Thursday, July 28, 2005

Get outta Dodge

My advance apologies to those who drive a Dodge car or truck.

I don't drive a lot, compared to, say, a traveling salesman, but I drive enough to notice certain patterns. Like when you're in the left lane of a two-lane highway, and you just know the idiot in the SUV in the right lane who's long been hovering behind the slow tractor-trailer will suddenly decide to change lanes right in front of you. You hate it, but from past experience you come to expect it.

Lately, I've come to realize that driving anywhere near a Dodge automobile is just bad news. I've been fortunate not to have an accident with one -- yet -- but the law of averages suggests that it's only a matter of time. I don't know what it is about the Dodge driver. Are they secretly channeling their desire to drive the Viper, or anything with a Hemi? They take risks out there, and I find myself quickly switching over to advanced defensive driving and/or prayer to stay alive.

Then there's the name: Dodge. I don't know the origin. I assumed it was supposed to reflect some sort of western Dodge City renegade thing, but I'm having second thoughts. Now I believe it's shorthand for dodging death, or fate, or personal responsibility. And don't get me started on the Dodge Ram -- the front grill of the truck may feature horns, but in this situation "ram" is a verb, not a noun.

Despite all this, I have no ill will toward the company, a division of Chrysler. They seem to have carved out a brand identity in the car industry, and managed to snag Edward Herrmann (aka Richard Gilmore) as voiceover talent. Still, they have attracted a breed of reckless driver that no one has called out. Until now.

I have two suggestions. First, if you own a Dodge, sell it or trade it in. Often you'll find that Chrysler has the same car under a different name. For example, for that recent Grand Canyon trip, I opted for the Chrysler Town and Country over the Dodge Caravan, which was identical in every way. (Except the name.) Second, I think insurance should cost more to drivers of Dodge models. They say the premiums are higher for red cars because of the widely held view that drivers of red cars exercise slightly less caution. Personally, I feel the same holds true for Dodge drivers.


The Attractive Nuisance said...

Dodge is the last name of the brothers who founded the company. Didn't you read Dodge v. Ford Motor Co. in your Corporations class?

Neel Mehta said...

My Corporations class was one day of BarBri and a long period of self-study. Funny how the truth can be so boring. But I maintain that the recent marketing of Dodge supports my theory.