Check out this article about a new kind of vandalism happening in Amsterdam. Click on the link for the story.
Apparently, groups of local young people that they call “yobs” have taken to a new form of vandalism that is appropriately called ‘smart tossing’. The short take of this is that these groups essentially pick up these tiny cars and throw them into the nearby canals. Authorities have no idea exactly how many vehicles have been placed into canals in this manner.
In the picture above you will notice that these cars are not very big at all. They are designed to be urban commuter vehicles and are only designed with two seats. Notice the size difference with the SUV in the background.
When I read this article, I was taken back to my college years in Cedar Rapids Iowa. It is the late 80’s and my Grandfather has found me my first car. The excitement of owning my first car had finally come to me. We had to travel 396 miles to get my car, and when I arrived at my Grandfather’s house and saw the car for the first time, I almost laughed out loud. I was thinking that this had to be some kind of joke. It looked more like a toy than a real car.
What my grandfather had purchased for me was a 1971 Honda A600. This was Honda’s first production car. The name was given because it had a modified 600cc motorcycle engine giving it life. It was a four speed stick-shift (with the stick basically jutting up out of the dash). A 4 gallon gas tank provided the fuel. The wheels were so small that tires had to be special ordered. It would red-line at 65mph, and it would frequently build up enough compression to blow the spark-plug cables off. It had two front seats and a bench seat in the “back”. Many of my taller friends that bummed rides from me commented that they had to reach below their knees just to open the doors. All of that aside, It was a blast to drive, and it was mine…all mine.
Shortly after school started an interesting phenomenon started to happen to my car. I would often have difficulty finding it. The college football fraternity (and others I am sure) thought it was novel that the car was so small and light (it weighed less than 800lbs when fully fueled up) so they would physically pick it up and move it. I would find my car in different parking spaces frequently. I would also often find my car turned 90 degrees in my parking space. Yep it was so small it would fit sideways in a parking space. I would even be able to drive it out of such a predicament because it was so small.
Alas, winter came, and the antics with my little car started to escalate. I came out at one point to find that my car had been “thrown” into a snowbank at the side of the parking lot. That was fun to try and get it extracted. The worst incident that ever happened to that poor little car is that someone finally decided to tip it on its side. This is when some actual damage happened to my car. It broke the side view mirror, put a decent dent on the back of the car, and the gas leaked out of it.
So getting back to the story in Amsterdam; I can certainly empathize with all of those smart car owners. Everyone it seems likes to pick on the little guy–be it a man or machine.