Friday, May 30, 2003

Next time we need troops for a war in the Gulf, can we please send these people first?

LIKE most of the students at Hummer camp, Maria del Carmen Grimmelmann tends to gush. "It moves me," Mrs. Grimmelmann, 51, said of the supercharged Hummer H2 she and her husband, Frank, bought earlier this year.

"You know when you go shopping and nothing moves you?" she asked. "Then there's the time you see something, and right away know it's perfect. It's like falling in love. When I'm driving it, I feel empowered. It's the car that opens the sea for me. Now I know how Moses felt."...

WEDNESDAY, AFTER LUNCH Mark Mills and David Paschen, a 50-year-old recreational vehicle dealer from Chesterton, Ind., acquaintances for all of one day, are barreling up and down mud hills following a caravan of Hummers. Mr. Paschen is playing befuddled straight man while Mr. Mills doles out zingers.

Why did you buy a Hummer, Dave?

"I turned 50, and I decided if I was ever going to do it, this was the time," Mr. Paschen replied.

Mr. Mills interjects, "His wife said he could."

Mark, why did you buy a Hummer?

Well, he had a BMW sports car and had considered an H1, but there were complications.

"I don't want to say I'm a fat guy," he explains. "But I'm a fat guy. The seats in that H1 aren't very big." Besides, the H1 was twice the H2's price.

"I only have so much money," Mr. Mills said. Kidding!...

Mr. Chance, a man with the erect bearing and basso voice of a somewhat younger Charlton Heston, explained the Hummer appeal over dinner.

"The last G.M. car I liked was a '57 Chevy," he said. "I think it's so important that car designers create passion. Europe does it — BMW, Mercedes, Ferrari. They create passion and make you willing to write a check. There's no logic. If I had sat down and done a cost-benefit analysis, I would have been, `No-o-o.' Of course, I took delivery in California, and gas went to $2.50. So that's a statement of passion or stupidity, I don't know which."...

Yeah, I'm so dang proud to be an American after reading this....

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