Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Road Less Traveled

Today, just time for a couple of views of the park under snow, but with cheering skies, better light, nearer the end of winter.

And then I was off to the Honda dealership to get them to do the State inspection, a biannual affair, which you can get done for free at the official inspection stations, gah, they hate their jobs. And if the car fails inspection, you have to go to the garage, get it fixed, and then do the whole thing at the horrible inspection station over again. Simpler to pay a fee to a licensed dealer, have them inspect, fix up and be done with it.

And they have friendly people, and a waiting room with excellent choices of coffee and if you're there in the morning, good bagels with cream cheese. All in all, not bad. And now they have installed free wireless.

Red dress, snazzy hat (call me Michele, my dress designer is American) Dolliver came along, and realized that cars come from car shops! we were going to bring a new one home? maybe? what, just fix that old banger again? it's from the last century, that 99 Civic. It's not even in the blue books any more. It's got 118K miles on it! which to me, I explained, still ranks as a new car.

I have been organizing and tossing paperwork recently, and found the papers from when I traded in the previous car for the current one. Previous Dodge had 135K on it. And before that the lovely old Plymouth Horizon, which I still mourn, had 138K miles on it before I turned it in. That was in the days when they expected cars to conk out at about 90K.

Once the Horizon needed a quart of oil and a pint of tranny fluid at every gas fillup, its days were numbered. Also airbags were the new thing and people were driving as if they were immortal because of them, so I didn't fancy being crushed in my bagless Horizon, much as I loved it. I like my cars, and keep them to a fine old age. Anything less than 10 years old and it's a failure as a vehicle in this household.

Meanwhile, D was getting a bit impatient at these ruminations and dragged me over to the balcony above the sales floor, where the waiting area is.

Listen, let's look at these new ones. See those people down there, all buying new cars?

and then, look, let's take this one home

It smells lovely. The seats still have the wrappers on. What? you never buy new? what a downer you are...I pointed out that if she and the other Ds could come up with the 18K required for that nice red car, and the extra insurance, and the special assistant I would need to get out of it, it being low and sporty, which I am no longer, we could talk again. Meanwhile, we took her picture in pleading pose.

She pointed out on the way home, actually in a continuous accompaniment, that the new car had just little booklets inside and paper mats to cover up the lovely floor. Unlike the vehicle we were traveling in, which has firewood in the trunk, empty laundry baskets on the back seat to receive bags of groceries without letting them roll about, library books, a bag of waste paper, spare shoes and all the accoutrements of normal life around here.

For my part, being somewhat defensive on this score, I pointed out that in all its 118K miles, this car has never, in any weather, from zero to 100 F. failed to start and keep running in all conditions, and that sort of loyalty is to be prized.

Once home, she was heard to explain the whole thing to the other Ds, showing them her portrait, like a model on the hood of the car, that it wasn't cheapitude, it was loyalty that kept us all in this car. And I ignored all the snickers and muttered, yeah, right, heard from various Ds. But I did come back firmly with suggesting that they get an engine installed in their clubhouse, not just talk about it, and they could drive wherever they wanted...

So they all studiously turned to their library books and bridge columns and weekly Will Shortz puzzler entries, and I settled down with a knitting book, looking up darkly now and then and wondering if I could create some new, kinder, gentler Ds. But then I'm used to the grittier models we currently have. They have my cars to thank for that.


  1. Your dollivers certainly are rather a salty lot, aren't they?

  2. Those dollivers just have to learn that a car has to be lived in and look like its lived in, never mind fancy paper mats on the floor.

  3. Remind me to take the Dollivers for a spin in my Bentley sometime! ;-) They'll be thrilled to get back in your old banger again!


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