Sunday, August 17, 2008

In Defense Of The Jeep

This post was inspired by the latest post from John Iwanski over at...wait for it...wait for

Now before I get to the meat of the post (no homo), I have to defend John's choice of a name for his blog (not that anyone is attacking it, I'm just sayin').

He's John Iwanski. He calls his blog Pretty straight forward. What more would you expect from a native Chicagoan?

Some of you may think it unimaginative. Some of you might be thinking he could have expended a bit more thought and creativity in naming his blog.

But I am reminded of a bit that Denis Leary did about corporate names. I couldn't find a youtube clip of it, but the gist of it was how company names don't actually mean anything anymore. Nextel. Sprint. Avaya. Even AT&T and KFC. AT&T used to be an abbreviation for American Telephone & Telegraph. KFC Used to be an abbreviation for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Not any more. AT&T is now just AT&T. Same with KFC. It's all about marketing and branding. Company names no longer tell you anything about the company and what it actually does. Apple. Verizon. You know who they are and what they do because of marketing and branding. But their names don't mean jack shit!

That was Leary's set up. The punchline was something like "My father worked for the Boston Paper Company for 50 years. They were in Boston. They made paper!"

So I find "" a refreshingly clean and honest name for a blog. He's John Iwanski. This is his blog. 'Nuff said.

But I digress.

His post had to do with being involuntarily substituted an SUV for a car rental and finding that he actually enjoyed driving it.

He felt guilty that he enjoyed driving a gas-guzzling, planet-killing, SUV with a large, comfortable captain's chair that sat up high, with good visibility, had plenty of head and leg room, and made him feel safe.

Now, I drive a Jeep Wrangler.

A direct descendant of the Willys Jeep that America's Greatest Generation used to win WWII and stop the Nazis from exterminating the Jews.

So despite it's less than optimal gas mileage, I think my Jeep deserves a little respect.

Although the Jeep may have been the original SUV, it is no longer an SUV in today's terms.

Much like Barry Goldwater would no longer be considered a Republican in today's terms.

No, it's not a fucking Prius. But it's not a Hummer either.

My reasons for owning and driving a Jeep are:

DURABILITY: Jeeps were designed tough to fight WWII and the basic design is still tough. These vehicles are hard to break and they take high mileage in stride.

HIGH VISIBILITY: You sit up high in a Jeep. High enough to be able to see what that ignorant fucktard in front of you who is yapping on his goddamned cell phone SHOULD be seeing if he was fucking paying attention!

FOUR WHEEL DRIVE: No, I don't go "mudding" and I don't run obstacle courses in Utah. My Jeep is my only means of transportation. How stoopid would it be for me to bust an axle climbing mountains or drown my engine crossing creeks? But it is very reassuring to know that I can get myself out of situations that will leave other drivers stranded. This has actually happened many, many times.

CHEAP CONVERTIBLE: No, you can't lower the top at the push of a pussy-button; you actually have to get out of the vehicle and put some effort into it. That builds character and strengthens the grip. But it's totes worth it! Most economical path to skin cancer devised by man!

[SIDE STORY: When I was working for a major telecom and living in Ray County I had a one hour commute to KC each way, every day. During a major blizzard, I braved the weather, put the Jeep in 4WD, drove 35mph for two hours and made it to work. My co-worker, who had a Jeep Cherokee with 4WD, and who lived an hour away in the OPPOSITE direction somewhere out in fucking godforsaken Kansas, was conspicuous by his absence. So I IM'd him. "Dude! WTF? I made it in to work! Where are you?" Although he was half my age, I will never forget his sage words of wisdom. He said "Four wheel drive is for getting HOME from work...not getting TO work." That's deep, man. Profound.]

FUN: Jeeps are just fun. If you have never driven one, it's hard to describe. I drive a stick. I think Jeeps with automatic transmissions are for posers and pussys. But driving a Jeep with a stick is like a cross between driving a go-cart and riding a horse. I can't think of any better way to describe it. It's direct, responsive, and you can go anywhere under any conditions. And it's fucking fun! You can take the top off, you can take the doors off, you can fold the windshield down, you can take it up mountains, into the woods. You just can't beat a Jeep.

If you drive one, please observe the protocol.

It's a Jeep thing.


Fate said...

Ahhh, the Jeep.

A while back, a younger me worked at a certain community college. One day, I sat in a car waiting on someone, and stared across at a Jeep.

I remember thinking, wow, you can tell a lot about a person by their vehicle. Whoever drove this thing must be tough as nails. It was painted with army fatigues, slightly rusted out, obviously used often in mudding. Out door gear sat in the back. This was not a vehicle, it was a drivable phallus. It said, I am the balls.

From the college, walked out a hot blond. I thought, this valley girl couldn't handle something like that. No way.

And then, to my horror, she started walking toward the jeep. I rationalized that she must be throwing her bag in the passenger seat of a nearby economy car. Surely!

And then, with a keychain complete with ultimate female fuzzy pink thing, she opened the door and drove off.

A small part of me died then, as I realized I was out manned by a clone valley girl that would fit perfectly in the "Legally Blond" girls. So, I guess you really can't tell a person by what they drive...

Xavier Onassis said...

fate - It was her boyfriend's Jeep! She must have been very, very good!

meesha.v said...

I didn't have a license when I was in the army but this was the car my boss had and I did get to drive it few times. It did liberate a certain Jew for a few hours once in a while.

Anonymous said...

Tough as nails. Freinds of ours had a drunk driver hit their front porch, launch into their living room, crash through that wall and stop at the outside wall of their kitchen on the opposite side of their house in his Jeep. He walked out the front door with only scratches.

Nuke said...

A good friend of mine is a Jeep guy. He sold his beemer several years back and bought an older used CJ. Right now I think he has 2 (had 3 but 1 was stolen and destroyed a year or 2 ago amongst a rash of Jeep thefts).

Anyway he always has a daily driver and a parts/project jeep. He likes to tinker and swap parts, and customize. The only thing he never seems to upgrade is the old faded paint, I think it is a badge of honor to him.

As for me, I am an automatic (pussy) driver and don't know if I could wedge my fat ass into one, but I do admire the people who say "fuck the yuppie SUV" and go Jeep.

Poodles said...

We have a Jeep Commander. Hemi bitches!

Sucks gas like a whore in the city, but it has MDS and gets fairly decent on the freeway.

I don't have any children to save the planet for. I don't feel so bad.

Anonymous said...

I've owned 3 Jeeps - a CJ5, CJ7, and my current Wrangler. In fact, it's all I've ever owned. Probably because my father always had a Jeep, and my grandfather brought one home after WWII - wish the family still had that "Willy". It was a white Navy MP GP.

I put over 200,000 miles on the first two, with just a normal maintenance regime. My current Wrangler has around 130,000 miles on it, and in 10 years I've only had to spend $1,100 on it (except normal maintenance cost).

I'd just as soon replace the top, before spending money on something new. But when it is time for a new set, it will be another regular old Wrangler. No A/C, no automatic. Just the way they are meant to be.

My wife doesn't get it. She only likes it on nice sunny days. I just tell her to stick to her air conditioned Cherokee.

Great post!

Satyavati devi dasi said...

I drove my 95 Wrangler for 10 years, two of them topless.

(HA! The Jeep, not me.. but did that get your attention?)

Seriously it takes a bit of gut to drive a car for two straight years with nothing between you and the elements. I learned a lot about fabric translucency and the need to pack extra clothes in that time period.

It went muddin and on the beach and my particular specialty was parking in unparkable places on the parking deck at work when it rained. I would leave a 'PLEASE CALL ME BEFORE YOU TOW x5366' sign in the windshield and security was good to me like that.

Scott made me put it up for sale when gas hit $3 a gallon. In the 10 years I had it, the only problems it ever had were a dead battery and a cracked fuel line.

I had put these bullet-hole stickers all up and down the sides and so it looked like someone'd shot it up (so much so that people would come over and touch it and cops always gave me a second look) and it had a tire cover on the back with my name and a freehand rendering of one of my rose tattoos on it.

I had to tear the carpet out (no top=much moisture=much mildew) and it had no radio for about 7 or 8 years. It had no heat. It was loud as hell and it would shake your kidney stones loose.

I ended up selling it to two kids for $4K. I cried. I still see it around town now and then and it makes me sad every time.

I love my Tacoma, but I miss my Jeep.