Television ad: A man stranded in front of his car calls for help on his cell phone. An attractive young lady, obviously dressed for a formal occasion, arrives. Him: “I know you had that thing tonight, but…”
The man watches in helpless awe as the woman changes his flat tire. The announcer intones the wonders of some woman’s deodorant as she dusts off her hand and heads off to her whateveritis.
Nice ad, neatly plays on traditional gender roles, giving a little boost to the idea that women can do anything they like while wryly playing off a cultural stereotype. But…
They fucked it up. They totally, utterly botched it.
Idiots. Morons. They screwed the pooch and destroyed the ad, because some set dresser had to be clever.
The car the man was driving was a 1960’s-era Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.
Any other car, and I could’ve bought it. Any other car, and it would’ve been another smug, wry postmodern TV ad.
But there is no way–absolutely positively no way in Hell–that anyone who drives a Karmann Ghia does not know how to fix a flat.
A Karmann Ghia is basically an old Volkswagen Bug with a different body. It has a simple oil-cooled, horizontally-opposed, rear-mounted four-cylinder boxer engine. These cars will run until the end of time.
They are finicky beasts. They require constant attention, maintenance, and love. Volkswagen drivers–I used to be one–will get half a million miles on their engines without breaking a sweat, but I absolutely, positively guarantee you do not drive one to the end of the block if you are afraid of tinkering with cars.
Furthermore, the cast-iron lug nuts tend to stick. You do not change the tire on a Ghia in an evening dress. Often, changing the lug nuts requires acrobatics such as jumping up and down on the lug wrench while making the appropriate four-letter incantations to the deity of your choice, preferably at the top of your voice.
I’m sorry. That man knew how to change a goddamn tire.