White Wrangler Rubicon. Lifted, big tires, big off-road-style spare carrier bolted across the back, snorkel snaking its way up the right side A pillar, and fender flares removed.
Flawless white paint everywhere, no dirt on it even inside the fender wells...and I just about laughed my balls off.
This is something I've been seeing a lot, lately: people in new Jeep Wranglers fitted with all sorts of off-road gear. Fenders removed and rock guards in their place. Snorkels.
Do you know what would happen to a 2018 Jeep Rubicon if you drove it into water deep enough that it needed that idiotic snorkel? Even assuming that the engine would otherwise stay running while surrounded by water, it would still cough a couple of times and die as water shorted out the friggin' computer, that's what, because it takes a lot of effort to make a waterproof electrical harness and I can guarantee that Jeep didn't spend the money to do that. You're not talking a few bucks per unit but a few hundred bucks per unit, because there are a lot of wires and plugs in a modern vehicle, and enough of them would have to be waterproof (not just "weather-resistant") that it would get spendy fast.
Addendum: To say nothing of the fact that after you've driven through that river, your entire interior is sopping wet. Good luck getting that new-car smell back. End addendum.
One thing that happens to any vehicle driven off-road is that it accumulates dings pretty quickly. I mean, you don't go rock crawling, then go to the car wash and your rig comes out looking brand new again. You can take your truck on a couple of mild trails in an off-road park and not end up distressing the finish, but you don't need the kind of gear these weiners have to do that--in fact, you could probably handle a mild off-road trail in a 1995 Escort with snow tires.
Let's face it: we're talking about a $35,000 vehicle, here. There are very, very few people in this world who will take a brand-new vehicle like that and subject it to the rigors of actual off-road use. I will allow that people do exist who would buy a new Jeep and take it out wheeling, then come home and count the dings and scratches and smugly consider how much fun he had--but those people are by far and away in a very, very tiny minority. And the liklihood that everyone I am seeing is like that, and the vehicle is in the brief period between purchase and first off-road excursion, is so vanishingly small that Occam's Razor tells me a different tale.
These people are posers.
So put the damned fender flares back on and quit acting like you're some kind of rugged outdoorsman. It's too late to do anything about the snorkel--you need to cut a hole in the bodywork to run that shit through--but the least you could do is stop being a dumbass.
* * *
Aaaand power failure while I was writing this--looked out front and saw a power company bucket truck already there, guy lowering himself after pulling all three line fuses. Weird and unusual enough that I put on shoes and went outside to go ask WTF was going on; it developed that there was some kind of situation that required them to pull power for about half an hour.
Came back inside to shut down the computers, and my UPS died just as I reached for the mouse. *sigh* Thank God Livejournal auto-saves drafts.
Anyway, juice back on, all is well again.
But I'm going to look into getting a new battery for my UPS.