Hey guys, impress me this way

Boys, boys, boys …

They can be so … I don’t know … inexplicable. But in a sweet way.

Like my friend Joe.

Joe is an interesting paradox. On the one hand, he loves opera. On the other, he loves cars.

His current vehicle of choice is a bright green Volkswagen new Beetle. But it’s not just a “car,” per se, oh no.

“It’s turbocharged,” he proudly announced to me one day as I blinked and blankly stared at him.

Turbocharged? Why, for the love of all that is good on this earth, would someone want to do that? To a new Beetle?

Audi, yes. Porsche, sure. But taking something as cute a little Bug and infusing it with a whole bunch of manly power just seems, well … kinda silly. Or at the very least, contradictory. What’s the point of adding power to your car if it’s only going to make people like me break into their cute, annoying voice and go “Awww … Wook at da widdle automobeeow gooooooooo!”

Which was pretty much my reaction when Joe and his Bug appeared in the lane beside me one night. I waved, he waved, the light changed and … zoom! He and his cute widdle buggie were off like a shot, halfway down the street while I was still entering the intersection.

Hee hee … I had to laugh at this little green dot, speeding away like Captain Kirk had just ordered it into warp drive.

But at the same time, I was confused. What was the big hurry? I figured he just wanted to get home to his family or something.

The next day when I teased him about his little stunt, he grinned, and cracked that he guessed it hadn’t impressed me.

Impress? Oh, is that what you call it? Sigh. I swear, I’ll never understand car guys, not even if someone handed me directions and a road map. He wasn’t in a hurry, he wasn’t racing and he wasn’t trying to get away from me. He was just showing me what his zippy little green number could do. He wasn’t being macho or obnoxious; he was just having fun.

But you know, it’s funny, I never would have figured that out if he hadn’t said something. “Cars” and “being impressed” do not, for me, necessarily go hand-in-hand. After all, it’s not the size of the engine; it’s what you do with it. Show me how to fit my mountain bike in my trunk without folding the seats down and I’ll be impressed. Open my hood at night without using a flashlight to locate the latch, I’ll be impressed. Fit the fake Ficus tree I bought my mother for Christmas one year into my back seat, and I’ll be very impressed … I guarantee it.

In fact, one thing that has impressed me to no end is my father’s uncanny ability to fit nearly everything I own in his old Volkswagen van. Several times over the years, in fact.

(“That’s because men have better spatial abilities than women,” interjects one of my guy friends. Oh yeah?)

But snarky comments about men aside, there are definitely a couple of things to keep in mind if you do want to impress me in a car-related way.

1. Don’t wax eloquent about men’s spatial abilities, unless you want to fight about it.

2. Don’t go on about how great your turbocharged engine is, unless like Joe, you have mastered the art of doing so in a way both tasteful, and entertaining. (Not to yourself; to your audience.)

And 3. If you want me to understand some crazy boy-thing about your car, don’t forget the directions.

Or at least the road map.

You can email Rhonda by logging on to and clicking the contact link. Wheelbase Media is a worldwide provider of automotive news and feature stories.


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