Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Porsches, not politics

I have always had a thing for people who drive expensive German sedans or sports cars. Call it resentment, call it envy, whatever. Like all status symbols, such indulgences are typically a way for the owner to set him/herself off from the humdrum crowd.

Anyway, last Saturday, Laurin and I were visiting a friend who lives in a high-rise senior community. We parked our car--a 2009 Ford Focus--on the street in front of the building. As I was getting out of the car, a man drove by in one of those "classic" Porsche Carrera's with the "whale tail". He turned into the circle driveway in front of the same building we were headed for. As he coasted through the drive, he blipped his throttle a couple of times with the clutch in, no doubt hoping to attract attention to his ineluctable good taste and high fortune. (Perhaps, he was simply trying to keep his race-tuned engine from getting loaded up with carbon?)

As we walked up to the entrance, I glanced over at the driver--a silver-haired white male in his 60's or so--hoping not to attract his attention so as to give him the satisfaction of feeling that he had scored another jealous conquest.

Inside, we stepped up to the desk to sign in. As I leaned over the guest book to ask the receptionist a question, I felt a hand against my right flank pushing me aside. Who should it be but the creep in the Carrera. Now, I'm normally pretty restrained when dealing with people in general. But that morning, I was feeling a little edgy. I turned and said to him something like, "So it's the guy in the Porsche who obviously feels like the ordinary rules of life don't apply to him!"

To my utter amazement, he reacted with a degree of grace and aplomb that still stuns me. He smilingly replied to the effect that "Yeah, I'm like one of those alluded to in the joke about Porsches and porcupines." I knew what he meant. One of my favorite jokes--although when told to me concerned BMWs, not Porsche's--goes like this:

Q: What's the difference between a BMW/Porsche and a porcupine?

A: The porcupine has its pricks on the outside.

He had totally let the scirocco out of my sails. All I could think to say was, "When I heard it, it was about BMWs." Lame.

Lesson-learned: You can never judge a boob by his blips.

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