Quick Question About Subarus

So I told my friends I bought the Subaru, and a bunch of responded “Got another Lesbaru, ehh?

How do these things start? Here in West Virginia, Subaru was not a big seller in the 80’s and 90’s, basically because this was a strong union state and buy American was the belief. But now, they are simply everywhere- the state car is either the Subaru or the pick up truck. And the reason they are everywhere is because they are the perfect car for around here. When it snows, it can be days before some of the backroads are plowed, it’s always raining because the state is basically a tropical rain forest from April through September (you don’t like the weather in WV, wait ten minutes), so the AWD and the reliability of the vehicle make it a natural choice. My sister lives in Connecticut and says the same thing is true there and in NH and Vermont.

So how did the association start? When I thought of Subarus in the 80’s and 90’s, my association was with hippies and outdoorsy people who had the old wagon with camping gear in the end year round and racks for kayaks and skis and bikes. Now I think the stereotype is more totebagger, with the obligatory NPR sticker and World Wildlife Fund or whatever sticker. I used to joke that my red Subie (which is not in a field anymore, I don’t know why someone asks in every damned thread that mentions cars) was a 70 mile an hour stereotype because I had the West Virginia Public radio sticker, an Apple sticker, an Obama/Biden sticker, and a bumper sticker that said “I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one.”

So I understand those associations and stereotypes, but never got the lesbian thing. Anyone know?

187 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Hey, John, is your car still in that field?


  3. 3
    Hawes says:

    Somehow it involves the Indigo Girls, because that’s the era I first heard it.

    That and Gertrude Stein owned one.

    That second one might not be accurate.

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    Maybe you misheard them and they said “Thesbaru” because you are so theatrical.

    Like a taller Nathan Lane.

  5. 5
    Pogonip says:

    John, where’s your red Subaru? Still in that field?

  6. 6
    maya says:

    Did you get that other one out of the muffin meadow yet?

    Why Lezbaru? Well, didn’t you hear the B side of Johnny Cash’s big hit; A Boi Named Subaru?. It started with that.

  7. 7
    raven says:

    Why is Asheville known as Sheville?


  8. 8
    RSR says:

    I know lots of Subaru owners; not a single lesbian in the bunch. And I do know some lesbians. Maybe I should find out what they drive?

  9. 9
    BGinCHI says:

    @Hawes: No, that’s partly right. It was Alice Toklas’s car legally.

  10. 10
    RSR says:

    Re- the field thing. I’ve actually been wondering. Never heard how that finally worked out with the farmer. Did he finally need to clear his fields before spring? Kinda seemed like he didn’t really care otherwise.

  11. 11
    BGinCHI says:

    @raven: It’s true there are a lot of candle stores there.

  12. 12

    When I had a Subaru in the ’80’s in Boulder, it was the butch gay man’s car… or so I found out after I bought it: all my fellow tribesmen had them.

    The Miata was the lesbian car back then.

  13. 13
    raven says:

    Whoa, U Conn comin off the deck!

  14. 14

    My people are outdoorsy and we like better MPG and urban parking options than you get from an American-made 4×4.

    That simple.

  15. 15
    different-church-lady says:

    I used to joke that my red Subie (which is not in a field anymore, I don’t know why someone asks in every damned thread that mentions cars)

    So which one is still in the field?

  16. 16
    RoonieRoo says:

    I never heard this association until we bought our first Subaru a couple of weeks ago. I texted my friend that we were going to test drive Subarus and she said I wasn’t lesbian enough. First time I ever heard that association.

    BTW, part of the reason we ended up with a Subaru was you Cole and the commenters on BJ talking about their Subaru love.

  17. 17
    John Cole says:

    @RoonieRoo: Do you understand it now? Are you now in the Cult of Subaru?

  18. 18
    cmorenc says:

    @John Cole:

    They could be saying that about YOUR car because they have long believed you were a male lesbian. Whatever the Hell that might be.

  19. 19
    raven says:

    @PhoenixRising: Wait, everyone has been whining about their shitty mileage.

  20. 20
    John Cole says:

    @MattF: Wow. That’s awesome. It makes me like my car even more.

  21. 21
    BGinCHI says:

    I drive a GTI and by the looks of it I am the Oldest Living Person to do so.

  22. 22
    jon says:

    The Outback can carry a lot of softball equipment, the Forester is good in the Bush, and WRX becomes SEX with autocorrect. Also, it wears practical shoes and Marci refers to them as Sir.

  23. 23

    @raven: 1) We’re not whining, we’re stating facts
    2) Compared to a 4×4 F250, I think you’ll find they’re sipping, not gulping. Back in the day, the Subaru was the only non-truck option w/4 wheel drive.

    The ad campaigns are the result of some market research about who buys the cars, not the cause of the demographics of who buys them.

  24. 24
    kc says:

    I used to joke that my red Subie (which is not in a field anymore, I don’t know why someone asks in every damned thread that mentions cars)

    Thank you for FINALLY updating us. Was that so hard?

  25. 25
    raven says:

    @PhoenixRising: Don’t mean nuthin to me but every one of these Cole Car threads has dire warnings about the mileage.

  26. 26

    @raven: Right. Compared to an Element, manual trans, FWD with traction control. Not compared to an 89 Bronco.

  27. 27
    RSR says:

    Don’t forget, Subaru thinks Teach for America is a charity.



    But still, a great car.

    We know lesbian teachers…now there’s a conundrum. (teachers who are lesbian, not instructors of lesbianism)

  28. 28
    raven says:

    @PhoenixRising: Or my 66 chevy truck with a 350.

  29. 29
    BGinCHI says:

    @PhoenixRising: Can we please leave OJ out of this?

  30. 30
    Shakezula says:

    I’ve been hearing that since the 90s. No idea where it came from either. But I say it is a compliment because Subarus are awesome, dependable and fun. (We have three. Subarus, that is.)

  31. 31
    raven says:

    @BGinCHI: Had a bunch of kids from the local middle school spend the last few days up there taking in the culture. I think they froze.

  32. 32

    @RSR: OMG! I’m posting that at the teachers’ union next time I go in. Or maybe I should flyer windshields…

  33. 33
    John Cole says:

    @RSR: It sat there for two months until the weather broke. Harry (Harry Chambers, the guy at the general store a half block from me who I have known my whole life) asked me one day when he was cutting up a pound of bacon for me if I had any plans for the car, and I said, basically, yeah, to get it out of the field so my dad will shut the fuck up about it. He said he knew a guy that had several Subarus and a salvage yard and wanted it, would give me 500 bucks AND pull it out of the field. I said, “GREAT!” and walked home, got the title and the keys, gave them to Harry. The guy buying it knew Mr. Bonar (the farmer), and that day he went and pulled it out. The next day I walked up to the store, got the 500 bucks, cancelled my insurance, gave Harry fifty bucks for brokering the deal, drove to the farmers house and gave him 300 bucks for the time and effort it would take to replace the fence and the inconvenience of having to tell 500 people “Yes, I know there is a car in my field,” and then went home.

    Win all the way around. Plus, I like the fact that someone who owns and loves Subarus will be able to use Duncan R. Ruby Dundee as an organ donor.

  34. 34
    James E. Powell says:

    I used to joke that my red Subie (which is not in a field anymore, I don’t know why someone asks in every damned thread that mentions cars

    I know why. It’s because it’s a pretty fucking funny story and, in every detail, Classic Cole. (See also, pants or mustard.)

  35. 35
    BGinCHI says:

    @raven: It’s nice today, sunny and in the 40s, but by the lake it is butt-ass cold. It’s all about wind direction this time of year.

    Hope they had a good time.

  36. 36
    🍀 Martin says:

    So I understand those associations and stereotypes, but never got the lesbian thing. Anyone know?

    I’m sure that took off in the 80s, so I’d say it comes from being not manly enough to be a truck, not prissy enough to be a minivan or hatchback. Subarus were the tomboys of cars. Now they seem kind of normal because we have all of these crossover things but they were fairly unique 30 years ago. Like the original family truckster – the AMC Eagle.

  37. 37
    JPL says:

    It doesn’t matter and btw go by some honey maid graham crackers.

  38. 38
    raven says:

    @BGinCHI: The were mostly in the Loop.

  39. 39
    🍀 Martin says:

    @James E. Powell: This. I’m disappointed the Subaru still isn’t in a field. In 20 years we would have had it designated an official holy site for our new pet-based religion.

  40. 40
    BGinCHI says:

    @John Cole: So the farmer is named Boner and that’s all you’ve got?

    You need more practice at Open Mic night.

  41. 41
    raven says:

    @JPL: You watchin this? UConn score 4 points in 11 minutes and 11 points in ONE!

  42. 42
    JPL says:

    @John Cole: Wow, what a great ending for a nice car.

  43. 43
    seefleur says:

    I dunno, my lesbian daughter went from driving a Caravan (okay, her father and I gave it to her when she decided to go to Cleveland Playhouse to find her fortune in tech theater) to a Ford Taurus and now drives a Toyota Camry. Not one Subaru in her 12+ years of driving. Of course we live in Maine – and probably 1 out of 3 cars on the roads here are Subaru’s…so maybe we have a shitload of lesbians on the roads? Or they are just really good cars for dealing with Maine roads. (Note – the BMW and Audi and Lexus drivers are the ones who make me want to mount a Gatling gun on my car.)

  44. 44
    raven says:

    @JPL: Parting out a ride isn’t the end of it!

  45. 45
    Elizabelle says:

    @John Cole:

    Harry Chambers and Mr. Boner in one story. With cash changing hands. And bacon.

    What is it about you and your stories?

  46. 46
    JPL says:

    @raven: Sorta, I got a phone call and looked away for a minute and then went wtf happened.

  47. 47
    🍀 Martin says:

    @BGinCHI: We need to get him to hire TBogg to write his story. How the fuck do you let Mr Boner the farmer not play prominently in a dozen front page posts?

  48. 48
    raven says:

    @JPL: The Huskies settled down.

  49. 49
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Yes, If the Balloon Juice Lexicon doesn’t list that under “Classic Cole,” it should.

    I’ve never had a Subaru, but technically I’m bi, so perhaps I should be driving half a Subaru grafted onto half of…I dunno, what’s a “straight” car?

  50. 50
    Pogonip says:

    @John Cole: Please tell me Mr. Boner is not the gentleman’s real name.

  51. 51
    Davis X. Machina says:


    Quick student parking lot census: Subes are the new Volvos.

    Here in the far north, where the AM radio at night is half in French, and the moose permit draw is a front-page story, there used to be a shit-ton of clapped-out Volvos, especially the wagons. They’re mostly gone, especially the 240 wagons, the Swedish Brick. Still a bunch of 850’s, though they’re fading. (Before that, there were a ton of Saabs.) Safety, mostly. If your kid wrapped a Volvo around a tree, he’d probably live. And the A-pillar design passed a Swedish DoT test involving a catapult and a moose carcass. (Trucks are thought by some to encourage bad habits in the young’uns, like mudding.)

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: Just avoid the Forester. and you should be fine.

  53. 53
    JPL says:

    @raven: Who’s gonna win?

  54. 54
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @John Cole: OK, now the mustard story. You did find it, right?

  55. 55
    BGinCHI says:

    @🍀 Martin: If he was that good he’d be writing at Esquire and then where would we be?

  56. 56
    GregB says:

    Coincidentally farmer Boner drives a Woody.

  57. 57
    Pogonip says:

    @🍀 Martin: Tunchism! We worship a giant ball of (mostly) white fur, tuna is our Host, and we gather once a year in the big field of a Mr. Boner who wishes he’d never heard of John Cole and his weird readers.

    We drive to the field in Subarus, of course, and contribute mustard to the food drive.

    Tunch fhtagn!

  58. 58
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    The guy buying it knew Mr. Boner (the farmer),

    So, basically, you lost two or three weeks of the transaction just training yourself not to giggle helplessly before you approached him with the three hundred bucks.

    I feel very sorry for people who have, um, ambiguous or difficult names. I know one family with the last name of Bator, and I understand that their son, who attended school in more formal times, had real problems with being addressed by the faculty as “Master Bator.” True.

    And we used to have a woman named Mrs. Muckenfuss who worked at my family’s bookstore. I wish you could have heard my oh-so-proper grandmother take a very deep breath and enunciate Mrs. M’s name ever so clearly. Also true.

  59. 59
    JPL says:

    @Gin & Tonic: He left it in the car and Mr. Boner found it and became very excited since it was an exotic brand that he had not tried before.

  60. 60
    Jay C says:


    And don’t forget the annual naked-mopping ritual….

  61. 61
    scav says:

    @Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: I think a grafted car would indicate bi-polyamerous or perhaps the T in the alphabet soup. All good, but another option would be to carefully alternate between a Subaru and a, ummmm, something with poor gas milage and pin-stiping? Crown Imperial? (I’m hopeless with cars.) I guess, the question is, are we needing to alternate with vanilla unimaginative straight or simply non-flaming-Subaru straight? What would be a staight but not-narrow rather cheerful car?

  62. 62
    MikeJ says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I loved my 240.

  63. 63
    raven says:

    @JPL: I like the adjustments U Conn made. Remember that they were the last team the beat the Gators so they can get in their heads.

  64. 64
    Pogonip says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I got severely scolded once by a friend who really liked his CO, a Colonel Rump. I began giggling helplessly and suggested that the colonel switch branches as he was a natural for Rear Admiral. Several other equally childish jokes followed. My friend was not amused.

  65. 65
    raven says:

    @Pogonip: There is an undertaker in my wife’s hometown named Stiff!

  66. 66
    IowaOldLady says:

    John, why did you not tell us the farmer’s name before? Do you never think of us?

  67. 67
    Ruckus says:

    Same here in socal.

  68. 68
    IowaOldLady says:

    Btw, I remember my son in middle school laughing helplessly over Dick Butkis. (Did I spell that right?)

  69. 69

    So to follow up, I traded in my ’84 Subaru wagon after the oil sender blew out and the engine needed rebuilding (funny how the aftermarket service contract on it didn’t cover that until the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office of Consumer Affairs paid them a visit) and bought a 1988 Pontiac 6000 LE Safari station wagon. I drove it every day until August 2003 when I bought my mom’s ’95 Mustang GT convertible and the wagon went into retirement. I still have the wagon — it’s now a certified antique — and I’m on my second Mustang. Yeah, it’s complicated.

  70. 70
    becca says:

    We bought our 1997 Outback in 2000.

    We like subarus because they are built to last. As we don’t drive a lot, this car may be the last car we buy. Only has 160,000 miles, a teenager in Subaru years.

    Except I really, really want a beater pickup. Preferably with different color fenders and a touch of rust. And a cowboy hat, a straw one with frayed edges, to wear when I need to drive it.

    It’s on my bucket list.

  71. 71
    StringOnAStick says:

    Subaru’s are one of the most common car in Colorado, no matter your gender preference. 4WD with decent mileage (if you get a 4 cylinder) is a handy thing here, and the sporty types (climbers, mountain bikers, skiers, etc.) love them. We’re in that group of people and are on our 3rd Outback, and we have yet to rent a car while traveling that we like better.

    Years ago we learned about the subtle lesbian sales campaign (Martina Navratalova as a spokesperson in ads) when we pulled into a ski parking lot with 5 Subaru’s in a row, and our guest noted that “it must be a lesbian convention”. Our confused/shocked looks prompted the explanation about Martina and Subaru’s.

  72. 72

    @raven: I knew a Dr. Croak in Longmont, Colorado.

  73. 73
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @MikeJ: The Deux Chevaux of our time. A veritable icon.

    If it was brought back in an hommage form, like the New Beetle, or the Fiat 500, or the Mini, with all mod cons, it’d sell like hotcakes.

  74. 74
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I knew a urologist named Dr. Shanker…

  75. 75
    Pogonip says:

    @Jay C: We’re working on that. We’re finding it difficult to mop Boner’s Field.

    Does anyone remember the Stephan King story, “N,” where the hero unwisely enters Ackerman’s Field and there finds (turn on reverberator) A Portal From Hell? If we entered Boner’s Field, might we find a portal to a dimension full of jars of lost mustard?

  76. 76
    Josie says:

    @IowaOldLady: He never told because he knew where it would lead. There is such a wealth of material in that story. The BJ community will have a field day.

  77. 77
    Jager says:

    For years the upscale lesbian car of choice in Boston was a Saab convertible. Usually dark green with saddle tan interior. The downscale lesbian car of choice was anything rusty.

    Our lesbian neighbor drives one of those little hybrid Ford 4x4s. She parks it in the driveway because her garage has so much shit in it there’s no room for her car.

    The last time we pulled our little Airstream up to Big Sur we were parked next to a lesbian couple, both retired school teachers from Pasadena. The had a Class A motorhome, they were towing a Ford Ranger pickup behind it. (they also had 4 dogs aboard) They were on their way to Alaska.

  78. 78
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @StringOnAStick: Same here in Utah – I’ve always thought about Subarus as skiermobiles. I only heard about the lesbian association a few years ago, when a guy moved to town from out of state and thought he’d landed in the Valley of the Amazons or something. There’s a zillion Subaru wagons in Salt Lake City.

  79. 79
    raven says:

    @IowaOldLady: Butkus, last time I saw him was in a motel parking lot in Iowa City.

  80. 80
    IowaOldLady says:

    @raven: Thank you. It’s still a regrettable name.

  81. 81
    Ruckus says:

    Know a gentleman with a name even closer than Bator. Not going to spell it here, we still communicate occasionally. We all used to call him Master as his dad was around and we always called him Mister.

  82. 82

    @Xecky Gilchrist: My ’84 Subaru with ski equipment and four guys in the car — the lightest of whom was about 150 lbs. — could only get up the approach to the Eisenhower tunnel in low range 2nd gear. The car could go anywhere, but it sure as hell needed a turbo.

  83. 83
    scav says:

    I’ve already shared my knowing Drs Hassard and Ward. They did not hyphanate. No way to win that one.

    ETA . not in the same league, but it amused me no end when I had both a Dr Day and a Dr Knight. Life on an ICU is remarkably dull at times.

  84. 84
    Dr Sigmund says:

    To quieten further innuendo and snide comments from your friends, I recommend you attach a pair of Subaru-Nutz.

    And think big – preferably big enough to drag along the roadway, and risk getting jammed when you back up – I guarantee nobody will point and laugh any more.

  85. 85
    raven says:

    @IowaOldLady: Not to an Illini it’s not.

  86. 86
    Dolly Llama says:

    @BGinCHI: Reading him in Anne Laurie’s morning threads every day.

  87. 87
    John O says:

    “Lesburu” is common in CO as far as I know.

  88. 88
    raven says:

    Napier is a playah!

  89. 89
    Jager says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I went to 12 years of school with Richard (Dick) Swingen. I broke out in laughter when one of the DIs called us “swingin Richards” in Basic Training.

  90. 90
    Elmo says:

    Speaking for this particular pair of lesbians, we drive a Nissan Titan and a Nissan Rogue.

    Real dykes drive pickups. :)

  91. 91
    Emma says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Oh Lord! Thank you! I’ve laughed so hard I managed to sprain something on my side which has completely distracted me from the pain in my joints.

  92. 92
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:


    Back in the day, the Subaru was the only non-truck option w/4 wheel drive.


    Also you forgot the AMC Eagle, but that’s fine with Chrysler.
    Ford is glad you forgot the 4wd Tempo as well.

  93. 93
    WaterGirl says:

    A guy who went to my high school had the last name of Kotek. As soon as he turned 18, he changed his name. I don’t recall what he changed it to, but the joke was that he changed it to Tampon.

    Edit: Joe, if you’re reading this, I’m really sorry.

  94. 94
    muddy says:

    @Ruckus: I went to school with a guy surnamed Lingo. Everyone called him Cunni. One day I saw him in the elevator and greeted him with it. Someone poked me because he was with his parents. Ooops! I saw his dad smirking.

  95. 95
    mazareth says:

    Still in the honeymoon period with my 2012 Toyota Yaris. I’ve been getting 29 MPG this winter of mostly city driving.

    Wasn’t intending to get a new car, buy I got t-boned while driving my 2001 Chevy Prism. The car was totaled. I loved that car. Thankfully they’re popular cars so I got a good settlement.

    I wanted a hatchback for hauling my bass guitar rig and gardening supplies.

    The Yaris has a lot more safety features compared to the Prism.

    Re Subarus : there are a lot of them here in Central Wisconsin too, mostly Outbacks.

  96. 96
    John O says:


    Sure is. I think FL would win 6 out of 10, but S. Napier is one bad mo-fo baller.

  97. 97
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    The three houses across the street have 4 women in them and 0 men.
    Single lady drives a white Accord.
    Other single lady drives an Outback.
    Two-lady couple drive a Malibu and a Volvo wagon.

    Volvo really blew it. They were THE brand that should have owned the 4wd wagon/crossover/car-based SUV market. It was theirs for the taking. But they slept on it and now they’re owned by Tata or somebody.

  98. 98
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    So I told my friends I bought the Subaru, and a bunch of responded “Got another Lesbaru, ehh?”

    Sounds like you need better friends. WTH?

  99. 99
    raven says:

    @John O: yup

  100. 100
    Steeplejack says:


    Regarding Cole’s Subaru in the field—the blog overlord himself on March 24:

    No, the car is no longer in a field. A guy bought it from me and signed the title, I gave the farmer a couple hundred for his inconvenience and fence repair, and the car has been towed away. I have no idea where it is now.

    I usually bookmark important milestones like that, because I know they will keep coming up, but I neglected that one and had a hell of a time running it down just now on the Google. The words I remember being in the original post are never the ones that actually are in the original post. (I was looking for “trouble” instead of “inconvenience.” And “$200” instead of “a couple hundred.”)

  101. 101
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    For the first time since 1978 I don’t own a car. I have a company vehicle that spends most of its time in the airport long-term parking while I’m driving a rental for work somewhere else.
    My own car just sat at home so we traded it in on a better car for my wife.
    It’s weird but I figure I save several thou and a lot of hassle/year driving someone else’s SUV, and I’m fine with that.

  102. 102
    nwerner says:


    Best laugh I got out of the thread.

  103. 103
    WaterGirl says:

    @muddy: I laughed. When I lived in the dorms in college, we had a kitchen area in the basement so we could cook or bake for a special occasion.

    One time I was walking home with a friend on a Saturday night and ran into a couple of guys we didn’t know and we all came back to the dorm room to party. Turns out the guys had a half pound bag of dope with them, and they left their bag for us when they headed out on Sunday morning.

    We had so much dope that we started baking brownies. (holy shit was that a bad idea. i had no idea you were supposed to stop eating the brownies before you actually started to feel high.) Anyway…

    So we’re in the elevator on Sunday, with our freshly baked pot brownies, headed to our room on the 9th floor. There was another student and her parents in the elevator and the dad hinted repeatedly that he would really really really like one of our brownies, but of course we couldn’t share because they were pot brownies.

    We thought “rude” was probably better than getting arrested.

  104. 104
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Pogonip: LOL!
    @raven: LOL!
    @GregB: ROFL!

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: There was a law firm in hometown called Crooks, Crooks, and Lowe. Mergers and retirements changed it, but it was cool while it lasted.

  106. 106
    Betty Cracker says:

    Gators are stinking it up. Glad I missed the first half. Rays are losing too. Feh.

  107. 107
    Cain says:

    In oregon and washington, it’s the state car. It’s every where. Plus, it’s made in my home town. :-) So, I”m quite happy that my money is helpin the workers out in Indiana. Recently, I think they have been getting subarus. Never saw a lot of them when I was growing up in Indiana.

    I have one too, now. :-) I love my subaru!

  108. 108
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Happy to be of help!

  109. 109
    Cassidy says:

    So I told my friends

    And the dogs are talking back now. Interesting.

  110. 110
    raven says:

    @Betty Cracker: Stinking it up? Come on girl, they are playing a team that already beat them. This is a good tilt.

  111. 111
    raven says:

    Cramps in the knees?

  112. 112
  113. 113
    Heidi says:

    I don’t know that it means anything, but in the L Word when the tennis pro character comes out, she signs a deal with Subaru and the ads read “Get Out and Stay Out!”

  114. 114
    John O says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    !!! Gators are doing fine. This one’s getting down to the time where you have to piss on the dogs and call in the fire. I see nail-biter all the way, and I stand by my feeling that the Gators would win 6 out of 10.

  115. 115
    Ruckus says:

    Did mom punch dad for smirking or not catch it?

  116. 116
    raven says:

    @John O: Young is a beast.

  117. 117
    cailte says:

    Up here in New Hampshire, about an hour from Canada, Subarus are ubiquitous. This is the first I’ve heard about an association with lesbians.

    For what it’s worth, the lesbians I bought my last house from (in Atlanta) drove a Honda CRV and were moving to Asheville.

  118. 118
    Suzanne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I knew a kid who has the surname “Bates” that had the same problem.

    My maternal grandfather finished his Army career as Major Snow. My cousin told me that he had a General Mills during his service. So awesome.

  119. 119
    CaseyL says:

    Cole and TBogg need to get together and help each other write their memoirs. They both have an abundance of source material, and just the right wry-curmudgeonly attitude to come up with a best seller that movie studios fight to buy the rights to.

    Cole, the reason everyone keeps asking about the late, great, Duncan R. Ruby Dundee is because you never got around to telling us the denouement. (Nor, until this very day, the poor thing’s name.)

    Does New Car have a name yet?

    I unwittingly gave my car a bad case of gender confusion. Her license plate number is 100 WPH. I took one look and said, “That’s one hell of a lousy typing speed.” I had recently taken a course in medical terminology, and was pleased to have a chance to use it when I named the car “Brady.” (The prefix “bradi-” is medical lingo for ‘abnormally slow.’)

    Having named the car “Brady,” I decided he was a boy. I was wrong, as Brady spent a good year letting me know before I gave up and said “OK, you’re a girl; please accept my apologies. But, ” I said, “I am not changing how I spell Brady. You are not going to be Bradi, or Bradie, or any of that Millennial nonsense.”

    She’s OK with that, because she’s a little bit of a tomboy.

  120. 120
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    My wife (completely hetero) loved her Forester and loves her current Outback. The Forester was a green one, from back when they could be had in proper forester green (1999 IIRC). That was a fun car, could even do bad roads like logging roads.
    The first Subaru evangelist I recall was a rich guy (somewhere between $10-100 million in 1980s dollars), a straight gentleman farmer (had lots of greenhouses for boutique winter vegetable/greens production), who swore by Subarus. Probably bought a new one every two or three years.

  121. 121
    Betty Cracker says:

    @raven: @John O: As soon as I posted that, they started doing better! Going down to the wire, looks like.

  122. 122
    muddy says:

    @WaterGirl: Maybe the dad knew and just really wanted one!

    When my son was little he knew not to eat the food with “wine” in it. He would ask people if things had wine in them before he ate, they thought it was really random. I thought what a good boy he was.

  123. 123
    seefleur says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Having spent some time up around the St, John Valley and the nether regions of Washington County, and dealt with the moose-magnet roads in both areas; I can definitely see having a car with the structural safety stuff that a Subaru has. Even here in coastal Maine the reasons for having a sturdy vehicle are obvious. On the other hand, every time I see the real estate agent who drives the Mercedes SUV every day headed to Ellsworth, and has on several occasions attempted to pass logging trucks on a two-lane road, I am reminded that stupid comes in all sizes of vehicles and nothing is going to survive a run-in with a logging truck.

  124. 124
    muddy says:

    @Ruckus: Mom looked oblivious, they were pretty elder. I’m sure my face was very red.

  125. 125
    raven says:

    I can’t believe how quick U Conn is, damn!

  126. 126
    MikeJ says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:


    I watched Michèle Mouton win the PIke’s Peak hill climb in a 4wd Audi. I was camped out about 6 miles up where I had a view of a double switchback. And back then it was still unpaved for about 11 miles. Many scoffed at the weird Frenchies who sent a 4wd car with a girl to drive it. A pretty girl too.

    Somewhere in my boxes of photo prints I have a great sunrise shot from above the clouds, and many shots of that car.

  127. 127
    Steeplejack says:

    @Dolly Llama:

    Okay, that’s funny.

  128. 128
    John O says:

    I’m just glad it’s a good game. Because I want WI to win the big enchilada in a big way. The Big Game is #2.

  129. 129
    becca says:

    @efgoldman: mighty nice of you to respond, but I live in Memphis and the freight would cost more than the truck I have imagined for myself would be worth.

    And I really do have a thing about the fenders, but a contrasting tailgate could work, upon further consideration.

  130. 130
    muddy says:

    In the 80’s I had a Toyota Tercel wagon. You could switch it back and forth from 2wd to 4wd. The difference in the mileage between the 2 was radical. I loved that car, and it was a tank. I don’t know why they quit making them.

  131. 131
    raven says:


  132. 132
    Suzanne says:

    Comment got EATED.

    Anyway, I was lading because I also knew a dude in high school with the surname “Bates” and he got called “Master Bates” a lot. My maternal grandfather finished his military career as Major Snow. My cousin said that he knew a General Mills while he was serving.

  133. 133
    seefleur says:

    @IowaOldLady: At age mumble mumble I still crack up over that name. All I can think is that A) his parents weren’t too bright or B) he wasn’t a wanted child… However there is a man who I occasionally have to deal with face-to-face whose given name is Richard Hertz, but he can’t be bothered with a first name with that many letters. You can guess what he goes by on a daily basis. First time I met him, he introduced himself to me as “Hi, I’m Dick Hertz – you might have heard of me around town.”

  134. 134
    Suzanne says:

    We had a candidate running for one of the local offices around here with the surname Schmuck. His campaign signs were AWESOME. They said, “That’s right…. SCHMUCK FOR COUNCIL”. Dude obviously had a sense of humor.

  135. 135
    moderateindy says:

    Never heard the Lesbaru thing before, but I know 4 people with Subarus. One is a guy, two are lesbians, and the last one is my neighbor who is a very butch girl, that you would mistake for a lesbian (riding a Harley doesn’t help). So maybe there is something to the stereotype.

  136. 136
    Mnemosyne says:


    At a catalog company I used to work at, we had a problem customer named Richard Head. But he always insisted on being called “Dick.”

    One time, a supervisor was forwarded a call from him without any notice and picked up the phone to hear the guy say, “This is Dick Head.”

    The supervisor had to quickly put him on hold so he wouldn’t crack up.

  137. 137
    Steeplejack says:


    Years ago there was an SNL sketch when Rodney Dangerfield was the host where a substitute judge had to contend with an unruly courtroom, and they played it like substitute teacher vs. students. “Well, the regular judge said we were just going to take motions and do a continuance today . . .” Dangerfield was the star witness, Richard Hertz, and, yes, the inevitable line came up: “Who’s Dick Hertz?” Good times.

  138. 138
    scav says:

    @CaseyL: I’ve got some grade A hallucinations about reading about the car name fairly early on in process then. I’ve also delusions about it being his mom’s car and they all had names somehow involving their color? Damn, what an entirely low-rent form of Cassandrahood to end up with!

  139. 139
    RuhRow_Gyro says:

    People associated Subaru with lesbians because Subarus are feminine, and gay.

  140. 140
    JPL says:

    @raven: So who do you pick for the next game?

  141. 141
    raven says:

    @RuhRow_Gyro: go away schmuck

  142. 142
    raven says:

    @JPL: Bucky

  143. 143
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    During my machinist days I encountered a tooling salesman named Rod Glidewell. At another place I worked employed an engineer whose last name was Kulow. Seeing as how he pronounced it the same as the Spanglish noun for “asshole” and seeing as how the shop was in SoCal much maintaining a straight face ensued.

  144. 144
    JPL says:

    @raven: Years ago someone posted this video, but I can’t remember who. link

  145. 145
    Ruckus says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    Don’t see how you get from Kulow to pendejo

  146. 146
    Howard Beale IV says:


    Does New Car have a name yet?

    Don’t know how many people names their cars around these partyts; my friend named her BMW Zöe, another friend named his Pontiac Vibe Sophie, and I named my Prius Katsumi.

  147. 147
    Steeplejack says:


    Culo means “ass” in Spanish.

    Apologies if you were going for snark.

  148. 148
    Jewish Steel says:


    I drive a GTI and by the looks of it I am the Oldest Living Person to do so.

    I had an ’85. Favoritest car ever.

  149. 149
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jewish Steel: I had an ’84. Loved it.

  150. 150
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Okay, that is the single stupidest thing I have ever seen in my entire life.

    I can’t stop watching it.

  151. 151
    raven says:

    @JPL: Yes

  152. 152
    briber says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I heard that Rihanna found the mustard…

  153. 153
    JPL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Yes it is. I think it was jsf who posted it but it could have been the General. As I said it was a long time ago but I shared it with friends who went to WI.

  154. 154
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That was the GTI’s first year if I am not mistaken.

    I bought it from my roommate at the time and 2 of my closest friends still drive them. Oh, and we all love Elvis Costello. And we all have blue or green eyes.

    What a diverse group of friends I have both irl and virtually!

  155. 155
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JPL: I put it on facebook. I probably should let people know I was actually sober when I did it.

  156. 156
    Steeplejack says:


    Linky no work. I fix.

  157. 157
    Jamey says:

    Better tires make for better all-weather performance. AWD is nice, but not the panacea when it comes to driving on-road in inclement weather.

    I say this as a former Subaru driver who quit the brand when Subaru stopped selling a Legacy wagon (2005).

  158. 158
    notoriousJRT says:

    I don’t know. I call them Stupidroos because so many of them Subaru drivers in Seattle drive like timid morons. In fairness, my experience is probably more related to the number of Subaru owners there are in the city, rather than the intellect / driving skills of that group. But, I can generally count on a Stupidroo driver to meander up to a green light and then run it as it turns red as we reach the intersection.

  159. 159
    specialed5000 says:

    Maybe Subarus weren’t big in the northern panhandle in the 80s and 90s but in Lewisburg, WV (Greenbrier County) they were everywhere in the late 80s. In fact that was the only foreign car dealer of any kind in the county. Still is I think. At least 10-15 ppl I went to high school with and 4 or 5 neighbors in our subdivision drove them, several handmedowns after their parents got new ones. Cheap 4/AWD with better gas mileage that a truck and more practical. This was pretty much before SUVs were everywhere. I also saw a lot of AMC Eagle 4WD station wagons for the same reason. We had a lot of snowy winters back then.

  160. 160
    Josie says:

    @Ruckus: Pendejo doesn’t mean asshole. it is literally a cuckold, or in everyday parlance, a fool.

  161. 161
    WereBear says:

    Our first Ford Focus was metallic gray, so Mr WereBear named it Gandalf the Grey.

    Now, we have Gandalf the Red.

  162. 162
    Calouste says:


    That’s just Seattle drivers in general. They can’t drive. Doesn’t matter what brand of car they have.

  163. 163
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @John Cole:

    That damn thing was worth three thousand as a donor.

  164. 164
    MazeDancer says:

    Subaru’s are always the biggest selling cars in any place where it snows. Because you get so much car for the money.

    Once you own a Subaru, you love it. And you think why would I ever pay more for less?

    Have lived in several snowy, very blue state, artsy, liberal places where smart women, some of them lesbians, also live. Never really noticed any increased corollary between lesbians and Subarus. Because everyone drives a Subaru.

    If there were as many lesbians as there are Subaru’s on the road, there would have been no problems with sexism or marriage equality, because an easy third of the cars in any recently snow plowed parking lot are Subaru’s.

  165. 165
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MazeDancer: I don’t think anyone is suggesting anything approaching a 1:1 correlation between lesbians and Subarus.

  166. 166
    Pogonip says:

    Might “Subaru” resemble, or rhyme with,the Japanese word for “lesbian,” if there is one?

  167. 167
    tybee says:


    literal translation for pendejo is “pubic hair”.

  168. 168
    Ruckus says:

    I always understood pendejo to be asshole. More like fucking asshole actually.
    Ass I can see but not asshole. We were talking socal slang.

  169. 169
    Ruckus says:

    Yes but we were talking socal slang and that’s how I was taught it and still hear it now and again.

  170. 170
    Bob In Portland says:

    In my circles in California and Oregon there is no connection between lesbians and Suburus.

  171. 171
    WaterGirl says:

    @muddy: That’s so sweet. And you were right, what a good boy he was.

  172. 172
    Gex says:

    Didn’t read all the comments but I did use the find function to see if anyone covered it, an only one person seemed to touch on it so…

    When Martina Navratilova came out she did lose quite a few of her endorsements. It cost her a lot of money to come out. Subaru was the first new endorsement she got after coming out, which I’m sure made them the car brand of choice for lesbians. And as tennis is of only minor popularity with the Americans, I don’t think it was a huge risk for Subaru. I’m sure most Americans had no idea. But for a very long time afterwards, I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t the top brand for out lesbians.

  173. 173
    g says:

    Back in the ’80s, I had a Subaru in Western Washington, for probably the same reason you in WVA have them.

  174. 174
    Comrade Luke says:

    John, you need to leave that car in the field long enough for it to get on Google Street View.

  175. 175
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gex: That makes a lot of sense. Decency begets loyalty.

  176. 176
    seefleur says:

    @Gex: I learn so much here. Always admired Martina – and if Subaru was willing to give her an endorsement, I may have to give serious thought to buying one when my current vehicle gives up it’s mechanical abilities. Gotta give my small props to companies who aren’t all about being douchy like Hobby Lobby.

  177. 177
    Steeplejack says:


    I didn’t say anything about pendejo. It does have the slang meaning you said. All I pointed out was that Higgs was getting from “Kulow” to culo, not to pendejo.

  178. 178
    Gex says:

    @seefleur: And they did it back when no one was really willing to be on our side. Everyone’s making a fuss over Honey Maid, and they do deserve their props, but it really isn’t as big a risk and isn’t as brave a move as it was when Subaru did it with Martina.

  179. 179
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gex: Allies are allies. (Says the upper middle class, straight, white guy.)

  180. 180
    Ruckus says:

    I didn’t think you were saying anything wrong I just had never heard ass in place of asshole using so cal or nor cal for that matter, spanglish. Everyone I know who speaks spanglish uses pendejo in that context. I will also state that I have heard other slang usages for pendejo, all of which have rather less refined meanings. I think it’s somewhat in the delivery but it is never a good thing to say to someone. It is a good way to start a fight if that’s what you are looking for. Anyway it has been a interesting discussion about slang usage.

  181. 181
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I was going to say: I figure the Subaru Outback and Forester are the successors to the Volvo 240DL, the Swedish tank with a hard-to-explain cultural assocation with liberals. My mother went straight from a 240DL to a Forester. I learned to drive on one of her 240DLs, but I never really liked it: it was a bigger car than I prefer driving, and the handling always felt mushy and dissociated, like you were driving by telegraph.

    One of our cars is an Outback that we bought used several years back, but after years of being driven hard it’s starting to wear out to the point that the repair bills are mounting up, and Samantha is itching for something new. But she doesn’t like the current Outbacks; they’ve gotten bigger and evolved from more of an AWD wagon to more of an outright SUV, and they’re actually uncomfortable for her to drive (she’s a very small woman, and in many cars she has trouble reaching the pedals without the steering wheel being dangerously close). I think she’s got her eye on some models from Mazda and Nissan.

    My own commute-mobile is a Honda Fit, which I suspect will be remembered as a classic in the 2CV/Beetle line. My daughter claims it’s bigger on the inside.

  182. 182
    thalarctos (not the other one) says:

    If your Subaru has a rainbow sticker, has a black Labrador in the back, and you live in Northampton Mass–you might fit the stereotype. Otherwise, no worries.

    Thought about a Subaru myself last fall; the 4WD would come in handy in the Berkshires. Gave in to my mid-life crisis and got a GTI instead. With good snow tires, it does just fine in the winter.

  183. 183
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @Steeplejack: LOL I recall a newspaper series about an alleged Mafia figure named Sebastiano Culogrande, a name the Erie Times printed daily with nary a smirk. It’s the same in Italian as in Spanish.

  184. 184
    MC Simon Milligan says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: There were a few AWD sleeper WRC homologation cars from back in the day too. Nobody expects the Mazda 323 GTX!

  185. 185
    Bokonon says:

    My lesbian neighbors drive pickup trucks and Jeeps. No Subarus in all the years we’ve lived next to them.

  186. 186
    Andrew Pulrang says:

    I have the feeling the answer is a stupid as you might expect. Hippies + outdoorsy + popular in Blue states + popular with totebaggers = lesbians. We’re all one tribe you see, to the wingers.

  187. 187
    KevinNYC says:

    I believe I know the origin of this.

    I saw Susie Bright speaking on the book tour for her memoir

    She mentioned that Subaru was an early sponsor of the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in SF. In fact I think they may have been the sponsor on “Lesbian Night” since there were so few lesbian movies to show.

    Not knowing exactly how to advertise to this audience, they pulled a page from PT Barnum just claimed that surveys showed that more lesbians drove Subarus than any other car. She said within a year, you could see more and more lesbians driving Subarus.

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