Posted by: dougery | August 10, 2010

You’d Better Wave Hello

Out here in the Berkshires I’ve noticed a great deal of Jeeps. It seems one has more need for a vehicle that can actually handle rough terrain where there is real life mountains and dirt roads and stuff. What I hadn’t realized, or at least what I’d forgotten anyway, is that the owner of a Jeep has a sacred duty that is unique to these particular drivers.

It is absolutely necessary to wave at another Jeep driver should the two of you pass by while on the road.

As far as I know this behavior is exclusive to Jeep owners. Maybe Saab drivers wink at one another and those who drive Dodge Stratuses (Strati?) flip each other the bird. But Jeep drivers (and I’m not talking about Cherokees, just the boxy Wranglers and such) always always always wave. Sometimes it is just a gentle raising of the fingers from the top of the wheel. Other times a full fledged wag of the outstretched hand.

At first this made me laugh. Back in Chicago there was not one but two other yellow Jeeps in the Oldtown neighborhood (and a third down in Hyde Park) and occasionally we would pass and the driver would wave. I’d wave back. I thought it was funny. She’s waving at me because I’m just like her! This must be acknowledged.

But on our drive across country and now among the Berkshires I encounter more and more Jeep drivers and they all wave regardless of vehicle color, if they have a hard or soft top or no top at all, if they have oversized wheels, if they are suped up Jeep time machines that hover along the surface of the asphalt pretending to be from our day and age. And they are all happy to do so.

So who am I to not wave in return? Who cares if the other person one day neglects his or her duty and fails to wave back (pshaw, not likely)? Well, I suppose I would have peel out and drift into a u-turn, put the pedal to the metal and run their ass down, smashing into them from the side as we navigate the winding s-curves and switchbacks of the mountains before they pull over and we have a frank discussion of their civic responsibilities.

I mean, they didn’t have to buy a Jeep.

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Responses

  1. Back when I drove a Volvo, it was de rigueur to mime obscene sexual acts when passing another Volvo.

  2. This is really funny because in high school, when I used to ride around in a friend’s Jeep, it was required that we play the “Hello, fellow Jeeper” game. I can’t remember if Sam (driver/owner) would wave, but for us it was like the punch-buggy game only funnier because the phrase was so much more melodic. I can’t think of a way to describe the melody, but this post just cracked me up thinking back on those days…


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