.

    Have a great day!

  7. Ari Burkes says:

    You REALLY must be kidding. These comments were posted over A YEAR AGO!!! When I received the thread update notification in my email, it took me a moment or two to remember what this was all about.

    Your comments have left me speechless, they really have. You and your husband obviously belong together.

    Mrs. Tomecko, allowances are certainly made for those members of society with disabilities. But nothing can possibly excuse your husband’s vitriolic, narrow-minded and bafflingly ignorant comments. Irate responses to his letter (such as my own, above) in The Star’s Wheels section continued to be printed for three weeks following its printing. Go to your local library and read the back issues if you’d like confirmation of that. I read the Wheels section every week, and I cannot recall any letter that’s inspired as violent a response as that of your husband.

    In deference to the very correct link in Mr. Currie’s previous post, I’ll hereby resist the urge to say any more.