Entry: Chrysler and the Human Condition Saturday, June 30, 2007

P.T. Cruiser owners are the most unpleasant people on the planet.


There, Iíve said it. And let me I assure you, I derive no pleasure bringing this odious, automotive secret to light. After all, I myself am a P.T. owner. But what is it Michael Moore likes to parrot about confluences of patriotism and self-criticism? As a recent owner of Chrysler's ginchiest little intro car, I am eminently qualified to speak as to the magnitude of my comradesí antisocial inclinations. It is thoroughly unacceptable and an affront to everyone who conflates owning stuff with belonging. So let this stand as my J'Accuse. My "Common Sense." My Trashion des Clercs. My..umm...Magna Carta! Er....


I'd been reading about how poorly Neons perform in crash tests for some time. Over the last year my dad forwarded me at least a dozen articles describing, in painstaking detail, the shape of your average Neon after a 30 mph bang-up. No of them ever used the words "tin can" per se, but in more than one report, you could tell they were itching to. And to be sure, I had grown weary of my car shortly after the third time in as many months I had forgotten to park and watched it roll, ostensibly in neutral, down an assortment of slants, bumps and inclines en route to some expensive destination. In no occasion did it actually strike another vehicle, but it came way too close for comfort. Perhaps it was time invest in another car. Maybe one that would make shrill screeching noises whenever I forgot to park.


Including the ten-minute test drive around the block, the actual purchase of the car took under an hour. I knew I wanted a P.T. Cruiser. I knew I wanted side-impact airbags, and I knew I didnít want to pay more than 15K. There was no shopping, no bargaining and there was no cajoling of any sort. In fact there was very little of talking outside a brief conversation on the state of the Cubs bullpen. The salesman, a ruddy, thin-lipped man with a sunken chest and a strained, painful gait seemed unable to believe how easy the transaction was. He kept peering at me over his computer as if to make sure I hadnít dissolved into some salespersonís unfilled fantasy. He must have asked me how old I was five or six times.


Price aside, there was another reason I was excited about my purchases: P.T. Cruisers look slightly unorthodox. They may actually get noticed. And, more specifically, other P.T. Crusier owners may notice them. Visions of waving to other P.T drivers danced before me as I rode home from the car dealership that day. It didnít take long before I spotted another one, and like an eager trucker the first day on the job, I rolled down my window and waved. I probably donít need to tell you what happened next.


For over a month Iíve glanced longingly at P.T. Cruisers, hopingópatheticallyóthat someone would notice I was driving the same model car and acknowledge that seemingly important fact with a friendly gesture. But no! P.T. Cruiser owners donít want to say ďhello.Ē They donít want to wave, honk or even smile at someone whose taste in automobiles runs concurrent with theirs. So Iíve stopped waving. Iíve admitted naivetť. Every time I see one, itís another nail in the coffin of fraternity.


Thereís an episode of Larry Davidís ďCurb Your EnthusiasmĒ where David gets upset when another Prius owner doesnít wave at him and he follows the dude around the L.A. area. And while that belies deeper faults within the fictional character, itís indicative a much larger, human need to belong. We all have it, it just manifests differently. Still, why censor ourselves at a time when there is so much that divides and keeps us from any remote sense of unity? Heaven only knows.


July 22, 2007   10:07 AM PDT
i'm so glad i'm not the only one who thinks the PT Cruiser driver is...different. in the chinese curse sense.
June 30, 2007   11:55 PM PDT
OH! YEAH! MAN! PT CRUISERS SO RAWK! **flicks bic lighter for emphasis** One day perhaps in 2028, I'll be driving a brand new (to me) 2005 PT Cruiser.

My daughter hates PT Cruisers and says they look like Hursts! Can you imagine!? The girl just doesnt have the same class as me, despite what I taught her about coolness.

Michael Moore however projects an image of (should be driving) a late model 1970ish LTD with dents, paint pealing, cracked dashboard, split seats - and an ashtray filled to capacity with cheap cigar stubs. I just dont like dat mayun. He be a fat cretan.

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