You may not realize it, but your Volkswagen
embarrasses easily. VW's are humbled
by silly and useless gadgets and accessories
- a humiliation made worse by the
fact that the poor thing has to drive
around in public carrying the folly
of his owners around for all to see.
Of course, your VW will never TELL
you these things, but then again they
don't think you're going to embarrass
them this way either. Public humiliation
seems the goal of such owners, although
if you ask me they don't have a clue
they are doing this.
in the interest of VDubs everywhere,
made to bear the burden of such embarrassment
daily, I have compiled the following
list to help VW owners avoid such
things and in so doing, create happier
and more content Volkswagens. Here
is my list of accessories and gadgets
FEELERS: Never a good idea in my opinion
(if you are driving a VW, you should
not have to rely on a device to tell
you where the curbs are), this addition
gets even worse when it's installed
on the DRIVER'S side of your Volkswagen.
If you need curb feelers on the driver's
side, perhaps your biggest problem
is not finding the curb........it's
probably the fact that your guide
dog is riding in the back seat and
obscuring your vision.
HORNS: Imagine your poor VW's humiliation
when you hit the horn button to blast
some moron who's cut you off in traffic,
and your Volkswagen bleats out a chorus
of "Dixie". Who could possibly
take you seriously? Your Dub has no
more wish to be "in the land
of cotton" than it has to be
beaten soundly around the fenders
by someone intent on having your head
on a platter. Real horns should sound
like HORNS: deep, with a throaty,
authoritative blast. Have the ever-popular
"Town and Country" style
if you must, but leave the cutesy
tunes to music boxes and retired guys
with giant motor homes. No one takes
them seriously anyway.
ANTENNAE: OK, what's up with THIS?
We've all seen them: about a foot
long, they are black and rubbery and
usually look as if they've been through
a car wash backwards. You know, BENT.
Why on earth would anyone take off
the perfectly good, generally chrome
antenna their car was born with and
substitute one of these stubby rubber
jokes instead? They look ridiculous
and I doubt they work any better than
they look. The one notable exception
to this opinion is the Golf GTi and
the Jetta GLi: both of these autos
come factory equipped with stubby
black rubber antennae, but the difference
here is that they have a rakish, sporty-looking
slant to them and are roof-mounted.
Anything roof-mounted is way cooler
than if it's mounted elsewhere, everyone
knows that. If you still don't see
the difference between this major
distinction between the two, just
take my word for it.
WIRE WHEELS: Unless you are a Person
of Major Importance in an illegal
business, these have no place on a
self-respecting VW. Enough said?
TIRES ON FAT RIMS: This phenomenon
is not only hideously ugly, it looks
downright dangerous. You know what
I mean: the people who favor this
look take the widest wheel they can
find (and I mean that literally since
no one would buy these things, would
they?) and then they stick a tiny,
narrow tire on it. The result is that
the tire stretches sideways more than
the Hindenburg would stretch a pair
of Levis. This produces a sidewall
bulge that is truly alarming. Pity
the poor VW that must wear these because
not only does it look stupid, it hinders
the natural ability to perform basic
driving maneuvers, such as STEERING.
Sheesh, do I really need to tell you
CONVERTIBLE TOPS: There is a car I
meet on the street here fairly often,
recognizable immediately in this city
of nearly 1 million because of its
shredded convertible top. Or more
correctly, this car has a sturdy metal
frame with a few strips of some sort
of fabric attached to it. I have never
understood this. You paid good money
for your Volkswagen, right? So when
the top wears out, why do you begrudge
the car a measly thousand for a new
one?? You wouldn't let your Uncle
Sid wear a bad toupee, would you?
It's the same thing! Oh. Maybe you
LICENSE FRAMES: OK, you're saying,
who decides what's tacky? I do, and
here's my embarrassing favorites.
Any license frame that is LIT. Sequential
lights going around the outside edge,
little spotlights, what-have-you:
they are all uselessly embarrassing
to your poor VW's rear end. Your Volkswagen
came equipped with a light to illuminate
the license numbers: anything more
than that and it begins to look like
the Strip in Las Vegas back there.
Also, "witty sayings" such
as "My Grandkids are Cuter Than
Yours". YUCK. If your grandkids
look anything like YOU, then...........oh
never mind. And, finally, anything
with snakes and/or 8-balls. I'm not
saying anything more about these because
they are too tasteless for words.
TOPS ON SEDANS: The other day I saw
a perfectly good Beetle with one of
these hideous additions plastered
on top. Why do people do this? Maybe
they're tired of waxing their car
and this cuts down on the surface
area. I suppose it could be worse:
they could cover the entire vehicle
in this stuff. Imagine all the Naugas
that lost their lives needlessly to
feed this strange habit. See rules
for "Tattered Convertible Tops",
especially the one about toupees.
CHROME EXHAUST TIPS: (Or, Exhausts
on Steroids) This is a gray area,
because my own GTi sports a larger-then-stock
tip due to the installation of a tuned
exhaust. If you are going to do this,
keep the exhaust tip a believable
SIZE, please. These ridiculously huge
things look like padded, chromed coffee
cans. And, the glare from this thing
on a sunny day could blind a horse.
ACCENTS: Body moulding, exhaust tips,
little scrolly names or marques, you
know what I mean. Goes great with
the aforementioned Gold Wire Wheels,
but who wants to drive around looking
like a piece of cheap costume jewelry?
Think how the poor VW feels, decked
out in this stuff.
WITH GLITTER: This applies to highly
"glitterized" metal flake
paint jobs, racing stripes and stickers.
Glitter looks great on Halloween costumes
and ruby slippers. On your VW it makes
it look like you just drove through
a cloud of Fairy Dust.
You can be sure this is by no means
the end of my list, but I'm stopping
here for reasons of space and sanity.
Next time you've got the urge to weld,
paint, bolt, stick, or otherwise apply
anything to your Volkswagen, think
how YOU'D feel if you had to walk
around all day long with the item
stuck on you. If you're OK with that,
chances are your VW will be too. Remember,
they are sensitive creatures! If you
humiliate them, then they might try
to humiliate you in return. After
all, it's pretty humbling to sit beside
the freeway waiting for a tow truck.