Living on an island, a closed environment of sorts, one begins to notice certain similarities between other residents. One of the most visible is the quintessential "Island Car". What is an Island car, you ask? An Island car is a type of car that seems to just be everywhere on the island.
Island trucks are different than Island cars. An Island truck is a beat up, rusty, moldy, dirty pickup truck, with at least one eccentricity. The Island truck may have holes in the floorboards, or no bumpers, or might be missing a gear or two. There may be 3 different brands/ sizes of tires on an Island truck. The main feature of an Island truck is it's inherent unreliability. It's an Island truck because you don't dare take it off the island -- it might not make it back.
Island cars, on the other hand, are normal cars, it's just that you tend to see a lot of this type of car on the island. For a long time, the Island car of choice was the Volvo Station Wagon, preferably in purple.
Volvo station wagons have been surpassed in commonality now by those ugly Honda Elements, usually in olive green. You laugh, but I couldn't remember what Honda's name for the car was, so I typed "Ugly Honda" into Yahoo, and sure enough...
The Honda Element is not the exclusive Island car, though. There is another type of car that is catching up, or surpassing the (shiver) Element in numbers. That is the Toyota Prius. You can rely upon Islanders trying to be green, although we are so rural that the Prius is actually not a very green choice for us.
I know, I can hear you saying "Why don't you think the Prius is a good idea for the Island?" The main advantages of the Prius are that is gets good gas mileage, and it reclaims a large amount of it's braking energy. As far as good gas mileage, there are a lot of cars that get better gas mileage, particularly in rural areas. You just won't do enough braking on the Island to make the regenerative braking pay off in the long run. You are carrying around too much weight in batteries. Also, the cost and difficulty of reclaiming the (toxic) materials in the batteries is very high. The Prius is a good choice for a city commuter, but not for our island highways and byways.
Whidbey Island and cars. Of course.