"So, flowers in Volkswagen Beetles. What's that all about?", a question I might ask if I was still doing stand-up, which I'm not. Also, there's not a lot of funny material you can add after that, but it's something that annoys me for no other reason that I hate cute things like flowers in Volkswagen Beetles.
I've not got a great deal of love for the new Beetle. It's nothing like the old Nazi classic, built and sold by Nazis as a symbol of Nazism in an age of Nazi expansion. Nazis. The new version is a big, luxurious impersonation of the Nazi Beetle, and – to the horror of classic Nazi car lovers – they stuck the engine at the front instead of the back. It is, in fact, a VW Golf with a different-shaped body and a flower holder by the steering wheel.
What's that all about?
You'll probably see one today, unless you live in a country that has banned cars that are based on Nazi classics, and there's a 95% chance it will have a bloody great artificial flower jammed in the blumenvasen supplied for said purpose.
I've taken the opportunity to find out why the vase exists, and what motivates people to drive around like they're Morrissey on his way home from filling up at his local Tesco petrol station, and there seem to be many theories.
- To appeal to female drivers (True, it turned out 60% of VW Beetle drivers are female, so they removed the flower holder in later models)
- To appeal to male drivers who like artificial flowers and hate to see one of the car's extras go to waste
- To add some hippy "flower power", an echo from the 1960s when the beautiful people drove Nazi Beetles
- To commemorate Nazi death camp victims (way to make me feel guilty, random discussion forum poster, even if you did end your post with the word "LOL")
In fact, blumenvasen have been a thing almost as long as there have been cars. If there's one explanation that appeals to an ageing cynic such as myself, it's that they exist "to mask the smell of the chauffeur".
However, there is one which – to me –holds the most water. It's to annoy those of us who hate cute things like flowers in Volkswagen Beetles. Also, people who are always right all along. Damn you Volkswagen Beetle Flowers.