After an unfortunate car accident (for which he was not at fault), the Gentleman Motorist found himself bereft of his beloved ride and paired with a rental car not of his choosing. Like cohabitation with one’s freshman-year roommate, this turned out to be an unfortunate pairing. But being a good sport, the Gentleman Motorist is making the best of it and teaching you how to do the same. So without further ado, meet the Toyota Venza.
I. Thou Shalt Keep Thine Automobile Clean At All Times
There is nothing more distasteful than a soiled automobile. If an animal instinctively knows to lick itself clean, then a gentleman should know to wash his automobile. The automobile should be immaculate inside and out. No exceptions. There are hand-wash car detailers everywhere. Anything less is inadequate. Moreover, some of these establishments are a great place to meet fellow gentlemen motorists and discuss automobiles. One might even make a friend. The Gentleman Motorist prefers the services and company of others, but has been informed that some gentlemen take great pride and satisfaction doing it with their own hands. Besides, a gentleman does not inquire how one’s automobile is cleaned. He simply bestows a knowing nod of appreciation.
II. Thou Shalt Not Smoke In Thine Automobile
A gentleman only smokes cigars and pipes. Both of which, in moderation, are respectable forms of tobacco appreciation. Neither of which should be enjoyed in one’s automobile. The only exception to this rule is the occasional celebratory smoke after a personal triumph. But why, you ask, have I seen so many gentleman smoking in Bentley Continental convertibles? Well, dear reader, if you have seen these men in person, one would assume that you have been spending a significant amount of time in Las Vegas, Miami, or New Jersey. In which case, the Gentleman Motorist advises you to shower before you get behind the wheel of an automobile. Simply put, don’t do it. Moreover, if a one wants to sell one’s automobile, this commandment is sound financial advice.
III. Thou Shalt Not Eat In Thine Automobile
It is an automobile, not an automat. The last time I checked (about five minutes ago), no manufacturer has released a “Le Bernardin Edition” vehicle. Do not eat in an automobile. Ever.
IV. Thou Shalt Not Drink In Thine Automobile
A gentleman may drink water in his automobile. Though certain varieties of tap water, particularly those that are prone to combustion, should be avoided. Note that the water limitation of this commandment applies only to our Sterling readers because a gentleman does not drink and drive. Our Bartleby readers, however, may enjoy coffee, tea, or an alcoholic beverage in their automobiles. Indeed, certain editions of Land Rover Range Rovers and Audi A8Ls (to name a few) come equipped with refrigeration devices for Champagne. The Gentleman Motorist prefers Dom Perignon at 48°F. Though Scotch or Japanese whiskey and sometimes (in the deep South) a nice Bourbon will satisfy.
IV. Thou Shalt Not “Modify” Thine Automobile
A gentleman should be able to obtain an automobile that meets his demanding standards at the time of the initial acquisition. Having to alter one’s automobile post-purchase simply means that one has failed to select a decent vehicle in the first place. Besides, if a gentleman is that particular about his automobile, he should simply have one built to his standards in the first place. Thus, for many gentlemen motorists, the following list of unacceptable modifications will read like ancient Greek.
· Murdered out
· Any piece of equipment that begins with the words “aftermarket”
· Candy paint
· Gator seats
· Tuner parts
· Fuzzy dice
· Bobble heads
· Beaded seats
· Steering wheel covers
· Bumper stickers and decals
Like prohibited practices in the actual Bible, these forbidden acts are subject of great debate. For example, there is a perfectly valid “when in Rome” counter-argument to be made for Candy Paint if one is having an H-Town kind of day. But rest assured that adherence to even this limited list will engender the respect of your fellow gentlemen motorists. And please do not confuse “mods” like those listed above with the perfectly acceptable services of Brabus, Dinan, Alpina, designo, Touring, or other similar boutiques. Every gentleman knows that the quest for motoring perfection may require (at great expense mind you) the gifts of these talented service providers.
V. Thou Shalt Not Avoid The Valet
A gentleman motorist will often find himself patronizing establishments that offer (and sometimes require) valet services. No matter what automobile the gentleman motorist drives, the gentleman motorist will not avoid the valet. Now, please stay calm and read on. First, nothing is more unbecoming than gentleman who loves his automobile so much that he will go into fits at the thought of another person driving it. Second, the gentleman has chosen to drive his particular automobile and chosen to patronize the particular establishment. Third, a gentleman motorist is insured and has good attorney. Should any harm befall his beloved automobile at the hands of a distracted, under-aged hooligan, he may set his man upon the valet with a vengeance and demand satisfaction. Moreover, a gentleman motorist may provide the valet with a handsome tip upon arrival and insist the he be allowed to park his vehicle at the entrance of the establishment. Such tactics should be executed in a clandestine manner. One should not appear too flash.
VI. Thou Shalt Drive With Conviction
A gentleman motorist always drives in a measured and assertive manner. He uses his indicator to signal his intent and then delivers on his promise. Effete waffling is unbecoming and will draw the ire of other gentlemen motorists.
VII. Thou Shalt Not Park A Single Automobile In Multiple Parking Spaces
Taking multiple parking spaces for one vehicle is simply selfish. Moreover, such conduct will earn you the moniker of “asshat” and you will be the subject of ridicule on the internet. This commandment is not directed to those who drive BMWs. But you know who you are. It is acceptable to park a prized automobile at the far end of a parking lot or at the absolute edge of an end spot on an aisle. The key is simply to avoid inconveniencing others with selfish behavior.
VIII. Thou Shalt Not Drive A Vehicle That Belches Exhaust
Maintain your automobile. If one cannot accomplish this simple task, one has failed as motorist. Like the “asshats” who occupy multiple parking spaces, these motorists have no regard for their fellow motorists. The Gentleman Motorist is disgusted just thinking about the pulmonary and olfactory displeasure of following such a vehicle on the road. Worse still, these motorists are ruining the environment. In the simplest of words, “FIX YOUR CAR!”
IX. Thou Shalt Not Urban Cowboy
For those unfamiliar with the Urban Cowboy motorist, please allow the Gentleman Motorist to educate you. The Urban Cowboy works downtown or in an office park. The Urban Cowboy is often an attorney, accountant, doctor or other professional who has done well in his enterprise and has decided to reward himself by playing “ranch” on the weekend. In so doing, he has purchased a massive-extended cab-extended bed- tow-hitch-dually truck. This truck may or may not have truck nuts. As a consequence, the Urban Cowboy’s truck is now 30 feet long and 20 feet wide. Regardless, the Urban Cowboy lives and drives this truck in a dense urban environment. The Urban Cowboy is more likely to haul his briefcase than he is to haul a trailer full of cattle. The only bull the Urban Cowboy owns is the bull he constantly sells to fellow motorists when occupying multiple lanes on the road and multiple parking spaces in parking garages. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with the truck. These trucks are purpose-built utility vehicles and often the right tool for the right job. In contrast, the Urban Cowboy is merely a typical tool in a typical job pretending to be something else.
X. Thou Shalt Not Drive A Prius
This commandment does not prohibit one from buying a Toyota Prius specifically. In fact, there are perfectly good uses of the Prius. Indeed, it is rumored that the DEA uses Prii as camouflage when conducting operations in SOMA and Park Slope. And while this commandment does not prohibit one from acquiring an alternative fuel vehicle (a perfectly noble pursuit), it does prohibit one from rubbing it in everyone’s face. In their quest to lower emissions, these motorists have grown to love the scent of their personal emissions. A gentleman may look down his nose at many things, but his fellow man is not one of them. Not everyone can afford a Prius. Not everyone drives enough to recoup the premium charged to own a Prius. And not everyone shares your messianic devotion to a puttering P.O.S. We can all love the environment without buying your preferred tree-hugging transporter. A BMW is one type of status symbol. The Prius is merely another. Choose wisely.
 The Gentleman Motorist is familiar with the concept of double-entendre.
 Any other form of smoking is not a subject of polite conversation.
 The Gentleman Motorist has also been informed that such Bentley-cigar-chomping motorists have recently been spotted in Philadelphia. He is not surprised.
 The Gentleman Motorist is not inclined to believe that hydraulic fracking can lead to combustible water. But one can never be too careful.
 These “chillers” could be used for sparkling wines as well. A gentleman knows the difference and would feel silly offering someone “sparkling wine.” I suppose one could chill any beverage in these devices, but the sight of chilled Champagne in one’s automobile trumps all other offerings. The Gentleman Motorist assumes that that cigar chomping Bentley motorist keeps Grey Goose vodka in his automobile.
 If one must inquire, one is welcome to use an internet search engine. Any search engine should suffice, but the Urban Dictionary may be required for the more esoteric items.
 This category also includes window stickers. For instance, a sticker of Calvin urinating on anything or stickers of your family (with pets). The former is the epitome of insecurity and the later a road map for child abduction. Think about it. But those stickers that grant one entrance to exclusive destinations are allowed. If you have to ask, you are not a gentleman motorist.
 $20.00 should suffice. That said, if the entrance is already festooned with Ferraris and Lamborghinis, know that valet has read Adam Smith’s magnum opus and will extract maximum value for the real estate. Be prepared to pay more. As a general matter, nothing less than $2.00 is acceptable for services properly rendered. Coins are verboten. If one does not have cash (which many gentlemen cannot be bothered with), then one should make arrangements with the establishment prior to claiming one’s automobile from the valet.
 If one is in Las Vegas, Miami, or New Jersey, one cannot appear too flash and should make a show of this transaction by unveiling a bulging money clip and deliberately dispensing the compensation. The Gentleman Motorist finds this conduct to be unsavory but also knows how business is done.
 BMW drivers.
 This commandment encompasses the subject of parking in handicapped or expectant mother parking when one does not qualify under either designation. Those BMW drivers are “supreme asshats.”
 These measurements are accurate because … science.
 The Gentleman Motorist does not generally object to rubbing it in someone’s face as long as one has obtained the consent of the participating adult in advance. See note 1 above.
 Trey Parker and Matt Stone have more than adequately addressed this phenomenon in the “Smug Alert” episode of South Park.
A Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I.
But this is supposed to be an article. So let’s roll up our sleeves to a Troy-Patterson-approved length and get into it, shall we?