Sunday, October 08, 2006

In praise of the Hummer

When I lived in the US I had a policy that every time I saw a Hummer I would perform the universal gesture of “you are a wanker” at the car (and hopefully the driver – though since they have tinted windows, I was never sure). I’m actually not sure that the “You are a wanker” gesture is that universal actually, which may have saved me from some angry Hummer drivers shouting at me or attempting to run me over. (In case you, too, are unfamiliar with it, place an imaginary small apple in your right hand, and don’t clutch it too tightly. Then with palm and thumb upwards, wave the hand desultorily back and forth in the direction of the object or person being addressed. Know the one?)A Hummer, yesterday

A Hummer, by the way, is this very big car that only the terminally inadequate drive. It makes your average Toyota Landcruiser or Ferrari Testarossa look restrained and subdued choices. They do something like 3 inches to the gallon too (for everyone else, that translates as approximately 10cm per 3 litres). They scream “Look at me! I don’t give a shit about anything or anybody” from the top of their huge ostentatious metal lungs. I hate them.

But someone once pointed out to me that they do have a positive element to them. It works like this: In life, in general, it is possible to divide people into the categories of wanker and non-wanker. At a rough estimate, I believe about 6% of humanity fall into the wanker category. However, at first glance it is impossible to tell a wanker from a non-wanker, and a person’s wanker rating is only discernable through prolonged exposure. Thus if you discover that somebody is a wanker, you have already wasted at least a minute or two of your life getting to know the aforementioned wanker. Some wankers are obviously easier to spot than others, but it’s still a waste of a (very small, admittedly) portion of your life. To hear some people tell it, one can actually be married to someone for 15 years before you find out.

This is where the Hummer comes in. It instantly identifies the driver as being among the 6%, thus saving you time, energy, and (possibly) embarrassment. There are extremely few things in life that have the same instant usefulness. Member of the Hummer driving demographicSomebody reading “The Daily Express”? Maybe they picked it up n the train, after someone dropped it, and are just quickly scanning it. Maybe they are doing some research on racist scummery in the English press. Someone who goes fox-hunting, certainly, but you don’t see people walking around town in their hunt outfits. The point is you can’t be absolutely sure. Driving a Hummer, however, is cast iron. Even if it’s not theirs and they borrowed it from a friend - it still means they have a friend who has a Hummer. Do you see how fantastically useful they are? It’s like the wanker community are now allowed to wear a big flashing neon sign on their heads saying “I am a Wanker. Avoid me” – and being wankers, they actually go ahead and do it.

I’m not sure if Romania has anything similar to the Hummer as a badge of wankerdom. Possibly driving a car with Bucharest plates, but that would place everybody from that city with a driving licence in the wanker category, which can’t be correct, even if at least 50% of such drivers do seem to be dangerously out of control psychos. Voting for PRM, obviously, but the disadvantage of the secret ballot is that you can’t be sure who did vote for them. I have seen one or two of those Porsche Cayennes around, and they seem like the new Hummer in the regard.


Andy said...

What can I tell you? I'm an optimistic sort, I suppose, trusting in the humanity of 94% of the population.

Mind you, I mean that those 6% are utter wankers. There is another sizeable minority of people who are merely pretty annoying.

nojer said...

You can definately add Porsche Cayenne drivers to that list, and also those who drive the VW equivalents. I think they're called Touregs in the UK. Practically any four by four driver in the UK come to think of it.

Also anyone who drives one of those ridiculous pick up trucks around a city. They're normally Japanese (the cars, not the drivers)

Unknown said...

You are the first man who hates Hummers and think that Hummer owners are wankers !! Rest of us, adore such huge vehicles.
But I really like your point of view.
As for me, Hummers are not daily cars. You can hire it, especially Hummer limo once in 5 years, for your prom or wedding, that is enough.
Hummers are too expensive, not each of us can keep a car properly tuned up.

Limo hire said...

Its ok because in the UK shortly most Hummers will taken off the road.