There is a complex of retirement apartments rising like a mushroom in a former farm a few blocks from my home in Orem calling itself Treeo, and advertising itself with, among other slogans, this: “Where the smartypants live.[i]” Smart looms large in their legend: they have bought two of those cute little Smart cars and decorated them to emphasize their smartitude. US News reviewers said of the Smart Fortwo that “According to the EPA, the Fortwo gets 34/38 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class, but low for such a small car.[ii]” That’s my beef with the smart car: how can something that small and light get such lousy mileage? My son Cody[iii] has a better beef with Treeo — he pointed out that Treeo’s choice of slogan is as bad as its taste in cars: it should be either “Where the smartypantses live” or “Where the smartypants lives.” That’s the kind of attitude for which I was thoroughly mocked in grade school as, yes, a smartypants.
Christopher Smart probably wasn’t so mocked. Born in 1722, he was sent, at eleven when his father died, to Durham School and, in 1739, to Pembroke College, Cambridge, whence he graduated in 1744 with a BA. He was much smarter with his language than the people promoting Treeo, or the smart car. Here’s one of the latter’s[iv] poems:
The smart electric drive’s single-gear transmission means
instant torque and smooth, dare-we-say, sexy acceleration.
Pair that with smart’s classic compact size and tight turning radius,
and you’ll pour milk down the drain just for an excuse to drive to the store.
Conserving the environment? Woo hoo!
Driving a conservative-looking car? Womp womp.
That’s why the smart electric drive, like every smart, is endlessly customizable –
from vehicle wraps to tridion safety cells to mirrors and more.
Want us to cover your smart in photos of your cat? We’ll do it.
Seriously, try us.[v]
And they say that poetry has disappeared from Continue Reading →