SANTA BARBARA, CA – Santa Barbara’s lab results have come back, and the numbers don’t look good. Our fair city has a dangerously elevated white SUV count. A cottage hospital spokesperson confirmed the findings. “Not to sound alarmist, but these numbers are devastating. As we’d guessed, the city of Santa Barbara has a white SUV count far in excess of what is considered a tolerable baseline for a city this size; or for a city of any size, frankly.” Santa Barbara’s annual physical has always been largely ceremonial. But this year’s labs—whose results came back late last week and are only now being released to the public—stunned Santa Barbarans with the sobering revelation of a dangerously elevated white SUV count, portending serious consequences if left unaddressed.
A surfeit of brilliant white SUVs with gleaming chrome highlights has long been an indicator of something deeply systemic run amok in a community. The ostentatious, glandular, snow-white status symbols can be seen everywhere you look in Santa Barbara—endlessly circling Paseo Nuevo shopping mall, making their elephantine way down State Street, parallel-parked three and four in a row near Chubbie’s on upper de la Vina, and taking up several spaces each in the Fiesta parking lot just when you most desperately need to make your appointment. “Santa Barbara’s troubling white SUV count is a warning,” the Cottage Hospital spokesperson said. “A city as diverse as ours ought to have an automobile population with a commensurate diversity. Alas, it does.”