Unless you hate cars and live under a rock, you have undoubtedly seen the recent pictures of the Porsche 911 whose driver tried to take a shortcut through freshly poured concrete. It has been emailed, Facebook’d and even posted on my own message board with snarky comments about the arrogance and ignorance of Porsche owners.
With good reason, Porsche owners are jerks.
I should know, I am one. But, rather than use my car as an excuse to act like a Jersey Shore cast member, I try to be the exception. As a self-appointed representative of Porsche owners, you would think I find the behavior of these clowns annoying and a setback to my cause. I actually appreciate it.
When expectations are low, surprising people is easy. When you have manners, life becomes a seller’s market. When you have manners and a 911, life is like hocking free water at a Las Vegas 5K.
My friends delight in reporting every mis-driven 911. My El Camino and MG Midget stories don’t come close to generating the venom a stock Porsche comes with ex factory. Every karma-invoking Carrera story will be emailed, twittered and messaged with sneering joy.
I have met Porsche folks, they can be tools. Chances are the driver of the concrete-footed 911 was a S.O.B. and probably deserved it. Had this happened in a Camry, I would not have seen it, and neither would you.
It’s not the car’s fault. Chuck Norris drove one in Good Guys Wear Black. Like all well made things, 911s are a symbol of accomplishment, sought after by those who equate appearance with success. That is enough for self-entitled asshats to park a Porsche in handicapped space. When that happens, it will end up on the internet and emailed to me.
These stereotypes are OK, because they actually make me look better. Driving up to a business, intersection, or even an autocross; the immediate assumption is that I am a d-bag like the rest of them. The slow evolution of the 911 means few can tell that my car is 13 years old. An updated front disguises the rebuilt title and that I paid less for it than what a 3 year-old Honda Civic would have cost. The end result: I look like a choad, but I am really an enthusiast on a budget.
When I drive a 9011, and am respectful, I stand out.
An honest smile, firm handshake and deep southern manners make more of an impression when no one sees it coming. Coming from neutral, I can still make a good impression. But when I am pre-judged as a jerk, it works all the more. Let someone in front of you in traffic in a Subaru and it is appreciated (unless they are in a Porsche) but not shocking. But drive a Porsche, wave in the delivery box truck, and he is sincerely surprised. Give a genuine “thank-you” wave at the Buick who let you merge and get a real smile in return. It’s just not expected. See, I’m not a Porsche owner who learned manners; I am a well-mannered southern man who bought a Porsche. Aside from the fact that my Momma will still not hesitate to travel to Oklahoma and slap me for being rude, I discovered some time ago that it matters to be polite.
This past weekend on a trip, my tire went flat. Bright and early I was at a tire store seeking a rubber unicorn; a set of high performance tires in the middle of a Nebraska winter. The challenge compounded by the loathing on the manager’s face when I rolled up on the spare. Instead of demanding my car be ready within the hour, I actually acknowledged the task ahead of him and thanked him for the effort. Immediately, he was on the phone, found a set in his warehouse and had them on my car 4 hours later, for $100 less than the estimate. When he was done, I shook his hand, thanked him and left a good review online. Not extraordinary behavior, but miles away from what he expected when I pulled up.
I don’t feel bad about owning a Porsche. I certainly don’t get bothered by endless recounting of the endless idiotic exploits of the owners. So should you encounter one of these incidents, bust out your camera phone and drop me an email, text, or FB post; I probably owe that guy a thank you.