Friday, June 22, 2007

MINI(ature) Love

I've been commuting all week to a Product Manager Training Seminar in Reston, Virginia. MapQuest and I agree that it should only take about 35 minutes to go from my house in Silver Spring to the seminar hotel in Reston. Not too bad. Of course, that only applies to the morning commute, the return trip, on the other hand is a disaster. That half-hour trip goes a lot slower when your car doesn't get out of first gear.

At about the point where my road rage was really starting to percolate, I encountered my arch nemesis the DC Taxi driver. I won't digress into a scathing discourse on why taxis are the bane of my existence -- but in case you didn't get the Taxi Manifesto in which it states that the laws of the land do not apply to taxis, let me do my bit to help the revolution by letting you know that any taxi, at any time, can do whatever the hell it wants, without respect to any of the other cars or pedestrians within a five mile radius. I don't want you accidentally thinking that these fellows are outside the bounds of proper driving etiquette. Hah! The very idea!

Anyway, two hours into my drive this jackass taxi decided it was a perfect time to cut across four lanes of traffic in order to make a left turn. While he was blocking all of us, a little red MINI snuck out from a side street and got in front of me. I got pimped! and I hate getting pimped. It was only The Code of the MINI that kept me from being truly incensed.

The Code of the MINI is one of my favorite things about owning a MINI. Owning a MINI is like being in a secret society, such as the Skull and Bones (but without the naked butt paddling or the political intrigue). MINI owners are encouraged to always wave or smile knowingly at each other in passing. We've all promised to never eat at chain restaurants, to call driving "motoring", and name our first child Cooper. It's impossible to hate another MINI owner.

And so, I pulled up next to the red MINI and gave him a look that said, "You're a cheeky fellow! Good thing The Code has protected you. Now, let's see what features you have on your car." MINIs are the only cars I know anything about, so I feel very manly when I can look at one and say, "I can't be-lieve you chose those rims! Those were the worst ones!" or "Interesting use of the luggage rack, my friend!"

While I was checking out his car (Chili Red, white top, no bonnet stripes - poor choice there) I noticed that the driver was a bit of a dish. Lanky, sandy blond hair, glasses, driving a MINI - just my type. Hmmmm.....

Would Chili Red/No Bonnet Stripes like British Racing Green/White Bonnet Stripes? If they got married, with their red and green MINIs parked outside of their swanky townhouse, would the neighbors call them The MINIs, instead of The Johnsons? Would their curio cabinets be full of model MINIs and English car memorabilia? When the first child came, would he in fact be named Cooper? And more importantly, as more children came, whose car would go from MINI to Minivan? Gulp. Certainly not British Racing Green/White Bonnet Stripes.

How could Chili Red/No Bonnet Stripes even think of asking British Racing Green/White Bonnet Stripes to sacrifice herself so completely when everything she ever does is for the sake of this family? If he thinks that she's going to be seen driving around town in a minivan, well he's got another thing coming Mister! Besides, if one of our cars has to go - it will be yours, Mr. NO Bonnet Stripes!

At this point Chili Red/No Bonnet Stripes escapes by turning left abruptly.

British Racing Green/White Bonnet Stripes rolls her eyes and mutters, "It's a damn good thing you're covered by The Code and I can't hate you." And motors off to finish the last leg of one hellishly long and emotionally charged commute home.


nckuhn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nckuhn said...

Gretchen, you know that I love you, but this could be a reason why British racing green does not have a friend to park with. Another reason is that you are spending your time dreaming about men that drive minis. They are all gay. Even if they say that they aren't, they lie. The only thing gayer would be the VW Beetle. Pretty much the Mini is tied second for man on man-ness with the PP Cruiser. Oops, I mean PT Cruiser. My bad. Don't get me wrong. It’s a great car for the ladies. But that is one car that should never cross the gender gap.
I just don't think that you are trying hard enough to uphold your #1 Rule for "The Perfect Man (revised)"

Gretchen said...

I know. Believe me, I know. It's my new New Years Resolution to stop being attracted to gay men. If there were any straight men around to be attracted to it would be a lot easier. If you know any - send them my way!