As those of you who read “Death of a Champion” know, our recently deceased suburban lived a long and full life with our family. We were there at its conception and birth (the only car we’ve ever purchased brand spanking new) and we were there to mourn its death.
A few appropriate words were spoken at the time by the children:
“Dude, did you get all our Legos out of the back seat?”
As the tow truck carried it off to the giant wrecking yard in the sky, there was only one thought on my mind.
We were now on the inescapable, undeniable, terrifying journey into…car shopping.
You know us well enough to see that this was not a good thing.
Making decisions in our family is like the Middle East peace talks. Everyone knows it’s a good idea. Everyone shows up to the bargaining table with perfectly sincere faces and a handshake.
But you are dealing with crazy people. So don’t hold your breath.
Our family wields opinions like small firearms. And nobody ducks.
I decided to launch a pre-emptive strike and fired off the first round.
“I want a Vespa,” I declared, “a green one.”
Everyone was silent for a minute contemplating my idea.
“We can put sidecars on it if you need a ride to school.”
This was met with a great deal of eye rolling and muttering in foreign languages to each other.
“Okay, fine,” I relented, seeing that my giant SUV to tiny moped was a pretty extreme rebound, “how about we get a Mini Cooper or a VW Bug? A Jeep?”
My six foot tall and only growing taller sons were having none of it.
“Mom, we want a monster truck!” they countered, “What if we got dropped off at school in one of those?!”
Obviously they thought everything with wheels was an option, including anything made by Tonka.
“I know!” they crowed, “let’s get a limo!”
I spent a moment relishing the thought of having a plate glass barrier between myself and the passengers that not even sound would break. But a mom has her duties and I scratched their idea with the safety card.
“The only car you’ll be allowed to ride in without a seat-belt is a hearse.”
Which was also a valid idea because we used to have elderly neighbors whose granddaughter worked in Hollywood as a horror film make-up artist. She drove an old hearse as part of her shtick. It always gave me a double-take when she parked it out front.
My fearless hubby stepped forward. He wasn’t sure what kind of car we wanted yet, but he knew it wasn’t going to be red. Or black. Or yellow. Or green. He tossed out some targets.
I shot down Hummers (overcompensating much?), Prius (batteries sold separately), Camrys (yawn), Cubes (just drive a mail truck already), Volvo (a roll cage with wheels), Lexus (been there, done that), Beemers (so cliché), and what’s the difference between a sport wagon and a station wagon? Ick.
I spurned anything resembling a van (too soccer mom).
I shunned everything resembling an SUV (gas guzzlers).
And while a gi-normous Caddy reminded me of my days in the hood, there’s no possible way you could pimp that ride to entice me into buying one.
Not even in Mary Kay pink.
I was reloading when a daughter said, “Hey, get a Mustang!”
All the kids jumped on that bandwagon. Muscle cars are a big hit when we travel the roads, and I’m always asked to pull up alongside one so they can properly respect the lucky drivers.
What about a Mazarati? A Lamborghini!
Well don’t stop there, you little fantasy-land mouseketeers!
How about we get a Ferrari and call it a day?
The bottom line is that we need a taxi for the next six years that will take the abuse it deserves for not being a Lotus Elise. It needs to be economical, safe, sturdy, and dependable.
Translation=boring in the extreme.
Stay tuned as we head into the wilderness in search of transportation.
We’re armed and dangerous.
And no one is interested in negotiating.