Wednesday, April 02, 2008

During this past month, I got a new car. I also got a new computer not so long ago. Seems perhaps preposterous that during a period of precarious professional positioning, I’m purchasing possessions like I got pockets puffed up with plenty of pesos. I’ll probably have to pay the piper before any alliteration does, but what the hell.

Besides, my lease was up and I kept extending it because I was procrastinating on researching new vehicles. I considered the fact that now that I didn’t have to take my mom around and haul her wheelchair into a big trunk, I could get that a little sporty convertible, or hey! A big ol’ hoopty, hittin’ da switches and cruising the ‘hood.

Who am I kidding? Mid-life crisis-mobile, during Mideast oil dependency crisis? Not to mention mechanical mishaps? Changing a flat tire and replacing transmission fluid is the extent of my automotive knowledge. I’ve always believed that reliable cars may not look so cool, but neither does standing by your sweet ride on the side of the road while you wait for a tow truck.

I went back to the local dealer just to check out the newer model of the simple sedan I have now. The guy who gave me the test drive was mellow, but his boss started in with the sales tactics. He told me he could take my old car, dings and dents and all, give me a lease for the same period and price as my last car. Great. Let’s do it, I said.

Then of course, they leave me waiting forever, until they finally roll out my spanking new set of wheels, and that’s when he starts to finagle the finances. “Well, you see, the lease company can’t allow that price, but my friend, maybe if you make just slightly higher payments…”

I was annoyed, but stayed calm and decided to play his game. I told him to wait, that I was gonna look into this, see how the numbers worked out and then, “my friend”, I would get back to him. A little while later, I handed him a piece of paper with what I was willing to do. I didn’t want to make higher lease payments, but I’d give him a hundred bucks more right then and there, and make the period of the lease three months more. He probably thought that was a good deal, but for me, it made no difference. A C-note wasn’t gonna set me back, and neither did ninety extra days. I’d undoubtedly put off getting a new car when the lease is up anyway.

And the best part of this is that I didn’t have to fix all the ding-dang dented damage I had done. I had gone through this at the end with my last car, and though I knew a good cheap body shop, I’m all for avoiding hassle. So no more scraping curbs or reckless turns in tight spots with the new car.

Less than two weeks with it, I misjudged the space while parallel parking and put a little dent right in the front wheel well. Dammit. Oh well, figures I had to christen that baby sometime.


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