Finding New Methods of Comparing SUVs

A bearded man with bags of meth in front of a Bath, ME sign and street

Automotive comparisons can prove challenging, especially in areas such as design since it’s inherently subjective. While you can speak your mind and share your personal opinion, there’s no guarantee that you’re actually helping to influence anyone’s purchase. But what happens when you’re comparing two vehicles that prove lacking even in the subjective areas of consideration? Ultimately one needs to find fresh, new ways to quantify each of the vehicles’ attributes. Fortunately for me, I was asked to compare the 2019 GMC Acadia vs 2019 Dodge Durango on the same day that my coworker Brandon entered the world of short-range drug trafficking. 

For those of you who might be wondering, short-range trafficking calls for locals (or in a pinch, the nomadic homeless) to act as geographic go-betweens, couriering narcotics through a territory where their presence could upset existing distribution channels. It calls for discretion, reliability and smarts since it requires the courier to avoid drawing any attention to themselves, self-control as to not partake in the product and the ability to avoid law enforcement and competing dealers. 

But when Brandon said that he had 40 LBS (over 18,000 grams) of crystal methamphetamine that he needed to get from North Central Massachusetts to Bath, Maine – I’ll admit – I thought that he was joking. He then pulled out a pair of unisex Hollister sweatpants that he had taped inside the wheel-well of his fluorescent green RAM pickup and opened them up to reveal the meth in all of its glory. He said that the batch was called ‘Sick Beet’. That’s when he offered to split his courier fee with me if I would help him. 

I’ll never forget the sensation of standing there, in our office parking lot, holding an actual pants-full of drugs. The sun was setting, and I could hear his radio as it played “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift. The last few weeks had been hard, with some surprise expenses popping up. I had also had my fair share of negative experiences with shady people, and that’s when I thought to myself: I could keep getting down with all the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of the world OR I could get down with this Sick Beet.’

We headed north, as I focused on the two jobs Brandon expected me to do. First, I was “Lookout” keeping an eye peeled for authorities and/or any vehicles that might be following us. The second was to make sure we kept shuffling through his surprisingly thorough catalog of T-Swift’s music. 

When we finally reached our destination in Maine, we were due to meet our contact in a local parking lot. That’s when we realized that we needed to think quick, since it was early AM and the local police were looking for loiterers. Brandon started to get cold feet and suggested that we split up, steal a couple of cars and meet back up in Massachusetts. 

So, needless to say, we were surprised as we stood there in that Family Dollar parking lot, scrambling for a place to hide over a million dollars worth of high-grade crystal meth, to stumble across a GMC Acadia and Dodge Durango parked side-by-side! 

Fortunately, both are spacious midsize SUV with plenty of cargo space to accommodate a simply forty-pound package of illegal narcotics. And while I wasn’t enthralled with either, the Durango’s distinctive design language was notably more appealing to me, so we shoved the drugs in the Acadia and called it a night. 

You’ll have to talk to Brandon about the Acadia (he’s up for parole soon), but I’d certainly be willing to recommend the Durango to anyone. 


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