Are you Jason Statham? No? I didn’t think so.

Whoah…hang on there a second, stud!  Before you shift into high gear, jerk down on that steering wheel, bite into a tire-shrieking hairpin turn and roar up level three of Lincoln’s Center Park Garage (first hour free!) – let’s hit the pause button and take stock of the situation. 

This handy, four-item checklist should help:

  1. Visual Check: Tilt your rearview mirror down very slightly give your reflection a glance. Is the person looking back at you a lean, compactly muscular, balding male, mid-40s, approximately 170 pounds with a sharply chiseled jawline and deep-set eyes that stare back at you with hawk-like, brooding intensity?
  2. Sound Check: Speak the following sentence aloud: “You should’ve made sure I was dead before you left me hanging from a hook in that warehouse in Bangkok!” Take careful note of the cadences and inflections of your voice. Did the words come out in a gravelly, intimidating British accent with mixed East Anglian and strong Cockney overtones?
  3. Vehicle Check: Are you driving a late-model Italian sports car, or possibly even a stylish, mid-60’s era Mini Cooper?  Glance at the empty passenger seat to your right. Is there a duffel bag stuffed haphazardly with bundles of paper currency from one or more countries, several passports and an unlikely assortment of large-caliber handguns?
  4. Situation Analysis: Is your girlfriend/estranged daughter/loyal comrade-in-arms currently being held hostage on the roof of this parking garage by members of any one of the following: (a) the Russian Mafia, (b) an exotic Asian crime syndicate, (c) a generic Middle Eastern extremist group, or (d) rogue governmental agents running some kind of wholly unauthorized and ethically dubious intelligence operation?  Are any of these adversaries threatening to shoot/explode/throw their hostage off the roof if you do not deliver “the package” to them by 12:00 p.m. precisely?

If you answered “no” to ANY of the above questions, you are NOT Jason Statham.  You are almost certainly NOT involved in a harrowing, action-packed race against time to rescue your girlfriend/wife/estranged daughter/partner at the last possible moment by killing the bad guys in some unlikely, but gratifyingly ingenious manner.

This fact immediately obviates the necessity for you to hurl your F-350 Lariat at high speed through a parking garage that would barely allow two Honda Fits to pass one another with any degree of safety. And what do you need an extended-cab luxury pickup with nearly 9 feet of ground clearance and a power plant that could drive a fully-armed naval cruiser for anyway? Are you working as a contractor for the military, ferrying troops and munitions into the less-accessible regions of Afghanistan? Based on the pristine, ruby-red paint job, I doubt your vehicle has ever left the Lincoln, NE city limits or carried heavier cargo than the two drums of Coors Light you brought to your most recent fraternity kegger.

And while we’re on the subject, just how the hell old are you, anyway? I’m guessing not more than 21 or 22. Can someone explain to me how a kid who has yet to earn his degree in Business Administration from UNL  (current GPA 2.8) swing the payments on a vehicle whose total cost is about one-third of my home mortgage? Never mind, I can guess. 

Look…it’s safe to say that Frank Martin (The Transporter series, 2002-2008), Lee Christmas (The Expendables series, 2010-2014), or any of the other tough guys in Jason Statham’s repertoire probably never had their vehicles paid for by Mom and Dad. Let’s also keep in mind that the biggest threat to your girlfriend comes not from a ruthless, international drug cartel, but from your own cavalier attitude toward birth control.  So let’s drop the action hero routine and drive our nice, 8,500 lb., 8-cylinder pickups like normal, law-abiding citizens, okay?  Thanks!

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