About five years ago, I was completely unable to tell the difference between different types of vehicles. A Mercedes and a Ford looked exactly the same to me. I could divine the difference between “truck” and “car,” and might’ve gone so far as to describe a vehicle as a “minivan,” or a “convertible.” But outside of those utilitarian delineations, I hadn’t the faintest what piloting a particular automobile “meant” about the person behind the wheel.
Thanks to my arduous commute, my state of ignorant bliss is, alas, no more. So, in order to provide you all with the benefits of my Significant Life Experience, I give you, without further ado, my Top Six List o’ Vehicles Driven by Assholes:
A Mercedes is the ultimate entitled asshole mobile. Firstly, no one can figure out how to pluralize either “Mercedes” or “Benz,” giving it that unpronounceable je’ne sais quoi beloved to elitist pigdoggies everywhere. Secondly, the totems to materialism that serve as hood ornaments exist for no other reason than to serve as reminders to normal people that we are like tiny, tiny ants just waiting to be squashed by the Mercedes’ superior horsepower. Or whatever it is they have that’s worth a sticker price of about $56,000 (which, according to my Very Scientific Calculations, could keep me in portobello mushroom paninis for about 15 years). The only exception to the rule is if it is a very, very old Mercedes. If it’s rusted out, you can trust the driver. If it’s been converted to biodiesel complete with prominently located bumper sticker, well that’s a gray area.
The BMW is the jealous, bitter, aspirational younger yuppie sibling of the Mercedes. Again, the name causes problems in that no one knows what BMW stands for, except for some spurious sources that claim it stands for “Brute’s Murder Weapon.*” The Beamer deviates from the Mercedes in that it doesn’t matter how old the Beamer is, the driver will never be absolved of asshole status while barreling down the freeway in a car rumored to be built with the blood of Jews. (For realsies! Other cars too!)
The people who drive Audis are the same people who sign their e-mails with “Cheers,” or worse, “Ciao.”They’re going for European mystique and/or sophistication, but all they get are repair bills so high they end up selling their Beamers to pay for them.
Saabs and Volvos
I want to like these cars. I really do. Saab buys ad space on public radio, and Volvo reminds me of hippies. I like public radio and hippies, therefore I should like Saab and Volvo, right? Wrong. These car brands are marketing to the wrong demographic, as people who drive them are without fail unable to use their turn signals or let populist cars change lanes.
And, last but not least, the humble Volkswagen:
You’d think VW would get a bye on accounta being responsible for a cute co-opted slogan like “fahrvergnugen” and making those adorable bugs and Scooby Doo vans. But you’d be wrong! Sure, patchouli-scented old-school VW owners do not pass the asshole test. But did you know that VW was invented by Hitler? Fo’ sho’! Also, VW owns Audi, and makes Certifiable Asshole Cars like the Jetta. Unless you live in your VeeDub with your crime-fighting dog and mod posse, you fail.
While the vast majority of my fellow commuters are just normal regular humans trying to get from Point A to Point B in normal regular human cars, taken as a collective, they’re something far more sinister. The commute, after all, is more than just a commute — it’s a microcosmic representation of society, with all the preening, power struggles, and Machiavellian machinations inherent therein, all baldly displayed right there on the pavement.
*I make no claims to truthfulness, honesty or accuracy. I have performed absolutely no research for this article, and am not an expert on cars, assholes or Hitler. These are not the facts you’re looking for. Or more accurately, these are not the facts for which you’re looking.