I took my car into the shop recently. Bad tie-rods. Check engine light. Bald tires. Worn out breaks. The works. But who cares about my car, let’s talk about the adventures I had in the Jeep. This is my dad’s Jeep, and he was nice enough to get sick on company time so that I could drive it to work while my car was being repaired to the tune of an all expenses paid trip to Disney World in beautiful Florida.
When I was learning to drive a stick, a Jeep almost killed me. And by “almost killed me”, I mean I let off the clutch too fast and the thing almost flipped over. I learned my lesson: Jeeps are not like normal cars. To a Jeep, many things are just suggestions. Curbs. Speed bumps. It’s own transmission. Logs. These things just serve as a mock leash that makes you think you might control the Jeep. A Jeep is not a car. Sounds exciting already doesn’t it?
I remember when I first sat in this particular Jeep, and I thought to myself, “This is kind of a nice Jeep.” It has rear speakers. And the roll bars are padded. And air conditioning. And a console for controlling the air vents that didn’t require you to manually push and pull giant knobs in the dash. Compared to older Jeeps, this was the Cadillac of Jeeps. But after having driven my Volkswagen New Beetle for nine years, I can say that this is still the driving equivalent of “roughing it”. I don’t mean it’s rough like you have to roll down your windows manually (which you do), but rough like you are pretty sure that those drain plugs are to let rain water out and not to let water in so it won’t float when you cross a six foot deep river … right? I’m not sure this Jeep has drain plugs since they would be hidden under the carpet. Which makes sense since it’s a pretty cushy Jeep with carpet and all those fancy extras.
Driving a Jeep is very fun though. There’s no mistaking that you are driving a gasoline powered internal combustion engine. You never wonder if the road is smooth or not, because even if it was, you wouldn’t notice. I can understand why my friends at work wanted to ride in the Jeep when we went to lunch. It makes the lunch trip an adventure! You get bounced around like you are off road. You can barely hear each other when accelerating. You sit up nice and high so you can look down on people who could never drive their way out of the Amazonian basin. Plus, it’s so unlike the typical car experience.
I have to admit that nothing really exciting happened to me while I was borrowing the Jeep. It was just different and interesting. How many cars can you drive that let you take the doors or roof off?