No, you’re not a jerk. But buy Electric
I am responding to the question raised by Matt Harrison in a recent edition of the Low Down (“Am I a jerk?” Sept. 16 to 29). Mr. Harrison wondered if he was a jerk for driving his car without a muffler.
The decibel level of the noise emitted by his car was not provided. However, one might speculate that the sound would make a Harley owner nod appreciatively: “Awesome! That’s real loud, dude! Rev it up!”
“I SAID, THAT’S REAL _ _ _ _ _ _ _ LOUD, DUDE!”
Presumably Mr. Harrison was not using “jerk” in the classic sense of “a quick, sharp, sudden movement” as might expressed by the phrase: "A jerk of his worried head revealed in his rear-view mirror the flashing lights of a police car whose driver had both hands pressed to his ears and was steering with one knee.”
Most likely Mr. Harrison had in mind the informal definition of ‘jerk’, which, according to Oxford Languages, is “a contemptibly obnoxious person.” Synonyms include: dolt, dope, dunce, imbecile, numbskull and twit.
My response to Mr. Harrison’s question is: “No, he is not a jerk. If he is one, then so am I, who once drove a car with more holes in the exhaust system than there are in Peter Piper’s flute. It percolated thunder. The aforementioned aficionado of motorcycle flatulence would have held two thumbs up.
I would advise Mr. Harrison to get an electric car. Never again would he be tormented by the tension between his love of silence and his unwillingness to spend money on a new muffler.
Electric cars do not have mufflers. They don’t need them. They are quiet, quick, clean and green machines.