Smart Car Tipping: The Weirdest Way to Punish the Energy Efficient

They say you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy. Unfortunately, for some San Francisco residents this is proving true as “smart car tipping” is becoming the new trend.  Yes, that’s right, smart car tipping. It’s exactly as it sounds; people just push over the small, energy efficient cars like they’re a bunch of cows dreaming about jumping over the moon.

Now, I can’t confirm the vandals tipping smart cars are from the country, but they must have one thing in common with their rural counterparts- boredom. According to one witness, about six to eight people were going around San Francisco flipping over cars together. He said, “They looked like they were up to no good, and sure enough, they huddled around it and lifted it up.” After they finished, the vandals simply went on their way, leaving the owners to find their car upside down. Call me closed-minded, but I feel like I’m on crazy pills for not understanding why that’s fun. All they did was push an inanimate object for a couple minutes, and it didn’t even have the slight element of danger that it could wake up like cow tipping!

Apparently, I’m not alone in my curiosity of the trend. A San Francisco resident, Dan Gomez said of the acts, “I think it’s a bunch of pranks. I don’t know, it sounds kind of weird. I don’t know why you would want to do that.” Shelley Gallivan, whose smart car got a shove in the wrong direction, said she thinks, “whoever is doing this just has misdirected anger.” Either way, I think we can all agree unless there is a stranded child, or a hard to reach penny underneath, there is not a lot to gain from flipping over a smart car.

Surprisingly, before the recent uprising in San Francisco, this sort of trend has been popular in other regions across the world. Easily targeted for their size, smart cars have been on the bad end of tipping since bullies first laid eyes on them in Canada in 2005 (cold Tim Horton’s coffee might have been the source of aggression). In 2009, several people in the normally charming city of Amsterdam dumped smart cars into the canals causing irreparable damage. Perhaps they parked over the line?

Between Sunday night and Monday morning, San Francisco police say four tipped smart cars were reported in various neighborhoods. No suspects have been taken into custody, but thanks to a witness, they have some leads. If caught, the suspects will be charged with felony vandalism as all the smart cars sustained damage.

I still can’t recognize the appeal of pushing over a smart car, but I have come up with a few motives. The group was jealous about the great gas mileage smart cars get, they’re strong man trainees who lost their gym memberships, or most possibly, they were told Princess Peach was trapped under a smart car and they went to save her. Unless the vandals are caught, we may never know why one would do such a thing, but if you have some ideas let me know!

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