Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

Bug Joy August 23, 2010

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:04 pm
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There are stereotypes about people who drive VW Beetles. The VW people perpetuate this stereotype in their literature. In the promo pamphet I got, there is a coupon book for you to give after you do a good deed; for example, “The meter was fed by an anonymous New Beetle driver” for parking lots or “Your coffee was purchased by an anonymous New Beetle driver” for drive throughs.

What words come to mind when you contemplate the stereotype?

For the old Beetle: hippy?.  For the New: Cute? Joyful? Non-conformist? Kind? Considerate? Quirky? Happy?

I have completely bought into the stereotype and raised the ante by covering my Cyber Green New Beetle (affectionately known as “Sheila the Bug”) with butterflies and flowers. That intensifies the ‘happy’ and ‘quirky’ parts of the stereotype. I like it.  People smile when I drive by.  Small children wave.

"Sheila The Bug"

Enter the anti-Beetle lady. I don’t know who she is, but she really bugs me. (Pardon the pun!) She drives a Beetle in an even sunnier, more joyful colour than mine.   You’d think she was a bubbly, happy person! But she’s definitely not.  If I do The Bug Wave to her on the road, the universal hand flick of greeting between passing Bug drivers whether or not they know each other, she ignores it. People talk to her in the gym and she ignores them. One day, someone changed the music, and she exclaimed loudly as she rose from her machine and stomped right out of the gym. I have spoken to her and while she answered my questions, “It’s a special edition colour, no longer available” and “My husband bought it for me,” she was scowling the whole time.

The only explanation for this odd behaviour is found in that line, “My husband bought it for me.”

Was the poor man hoping that by buying his wife a happy car, that he’d be buying her a personality transplant? Did he hope that the quaint bubbliness of her vehicle would inspire her to a happier attitude in life?

It doesn’t seem to be working. She is more suited to driving a hearse. I think she needs to sell her car before she gives people the wrong idea about the rest of us.


Tell me what your stereotype of your vehicle is.  Do you agree with me about the New Beetle stereotype?


4 Responses to “Bug Joy”

  1. keren Huyter Says:

    I would love to be a new beetle person….Maybe someday! For now, I am just a mini van person, but at least its a nice mini van, and no longer the “Grandpa Van”!!

  2. Ange Says:

    Hmmm, perhaps if her husband was looking for “happy” in a special edition bug, he should have bought it for himself and driven it far from her!

  3. Sharon Says:

    Ahh . . . I know which sunny coloured bug you’re talking about Shawn and, yes, unfortunately the car and driver don’t seem to match up. That’s too bad. Your little happy bug makes me smile too but I also love my Honda Civic and called it my baby car for the longest time because it was soooo nice to give up the huge, old mini-van and get into a small streamlined car. It gets great gas mileage and has a lot of oomph when I need it too.

    P.S. Take a look at your work email as I’ve sent you a funny story to read.

  4. Brenda Corrigan Says:

    I am a new beetle owner and I completely fit your “new beetle stereotype” and I’m proud of it. My beetle is lime green and I’ve begun to “funk” it up on the inside. I personally think it screams for this artistic fun. I am in the process of designing the crazy exterior colors and designs that I plan on personally painting on it. I have painted on many canvases, but can’t wait to try my new beetle canvas. I stumbled across a racing video game (if you can believe that) that my son was playing. On the game you can choose a beetle and “paint it” however you want, so I’ve found a great way to try different colors and designs before I actually commit to putting paint to metal. I love your blog story – that’s hilarious. No one should ever have a beetle picked out FOR THEM. It’s strictly a personal choice – to be a beetle owner and from there, the colour, type, etc. and everything that happens to the beetle after that too. I love my beetle and look forward to gathering with many other beetle owners because I think they will be an awesome bunch of people (with the odd exception apparently). I have visions of a group of lime green volkswagon owners travelling around together in a giant “caterpillar” formation. And yes, the eyelashes over the headlights are on the design already – but it’s still an awfully short caterpillar as yet until I complete the paint job and convene my fellow lime green beetle owners. Thanks for the fun read and send those green bug owners my way!

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