Sunday, December 7, 2008

562nd Post - The Story Behind the Car

It wasn't supposed to happen.

I was taking a vacation day on Friday to take my 2002 Malibu in for its near-annual undercoating. There is a car dealership across the street from where the undercoating was taking place. My father and I know the sales manager, and he wanted to show me some cars.

I had been hemming and hawing over a new car purchase for months. I was thinking about a Vibe, because it offers more storage space. I decided against one, however, because there was no trunk, and I don't like it when people can just look in and see what I got in there.

Anyway, my dad and I had an hour to kill. We thought we'd go over and talk to Richard at least.

He greeted us and wanted to show me some cars. The first one was the 2008 Grand Prix. The next one was an '08 Malibu, the car of the year. The third one was an '07 Malibu, white.

I don't want a white car. Can't imagine why anyone would want one. It was easy to dismiss it. The other malibu looked nice, but it was a four cylinder, and I am used to six. I asked to see the Grand Prix again, and Richard invited my dad and me to go for a test drive. Yes, we are trusted enough to go for a test drive without having a staff person accompany us.

The car handled smoothly. It still had that new car smell. It was a pleasure to drive. The interior was fine, even if there was a little too much plastic in it for my taste. There was plenty of pep. Over all, I loved it.

By the time we got back to the dealership, about half past the hour, I had decided I wanted the car. We crunched some numbers, and Richard asked for some information about my car. It was finished its undercoating by then, so I traipsed back to the autobody place and got it out of hock, returning with it to the dealership and retrieved the information Richard requested. He introduced me to the business manager, and we submitted the loan request. This was around 10:15.

Dad and I had to go to the grocery store to get some stuff, so we didn't return back to their house until around 11:30. My cell rang, and it was the sales manager to tell me that the loan request had been approved! They were going to install something called diamondkote to prevent corrosion on the car (in theory, that is), so the car wouldn't be ready until 3:30 or so, according to Richard. I called my insurance broker and gave her the v.i.n. on the Grand Prix, making me legal to drive it right away, had lunch, and proceeded to clear out my car. It took a while, unfortunately, but at least I finally found the rest of that pastrami sandwich I had begun to eat in September.

I still had 3/4 of a tank of gas in the Malibu, and I wanted to burn as much of it that afternoon as I could before surrendering the vehicle to Richard at 3:30. Dad and I ran some more errands until 3pm, before we dropped off those things at the house and we began that final trip in the Malibu.

Arrived at the dealership when we were supposed to, and I began signing my life away. I have often hypothesized how the acquisition of debt might be best accompanied by physical discomfort. The bigger the debt, the more pain you receive. It would make us all think twice, even thrice, about buying something on credit.

Eventually, I had signed everything I had to. Richard showed me some stuff on the car, including the fact that it has on*star! That is pretty slick, and I am already wondering, two days in, how I could have got along without this excellent feature all these years.

Dad and I drove to the bank, to pay off the old loan, and went home for dinner. That evening, he and I visited my sister, the one who reads this blog, and I took her for a ride in it.

Saturday, I took my mother for a ride in it as well, as I took her shopping. We left around 9:15 and I didn't return from the final part of the shopping until around 4:30.

Took Patricia in the car last night. Everyone loves the car!

And to think it all began with a simple undercoating.

More in a moment.


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