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?


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