August 24, 2002

· Misc

Leaving a restaurant last night, I saw a Cadillac Escalade EXT for the first time. It was taking up most of the parking lot. The EXT is Cadillac’s pick-up truck. If you’re surprised that Cadillac makes a pick-up, you’re not alone. In a review by Car and Driver magazine, John Phillips writes:

Cadillac’s brand manager says, “Cadillac research showed that there was a real need for the EXT.” A real need for a Cadillac pickup? Really? If so, then here are a few things that I really need: An air-conditioned front yard. Iguana-skin patio furniture. Stigmata. Mint-flavored Drano. Gold-plated roof gutters. A 190-hp MerCruiser SaladShooter. A dog with a collapsible tail. An office desk that converts into a Hovercraft. Chrome slacks. A lifetime subscription to Extreme Fidgeting. A third arm. A fourth wife. A smokeless Cuban Robusto. Reusable Kleenex.

The EXT is very big and very ugly. (“Only in America could something like the Cadillac EXT be built”, says Phillips. “This makes you wonder why it’s built in Silao, Mexico.”) The front grille leers at you in a disconcerting way. But it lets you roll over shopping trolleys and small foreign cars in the mall parking lot without any trouble.

Nevertheless, it might not satisfy your needs. If it’s not quite big enough for you, you could always order the new Kenworth Dominator instead. “Eight tons of road-hugging, occupant-protecting mass. Fits under most bridge underpasses. Can tow your camper, yacht, a trailer-load of frozen pizzas, or even your house.”

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.



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