Driving down PCH at the blackest morning hour is a dangerous and unpredictable commute, but one thing I never thought I would see (let alone be a part of) is a moving lineup of the entire Scion brand.
There I was, casually speeding at a weak seven miles over the limit, when I noticed the headlights behind me were catching up, so I moved over to the right to let the car pass. In the side mirror, I noticed there was another car right on the first car’s heels. As the first car passed me, I couldn’t help but notice it was a fairly new Scion tC.
I gave the passing tC a little wave, like I do for all Scion drivers, even though I knew that a) it was pitch black and there’s no way the driver would see me wave, and b) the wave would probably only confuse the other driver, since my patent-pending “Friendly Scion Driver’s Wave” hasn’t caught on in the mainstream yet.
Then, as I let the second car pass me, I saw it was the delightfully boxy Scion xB.
OH MY GOD, I thought. This is my chance.
I drive a Scion xD. This completes the current lineup, I thought. Just like some pre-dawn, noir-styled brand commercial. How fucking cool is that.
The Scion iQ is not on sale just yet, which leaves Scion with just these three models. I knew the iQ goes on sale starting December first, a little over a month away, so that was probably the last chance I’d ever have to be part of a living car commercial.
So, as the xB passed me, I sped up just a bit to match their speed, turned on my turn signal, and moved into the lane behind the first two, gloriously completing the Scion trilogy.
I had never run over a bird before. In fact, I’d never killed anything larger than an insect with a car before. It was really fucking awful. The muffled splat of an insect on your windshield is nothing compared to the “thunk” of a substantially-sized object in the road combined with what was surely the sound of tiny bird bones crunching all at once.
I was immediately so overcome with guilt that I fell into some kind of trance. I don’t know what happened to the other Scions, where they went or how long I was behind them. But I didn’t stop the car after it happened. I just kept driving. It happened so fast, I never even took my foot off the accelerator.
Oh, that sound. That sound is still playing on a loop inside my head, like some grim, undying echo.
I wasn’t sure why I felt so bad. In that split second between when I saw the bird in the light of my headlamps and when I lost sight of it below the hood, I could tell that the bird was injured. It was flapping uselessly with one wing, trying to fly in any direction at all, but it was just too wounded to survive. Either that, or it was break dancing in the middle of the road.
It was just a pigeon. I’ve been telling myself all morning that it was just a pigeon. Pigeons are not even close to an endangered species. They are not even popular among environmentalists. I hear vegetarians refer to them as “sky rats.” And this particular pigeon was already mortally wounded (or bad at break dancing), and I just ended its suffering. It wasn’t vehicular pigeonslaughter, I tell myself, it was assisted suicide.
But I still felt terrible about it.
That was earlier this morning. I’m okay now.
But that sound. I can’t get that sound out of my mind.
There’s only one solution: Disco.