Look at that shiny, pretty thing up there. It’s a fine automobile. In fact, according to Carfax, it’s consistently one of the cars that best holds its value each year. It’s a fun plaything. I worked at a vehicle accessory store, and the Jeep Wrangler is just about the only vehicle with fun after-market products built specifically for it. It’s pretty. The Jeep Wrangler’s stocky, army tough physique belies a sporty little ride that is cute enough for the vain Cher Horowitz to slip around town in throughout the movie Clueless.
It’s possible to own a Jeep Wrangler without being a complete and utter bag of douche. And if I think about it hard enough, I’ll bet I can even come up with someone I know who isn’t one. But we don’t have that kind of time. (If I’ve missed someone obvious in my circle of friends, I apologize)
So, if you somehow own a Jeep Wrangler and haven’t annoyed everyone you know yet, congratulations. This article is not directed at you. For the remaining 99% of you… we hate you.
It seems as though whenever someone buys a Jeep Wrangler, they have to be initiated into an ultra (not-so) secret cult of douchebaggery akin to joining Yale’s Skull & Bones Society. Only instead of wielding unspeakable power inside the inner circle one of the world’s elite universities, you get to drive like a fucking dickhead in the middle of suburbia among the other 10,000 dickheads driving around suburbia who purchase a Wrangler each month.
Why is such a relatively unassuming vehicle a gateway to acting like a complete tool? I mean, it’s a Jeep for Christ’s sake. It’s not a Rolls Royce. It’s not like you bought your own John Travolta-style jumbo jet that you park on your own private runway outside your mansion. It’s a fucking squat utility vehicle that originated in the army for mundane practical use in getting around battlegrounds.
And yet Wrangler owners act like they’re the goddamn grand marshals at a parade celebrating their own unassailable coolness. There are 5 separate breeds of pretentious buttmunch among the thousands of Wrangler owners, each warranting further examination. They are, in no particular order:
1. Off-roading enthusiast who never shuts the fuck up about whatever giant rock he drove over last weekend.
I ran into this guy at least three times a week working at the vehicle accessory store. And just like anyone who wears some significant personality trait out in front of all their others, they’ll want to talk your fucking ear off about it. You’re standing there just wanting to make a sale while this windbag is bloviating on and on about some buttfuck town out near Moab and how fording some giant puddle like he’s on the Oregon Trail necessitates this purchase of a safari pack. Does this story sound familiar? It’s because it’s not limited to accessory salesmen, it’s every story you’ve ever heard from an off-roading freak. They’ll tell anyone who’ll listen, and they’ll continue until well after you care and have told them to piss off. Because they’re insanely self-absorbed.
If you want to off-road, fine. I happen to think it’s destructive to the environment, it’s counter-intuitive to why we even build roads in the first place, and it’s a dumbass way to spend a Saturday. But that’s me. I’m in no position to tell anyone how to spend their free time considering I drank Ward Eight Coolers and Gin Rickeys watching Derby coverage all day two weeks ago. But I will tell you that doesn’t mean I want to hear about it either. You drove an army transport over a big rock and through some mud. Huzzah. Leave me alone.
2. Meathead who put Jethro Bodine-sized tires on his Wrangler and never shuts the fuck up about the next set of ghastly “mods” he plans to make once he “has some more cash.”
A lot of men think all other men are inherently interested in the acquisition of cars, the maintenance of cars, and the improvement of cars. This is not so. My interest in cars extends to the current working order of my own car, and that’s about it. But I know a lot of gearheads who are cool guys, and I don’t disparage their interest. The Wrangler guy with the giant tires, the souped-up engine, and the brush guard is a moron.
Sure, he’s turned his Jeep into a gaudy monstrosity barely fit to be on the road, but he’s probably fixed the stupid thing at least a half dozen times getting there. I find most Wrangler guys don’t know shit about cars, and perform appalling plastic surgery on their Jeeps simply because they don’t know any better and Wranglers have infinitely more ways to screw up. With more toys comes more opportunity for epic failure, and the guy who puts massive monster truck wheels on his vehicle without accounting for the leaf spring suspension or adjustment of the axle is well on his way to hilariously spectacular catastrophe. Just pray to God you don’t have to pick his monkey ass up on the side of the road somewhere because his Franken-Jeep shat the bed again.
3. Posturing dildo working so hard to be “cool” he forgot to grow a non-repellant personality not dependent upon vehicle choice to maintain friendships.
Of all the people on this list, you’re most likely to encounter this guy. He’s the one with his hat turned backwards, his shorn legs dangling out the side of the Jeep where the door used to be, talking on his cell phone while Lil Wayne blasts through some horseshit cardboard speakers, and weaving in and out of traffic like a fucking asshole. This dipshit is so pleased with himself, he thinks traffic laws don’t apply to him and he drives accordingly. Typically between the ages of 17 and 29, this is the same guy you often find wearing a) an Ed Hardy t-shirt; b) two collared shirts at the same time c) jeans that cost more than 5 months of cell phone service and/or d) a puka shell necklace.
In this case, a Jeep isn’t so much a method of travel as it is just another accessory. Image is everything to this Jeep owner, and – can’t you tell? – this guy is AWESOME. At least, that’s how you’re supposed to think, but if you’re a right-thinking adult, you see through this transparent bullshit as easily as you see through the window of that Mervyn’s store that never seems to open early enough.
4. Mid-life crisis afflicted sap who is recently divorced/newly rich/trying to bang college girls/dead inside.
This guy likely hangs out with the guy described above. He buys himself a nice sporty little Jeep and goes on a trim hunt at the nearest college town showing off a neato set of man boobs in a too-tight shirt with a receding hairline in the process. His hair plugs feel good blowing in the wind, but since his new “fly whip” doesn’t have a roof, he fears for his fake hair at the onset of rain and worries of shattering the illusion of this doe-eyed coed by revealing that he’s old enough to be her father, and sort of looks like him too now that his hair has retreated to its god-given depth thanks to a refreshing downpour.
This Jeep owner doesn’t last long as he’ll realize the inconvenience of climbing in and out of this lifted piece of crap is too much to bear, and the wind whipping by on the highway is just plain annoying. He’ll trade it in for some sort of luxury car and switch from college girls to hunting horny cougars at the upscale Asian fusion restaurant in his high end neighborhood instead. This will prove to be much more successful until he realizes he’s again paying alimony to some grave digging whore and has to restart the process all over again – only with even less hair and a bigger gut.
This is by far the saddest group of the lot. You get the impression talking to these sad sacks of shit that they were never popular in high school and figured a hip ride would be the first class ticket out of Losertown and right into post-adolescent Popularville. It’s these people that wear the “It’s a Jeep thing. You wouldn’t understand” badge most proudly and are the most ready to let you know they’re a Jeep owner before you even find out their last name. Whereas many of the people above use a Jeep as one of several tools to craft a very specific identity for themselves, these Jeep owners use their Jeep ownership as the sole identifier of their personality. Jeep ownership comes before everything else and is the one thing you need to know about them.
And what’s most depressing about these folks is that they don’t realize we ALL understand what a Jeep thing is. It means you’re so insecure about who you are, you need a giant douchy billboard proclaiming your self-perceived superiority over the rest of us. Well, guess what? We all think your club is gay, and we all hope you roll the motherfucker. Repeatedly. Until you break it.
6. Some combination of the above five categories.
The bumper sticker above indicates someone who aspires to go off-roading, but hasn’t made it past the mowed median in their neighborhood. And if you think about what this statement actually implies, it doesn’t speak well for the intelligence of the driver. If this advice is to be taken seriously, that would seem to intimate that the driver either doesn’t realize he or she is upside down, or is trapped and cannot escape. Either way, you likely got yourself into this mess, you can get yourself out.
But yes, I realize it’s a joke and meant to signify how extreme the owner of this particular Jeep is, but if that’s true, why are you driving this in Cherry Creek? That’s the opposite of extreme. And you’re a dork for putting this on your bumper. I’ll flip you, but it likely won’t be “back over,” it’ll be “off.”
Jeep Wrangler owners are like a cult. They often drive with a sense of entitlement, talk with a snobbish and condescending arrogance, and wear their identity louder than any other subset of drivers. It’s obnoxiousness with the volume turned all the way up. And for that, welcome to the Cru Jones Society pantheon of Things We Hate. Enjoy your stay.
13 May 2009 E Dagger