DRIVEL: Opinions and Reviews

copywriter toronto

SUVs and Pet Rocks:  Together forever  (c) 2006

Know what?  These two products are cozied up shivering alone in the category that markets a concept by selling a symbol.
Pet rock = relationship.
SUV = studliness.  [for all genders. ]

You already know about the pet rock thing.  The SUV thing is this:

Boomers park these uglitrux—the squat, blocky, haybale of vehicle design—out front to imply that there's an unseen part of their lives that is adventurous.  The vehicle’s marketing department gave them permission to assert this and they've bought clear title to it.

These curb-boulders are the gravestones of the owners’ dessicated juicy ambitions.  They’re rolling billboards for the shrunken tableau of what-was-supposed-to-happen.  In short, campers, they're hearses for the unlived adventures.

Some people drive actual trucks.  And actual Hilfiger-free men take them into town for parts on a sweaty day in August when the machinery breaks down during harvest.  And then they have a rugged off-road experience going back out to the field to get behind the wheel of a serious offroad vehicle known as a tractor.  You know: $150,000, six-foot tires, 500 hp, a real studly thang.  (But don't pass this around or every yuppie soccer mom and ad exec will want one.)

In contrast, our pals the SUVers have a velour-upholstered, air conditioned, Bose™-equipped, power-everything, pearl-painted, effete-mobile.  And the SUV drivers are differently-abled:  They tend to have daydreamed through elementary school science, and have no, like, clue that being higher off the ground doesn't bend the laws of physics for them.  Momentum, inertia—all that pesky stuff is still true.  Dang.

HEADS-UP, SUVers!  Hey, you really are following too close!  Hey, that lumpenwagon really does make your rear look fat!  Hey, we still can't get around yer doubleparked fat butt, even though you think we might believe that you're double parked cuz you're picking up some Sherpa-certified gear for your wilderness adventure, and after that, off to the drycleaners for the Polo™ jacket that got the f-ing tomato-based bouillabaisse slopped on it.  If the jacket is still stained, then kick in the 4WD and hurtle over some streetcar tracks really fast -- oh, you SUPERbad!-- maybe even rough it over a coupla residential speedbumps!  ("Take that, world!  I and my long thick axle are hellbent for the garage and news at 10… ")

Once there was a genuinely uncharted road stretching out ahead and a planet to explore.  What’s left of the great lust for what-comes-next, the happy unrest, the gypsy appetite to chew up the next horizon? 

What’s left is just another plain old internal combustion engine whining "feed me, Seymour"--fully-equipped with the finest aerodynamic hook for the drycleaning--and the Consumer Credulity scandal that is a 4WD vehicle negotiating the rugged parking lots of South Beach. 

Is this another version of  "The Emperor's New Clothes?"

The poor simple consumers are buying a hell of an ad campaign, equivalent to selling cowshit by convincing the market that having a steamin' pile or two in the driveway would imply that the homeowner had recently driven them little dogies across some wild country, dodged bullets, and leapt from cliffs into the rapids below.  Yeah, that’s it.   [Hey, if they’d buy the SUV, why not a nice adventurous pile of Frontier Lifestyle Decor?  Ralph Lauren, this is so totally your thing!]

SUVs really are a testament to the marketing department, who must have headed straight for the bar when they learned they’d have to figure out a way to sell boxless farm trucks to brunchers.  Four rounds later:  “I know! We’ll make them sound exciting!  We’ll show them doing really cool stuff, just like Hotwheels™ .  Hell, Hotwheels don’t even really run and they’re only, like, two inches long, but they sell millions.  So can we!  [Scuse me, I ordered this with an olive?]”

 Ya gotta admire the audacity.  And the gullibility.

Put your ear up to an SUV’s grill and listen carefully, you can hear it bleating,  "I really do have adventures when you can't see me, really, I do."

EPILOG: I finally get it!  Now, with oil prices so high, buying gas IS the adventure!  (“I’ll have eighty bucks o’ premium, please.  And just squeeze a bunch on the ground while yer at it; I’m independently stupid.”)

[All cartoons from]



If you have
a big mouth,
use it to shed light.


Drivel archives:

Cars and Blenders:
Appliances as lifestyle statements

What's up, dad?
Buddy, can you spare a decade?

Tears and Money Shots:
The Obscene View of Grief

The Frankenfamily:
Dedicated to
children of divorce

Drama and GPS

Murkin Theology:
The all-you-can-eat-buffet as an altar of worship

SUVs and Pet Rocks: Differently Abled products

Dear Single Men