I Met the First Subaru Outback Driver That Isn’t a Treehugger

A green 2022 Subaru Outback is shown from the front in front of a tree after leaving a Subaru Outback dealer.

You’ve probably heard the rumors, murmurs, and jokes; Subaru Outback drivers are all total tree-hugging, granola-munching, PETA-loving hippies. Traditionally, if you pulled into the vendors’ parking area of a Farmer’s Market or natural clothing flea market, it would look like the lot of a Subaru Outback dealer. One woman was tired of the stigma and wanted to prove once and for all that not all Outback drivers fit this description.

Carol Hargrove, an Outback driver, invited me to her home in Lake Havasu to give me a little taste of a day in her life, show me her home, and prove that Subaru Outback drivers can be “like everyone else,” as she put it. I pulled up to her seemingly normal suburban home with a large American flag in the front yard next to a massive pickup truck (her husband’s, she explained). Hargrove met me on the front lawn with two koozies, one for her and one for me, cradling ice-cold Bud Lights. Hargrove herself wore yoga pants and a Bebe tank top.

Truly, all did appear to be very non-treehugger, as Hargrove had promised. However, as the tour began, some things struck me as odd. Hargrove noticed her neighbor watering his lawn during what I knew to be the hours that residents had specifically been mandated not to do so to conserve water. And I could have sworn I saw a tear roll down her cheek, but she quickly covered it up with her giant Oakley sunglasses. “Stupid watering rules,” Hargrove said to her neighbor. “Climate change isn’t even real, everyone knows that.” Her voice cracked mid-sentence.

We moved into Hargrove’s kitchen, where she had a large roast in the oven. “We just can’t get enough red meat around here,” said Hargrove. “Yup, meat, meat, meat. We love murdering innocent animals who did nothing wrong to us and…um…HAHAHA. Let’s show you the bedroom.” Something certainly seemed amiss. Hargrove appeared to be coming undone, but I wanted to continue our tour.

In her bedroom, I was instantly greeted by a giant deer’s head over the bed, and skins and furs made up every carpet, comforter, and throw blanket in sight. “Hunting is a lost art, don’t ya think?” said Hargrove. She excused herself to use the restroom, and I couldn’t help but investigate. I flipped over a tag of the seemingly normal fur blanket; it read “Polyester/synthetic.” I quickly hopped on the bed and tapped the nose of the deer’s head. Plastic! My spidey senses were going off, so I did what any true journalist would. I barged into the bathroom where Hargrove was, and that’s where I saw it…

Hargrove was washing her hands with recycled water collected from her own homemade water filtration system. Shoved into the shower, as if to be hidden, were knitted dream catchers, a hemp duvet cover, and sustainable potted succulents. “You ARE a tree hugger!” I exclaimed.
Just then, Hargrove’s dog ran in, pulled at her pant legs playfully, accidentally ripping off her Lululemons to expose…the hairiest legs you’d ever seen on a woman.

“Don’t look at me!” Hargrove screamed! It was all becoming clear. I snagged her drink and tore off the koozie to find…an organic Matcha flaxseed drink inside. “That’s not a Bud Light….” And at that moment, from the driveway came a voice. “Can I take my truck back now?” I looked out the window. It was Hargrove’s neighbor. “I don’t know why but she asked me to park it in her driveway for the afternoon,” he shrugged. And as he drove off, his antenna snagged the American flag, pulling it down to reveal one flag hidden beneath. The PETA Flag.

“I…I….I just wanted the stigma to stop!” cried Hargrove. “But I do love granola and trees and saving the planet and animals, and, yes, goddammit, I’m a vegan! The roast in the oven is fake.” A tiger can’t change his stripes, nor can a Subaru Outback owner, it turns out. Luckily, Hargrove was able to cry directly into her water filtration system for reuse later.


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