Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I Am a Man And I Drive a New Beetle

I am a man and I drive a Beetle. I love this car! I love the funky looking key. I love the way the door shuts with hermetic snugginess. I love the way the engine starts with a quiet purr. Watch me dart in and out of traffic during the morning drive. A slow line of cars calls to me to dive into the passing lane and accelerate past them. I accept my Beetle’s plea and race along at 70 mph, sometimes 75! This is not for the docile.

I park my car in the ramp next to co-workers's Mercedes and BMWs. They all look alike to me. They can have those cars. I’ve saved thousands while also joining a proud tradition: Beetle owners. People say that the car’s rounded, Tron-like looks are too feminine. What a sexist statement! And what do they know? Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not just for women. This is not-- repeat: not!—like the Pontiac Sunfire. OK? It’s not even one of the top-five most popular cars with women!* I believe that is one of the charms of the Beetle: its warm looks and sporty feel beckon to any and all: “Come and drive.”

Sure, the phrase “cute” comes up often when I mention the car, but all of that is washed away once you drive it. Besides, you should see the look on a lady’s face when I arrive to pick her up in it. It says that I am both comfortable with who I am and practical. There are no secret compensations being made here. And when she slides into the passenger seat, and eyes up the chrome-lined interior, and notices the soft red neon glow emanating from lights and gauges in the dashboard, and runs her hand over the metallic automatic shifter, she can’t hide the look in her eyes. Yes…the Beetle has happily claimed another.

The silvery paint job reflects the morning light as I speed towards downtown. I am like a Zero coming out of the sun at an unsuspecting city. On warm days I roll the window down and breathe in the morning air. My Beetle dashes down the left-hand lane while others in Toyotas and Hondas passively migrate behind an overloaded truck. A breeze enters the cabin, catches my tie and sucks it back out the window. I cry out and press the accelerator to the floor. Eat my dust, world.

*provided by http://www.forbes.com/vehicles/2005/05/23/cx_dl_0523feat.html

Top 5

5. Land Rover Freelander, 56.4% female

4. Mitsubishi Eclipse, 57%

3. Toyota RAV4, 59.8%

2. Saturn L300, 64%

1. Mitsubish Eclipse Spyder, 65.8%

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