By February 22, 2012 27 Comments Read More →

The Car Makes the Man

Credit: QuickMeme.com

I was at the grocery store the other day when I watched a ’97 Camero with tinted windows hastily pull into a handicapped parking space. As I waited for the driver to get out, I immediately formed an image of what I thought he or she might look like. I came up with: male, 25-35, bad fake tan, a sweatband on his forearm, aviator sunglasses, and a spandex Under Armour shirt which prominently displayed his nipples. I got 5 out of the 6 right; I should have known people wouldn’t be wearing sunglasses this time of year. Rookie mistake!

This got me thinking as to whether or not you can accurately predict a man’s characteristics and/or lifestyle based solely on his car. Sure, there are vehicles which are obvious predictors of things such as wealth or the need for speed, but can you tell more about someone from his ride than just how much money he’s got in the bank? I called my high-ranking friends at the CDC, FBI, CIA, TSA and NKOTB to see if they would assist in gathering data, but I got a lot of dial tones. On the upside, I’m pretty sure I’m on some “Watch Lists” now!

Not one to be deterred, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I gathered my materials and performed highly scientific research in one of the most prestigious labs in the world: a Safeway parking lot. My findings (after 30 minutes and a bag of beef jerky) are as follows:

Mercedes Convertible: Racks up divorces, has a young Asian girlfriend, owns penny loafers

Volvo Wagon: Wears tighty whities, most likely works in finance, exudes less sexual energy than a used Brillo Pad

Prius: Owns multiple pairs of cargo shorts/pants, has signed over 150 petitions in his lifetime, loves to drive at least 10 miles under the speed limit

BMW M Class: Sports a tan George Hamilton would be jealous of, has impossibly white teeth, thinks Ed Hardy is a fashion genius

Hummer: Watches too much UFC, has a tribal tattoo on his bicep, acts as Lord of the Douchebag Kingdom

Lincoln Town Car: Senior citizen OR ruthless mobster (a roomy trunk is important to both groups)

Subaru Outback: Hails from the Pacific Northwest, owns a kayak, listens to bands like Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes

Lowered Honda Civic: Spiky hair, wears oversized Fubu jeans, uses words like “yo” and “shawty” without being ironic

The new Volkswagen Beetle, PT Cruiser or a Mini Cooper: Is a fellow who likes fellows

Kia Soul: A hamster

Cadillac Escalade: wears flashy gold jewelry, dabbles in street pharmacology, listens to music at extremely high volumes

Minivan: A dad, has a cell phone belt clip, thinks fanny packs are “really functional belts”

Pickup truck: Drinks Bud Light, card-carrying member of the NRA, always makes sure to have a tool set on hand in case of a siding/window/electrical/flooring/plumbing emergency

A windowless van: Most definitely a predator

Volkswagen (Type 2) Bus: Grateful Dead fan, looks like Tommy Chong, lives down by a river

Porsche Boxter: Spends more money than he makes, has a serious fear of aging, his house is decorated in 80’s art deco

Audi A6: Has watched one too many Jason Statham movies, wears turtleneck sweaters, drives like he’s a stunt double from “The Fast and the Furious”

’67 Mustang: A TOTAL BADASS

I’m sure there are men out there thinking, “Hey, I drive a Mini Cooper and I’m SUPER DUPER heterosexual!” Uh-huh. Women are proclaiming, “My husband drives a Volvo and he’s a sex machine.” Right. Look, don’t get your knickers in a twist. This was a research study conducted in a parking lot while I chomped on dried beef. Take from that what you will.

Not everyone fits their “car mold” perfectly, but I do believe cars can attract a certain type of personality. I give you Exhibit A: I once saw a 1970 AMC Gremlin on the road and thought it looked like a really cool car. I think that pretty much tells someone everything they’d need to know about me.

I’m not advocating that we all jump to conclusions about people we haven’t had the opportunity to get to know. Just as someone who drives a “jerk car” can be the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, a guy who drives a less than impressive ride can be the biggest jerk you’ll ever meet. It’s good to have some fun with the theories I’ve stated above, but it’s best not to judge someone based on their car alone. Well, unless he’s driving a Hummer. In that case, he is most definitely the Lord of the Douchebag Kingdom.

 

Other original works by this author can be found at Sips of Jen and Tonic

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About the Author:

Jen and Tonic was classically trained in the art of guzzling a beer in less than fifteen seconds. She is single-handedly responsible for creating the David Hasselhoff empire, and destroying Dustin Diamond’s career.
On the weekend she enjoys wearing pants with elastic in the waist, arm wrestling small children, and skinny dipping in her neighbors’ bathtubs when they’re not home. She has struggled for years with being overly badass, and scientists are currently studying her in an effort to figure out how one person can be so awesome. View My Profile

27 Comments on "The Car Makes the Man"

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  1. avatar Katy Kern says:

    Oh Jen, can you please come to my local Publix parking (where there is valet parking) lot and do another survey here? haha…I would love to see your results…remember I live in the land of Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh, Jack Nicklaus and Venus and Serena Williams. :-)

    Oh, and Bernie Madoff used to live here as well.

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    • Wait, back up for a second. You have VALET at your grocery store? Highfalutin!!

      I would LOVE to sit in the parking lot with you and just shout out random characteristics and cars pull in.

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      • avatar Katy Kern says:

        Jen -- we have valet everywhere here. The rich and famous do NOT like to park their own cars. ;-)

        Oh, and it’s a date. Sitting with you guessing at the personalities here would be one of the best days EVER! :-)

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        • WOW! I’m imagining you making a slurpee run to 7-11, and a valet throwing a towel on the ground so your feet don’t have to touch the pavement.

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  2. avatar Cher Duncombe says:

    Loved this, Jen! I think it’s true that you can learned a lot about a person based on what they drive. I also look at a man’s shoes—but that’s a whole new realm. And what about the kind of dogs people have? If people look like their dogs, do they also look like their cars? I am asking the expert here. :)

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    • I’ve never been one to look at shoes, but I think that’s because I don’t want THEM turning around and judging MINE. I wear beat up Chucks nearly every single day. On the occasion when I wear heels my friends laugh and call me Mrs. Fancy Pants.

      I think you’re on to something! I may have to do a follow up this involving what dogs say about the man.

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  3. avatar Bill Friday says:

    Where’s my gun rack?!!! I did drive an Outback for a month while my Kia was in the shop. And I haven’t worn a fanny pack since I sold my Chevy Astro (one WITH windows). See… not a cliché anywhere to be found! Next time you visit L.A. (I know, such a sacrifice for your “art”), I’m sure a sequel is bound to be written.

    I like part one, a lot.

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    • Bill Friday: disproving stereotypes since ’61.

      I would pay big money to see a picture of you in a fanny pack. Holy lord…

      Also, I’m not 100% sold on the idea that you don’t own a gun. I think a trip down to LA is in order to see if you’re telling the truth. A cavity search WILL be performed.

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      • avatar Bill Friday says:

        Ooooh, Ms. Tonic…

        I never said I didn’t own a gun, I asked where my gun rack was ;) And I always tell the truth… especially during a properly administered cavity search.

        See you in L.A.

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  4. I laughed out loud at ‘fellows who like fellows’ and ‘hamster’. Got to admit i’m not really someone who gives much of a toss about cars, not since the crash I got into and then decided to outrun a BMW in a Fiat Uno..surprisingly didn’t get very far. I wouldn’t mind a Porche though or a Mustang..although you are right, i’ve got to the age where a Porsche might be screaming ‘MID-LIFE CRISIS’…but screw getting a Volvo, that’s just asking for a fatal car crash. What was the car in Mad Max, I want that one or a Delorean.

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    • OHMIGOD. I laughed out loud for almost 10 minutes thinking about you attempting to outrun a BMW in a Fiat Uno. I’m laughing now as I type this.You’re quite the little rascal!

      Is the car you’re thinking about from Mad Max the Interceptor?

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  5. avatar Janene says:

    Jen, this is AWESOME. I even giggle snorted! Not pretty, mind you.

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  6. Jenn, you actually saw an AMC Gremlin on the road? I thought all of those had been recycled into Buicks long ago. Or parked in front of single wide mobile homes and turned into planters.
    I agree all Hummers are driven by Lords of the Douchebag Kingdom. My first cousin had one and got tired of being harassed at gas stations, so he traded it in for a Cadillac Escalade. The man has never really grown up.
    I tend to be partial to small SUV 4X4s. My Chevy Blazer is begging to be traded in for a Toyota 4J Cruiser so I can really get lost in the back woods.
    Fun piece Jenn :)

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    • When I saw the Gremlin on the road I was around 10, so it was nearly 20 years ago. I’m sure you’re right in that Gremlins are sitting on blocks somewhere, and acting as a toilet for squirrels.

      Oh man! An 4J Cruiser IS the perfect car to get lost in the woods. My friend used to have a Bronco, and we’d go mudding in the backwoods sometimes. One of my favorite memories.

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  7. avatar Dean Walker says:

    Ha, I’m planning on buying a used car this week. I’d love to buy the Challenger, but they are a too much money. I’m most likely going to settle on either a 2006 Mustage GT, 2008 Charger, or a 2008 Magnum.

    I’m beginning to wonder what Jen thinkgs these car choices say about me?

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    • You know Dean, I think you could pull any of those cars off. I think they all have a “I’m a total badass” vibe to them. Hope your car purchase went well!

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  8. avatar TJ Lubrano says:

    I seriously had to take a moment from reading, when I read “Hamster” hahahah. I visualized an entire scene of you eating the beef, seeing the hamster, eyes grow like this O_O…hamster slowly waving at you…

    Ah I don’t own a car and use my dad car when I have to, but this was really cool to read :) You know when my cousin was little, I think 3 or so, he had this ability to recognize cars by just looking at the logo. That was pretty funny.

    OH can I have a Mustang please!!? Pretty Please!!??

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    • When the hamster got out of the car I was like, “Whaaaaaaa???” @_@

      Wow! It’s amazing how much cars have become a part of our lives. I remember my nephew once talking about someone with a BMW. He’s five! I don’t think I knew about that stuff until I was much older.

      And yes, when I win the lotto I’ll buy you a mustang.

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  9. avatar Elisa Ashley says:

    I’m thinking the only thing this works for is the Camaro. LOL…and possibly the Mercedes.

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  10. avatar Diana says:

    Jajajajajajajajaja that was great. I’m proud to say I didn’t have to click on the NKOTB link to know what it was! I think part 2 should be a piece on women drivers. I drive a 2003 Nissan Sentra, btw.

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    • NKOTB fan for life? You’re hangin’ tough ;)

      Ah, that’s a great idea! I guess I’ll have to buy another bag of jerky and do some more research.

      (by the way, a 2003 Nissan Sentra says…practical, on the younger side, most likely have things dangling from the rearview mirror)

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  11. avatar Anya Pham says:

    Oh God. So much to say. Especially coming from Texas.

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