Disaster can come in twos.
First, there was the sanctimonious Subaru commercial that covertly encourages you to buy one, drive recklessly and live forever.
Of course, it doesn’t say that.
Instead, you see several actors proclaim that after a nasty accident, though the Subaru still looked like a Subaru, only slightly uglier, the occupants “lived.”
What sort of living state they were in isn’t made clear.
But they didn’t die. So rejoice. And while you’re rejoicing, buy a Subaru. So you can live too.
One can only imagine the reaction of a family whose loved ones died in, say, a Subaru.
True, this isn’t the first manufacturer to attempt such a sanctimonious route of reassurance. VW was there in, oh, 2006.
But I associate Subarus with sanctimoniousness anyway.
There’s something about their studied ordinariness and their almost British accountant looks that makes you believe they’re a lot holier than you.
However, to see the company venture out to boast it is akin to hearing Simon Cowell declare: “I’ve got no dress sense and an ego the size of India.”
This painfully sanctimonious ad, though, coincided with my discovery that I have painfully sanctimonious neighbors.
This couple, coincidentally, owns a white Subaru.
If I had any doubts as to their sanctimoniousness, this Subaru enjoys the bumper sticker: “Who’s your farmer.”
Every time I look at it, I want to answer in two ways.
One: “Does the lack of a question mark mean this is a finger-wagging accusation, rather than a question?” And two: “Old Ronald McDonald.”
I’ve never talked to these people, but a friend of mine has.
She was on her way to visit me when she found herself behind this white, farmer-focused Subaru.
A Living Wonder?
It slowed down and hung to the right of what is a relatively narrow road. (I live at the house at the End of the World.)
She carefully and slowly slipped by it on the inside, as it halted.
It hadn’t signaled. It was merely standing on the right side of the road.
How odd, she told me, that the Subaru suddenly pursued her all the way to my house.
The couple was inside. The man rolled his window down and began to shout furiously at my friend.
The conversation went something like this: “How dare you, you sniffling infidel!”
My friend said she was bemused. She offered an “excuse me?” Yes, with a question mark.
“You just don’t do that on a narrow lane!” offered the Haughty Harry. (I still don’t know his name. It’s probably something like Milton Wilton.)
“But you didn’t signal,” said my friend quietly. “I had no idea what you were doing.”
“You just don’t do that around here!” screeched Milton. “We were turning into our garage! Who do you think you are?”
My friend could have hardly known that this had been their intention. How could she have known these sancty moaners even lived on my street?
They continued fuming, with the wife joining in.
Fortunately, she didn’t ask my friend who her farmer was, as this might have escalated to a grave and possibly deadly incident.
Instead, as they snorted like unruly communist boars, my friend found the only response that seemed to fit this fit.
No, she didn’t tell them she wished they hadn’t lived. Instead, she looked them in eye and said: “Oh, just fuck off.”
Which they did.
Drivers do, like dog owners, reflect their possessions. I have yet to meet a BMW driver who thinks he’s poorer than he really is.
I have yet to meet a rottweiler owner who’s anything but severely disturbed.
But for Subaru to so proudly assert its smugness not only over drivers of other cars, but over life itself, it to attract a hostile snort from the imperfect.
Given the coming together of these two accidents of humanity, it’s hard not to conclude that Subarus are plain, sanctimonious cars driven by plainly sanctimonious people.
I wonder if Milton Wilton’s farmer drives a Subaru too.