Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Hypocrisy of Hybrids

The Fans know good and well that your Pap is not taken by hybrid vehicles. In every high-end L.A. neighborhood, we see these hideous things being driven with self-righteous indignance and reflex-dumbing cell phone use. In an effort to look “green,” these individuals will often drive a hybrid, sacrificing style and luxury for what they believe will earn them social approval. But don’t you be fooled! Your Pap has the skinny on these wolves in sheep's clothing.

In L.A., where “faking-it-til-you-make-it” is as common as another day of hazy sunshine, who do you think are driving the $100k+ Mercedes CL, the Bentley Continental GTs and the like? Your Pap has seen many of these hyper-expensive luxury or entry-level exotics crammed into tight little Brentwood-adjacent carports or Santa Monica micro-condos south of Montana Avenue. These flashy cars often come to mind as your typical gas guzzlers, with their mps in the low teens. But before we give these “fake-it-til-you-make-it” babes any heat about their seeming environmental vendetta, let’s look at the situation closer. Their overall environmental footprint is actually quite small. Most of these people with the luxo-exotic cars are on a mileage restriction lease of 7,500 to 10,000 miles a year. They’re also living in sub-2,000 sq.ft. 2+2 rentals, condos or small houses with little amenities. And you can bet they do everything they can to cut back at home, like dimming lights, minimizing a/c usage and the like. These are the same people who would never drive something like a Toyota Prius because it would erode their affulence disguise.

Now take the hybrid-driver. What better disguise is there than a Prius for the moneyed living in sprawling Bel Air estates and Beverly Hills compounds. In households of 2-3 cars per person, you can bet a Prius conspiracy is afoot! With $200k+ exotic gas guzzlers tucked away in tastefully appointed and humidity-controlled garages, the Prius makes its appearance when the occasion calls for keeping up a “nice-guy” appearance like at Red Carpet events, philanthropic fundraisers and, well you get it! Meanwhile the Misses is shuttling herself and a very expensive Hermes crocodile Birkin around daily in an 8mpg English SUV or drophead coupe (we don’t need to mention the specific vehicle; you already know). So while the Prius is a different type of “keeping up appearances” its owners are leaving an environmental crater with their 10,000+ sq. ft. mansions, heated lap pools and lighted tennis courts…all for a family of 3-4. And believe your Pap, no mansion is being lit by fluorescent bulbs, thank you.

So before we attack the wannabes in their Astons and Bentleys, let’s put a magnifying glass to the Prius drivers! When you see a hybrid conspicuously parked in circular, gated driveway north of Sunset…well, you now know!

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