The Espresso Shot (#013)
by Christopher Malone - Thursday, July 31st, 2014

It’s time to go car shopping, Central New York!

The topic of cars are still fresh, it’s time to talk shop about the chore of picking out a new vehicle. My car was determined “totaled,” that two-syllable word that no one wants to hear, but it’s the ripping the band-aid right off. No one enjoys having to feel that sickening feeling while wading in that two-second pool of silence for a breath-pulling number.

The collision shop owner, as always, comes doctor style and looks over his eyeglasses at you, telling you there was nothing that could be done. My trunk was a disaster on top of it, a lot of things shifted and shattered. Good thing my alliance does not lie with organized crime.  [Insert nervous laugh.] That’d be an interesting time explaining where those bodies came from.

Well, this is getting morbid. Let’s just move on.

Nothing Beats a Big Wheel

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The fun part is actually looking at the cars, but you have to go through a roadblock first: the salesmen. I’ve never dealt with a saleswoman, so this is stereotyped to the guys.

We have the guys in suits and the guys in polo or golf shirts, like they are ready to get in the car for a front nine during lunch. (Oh, you know you do.) Usually the guys in polo/golf shirts are wearing more noticeable jewelry: necklaces, bulbous rings, Flavor Flav favorable faces on their watches that can do anything except teleport them to new dimensions. (Chew on that, Sam Beckett.) However, the suit wearers are usually swimming in the attire, and they will still don the glitz. We know, guys, that you roll in the dough. Aren’t you trying to level with us?

Audacity? Yeah, the salesmen have that as well. After dealing with a guy around my age, who was actually very helpful, a middle-aged gentleman stepped in and insinuated that we could use the kid’s card as a toothpick. Dude, there is no way you’re taking this guy’s commission (if I buy) from him. Over my dead body.

“And speaking of dead bodies, this trunk has such wonderful space.”

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***

There is an attachment to our vehicles, and the eight-year relationship with my sedan was noticeable; I was a bit upset. The next step is moving on. But how? What do you look for? How easily can the new vehicle replace the former? There are big tires to fill. (Not really, actually. It was a sedan for cryin’ out loud.)

Reliability is important. Gas mileage is key. Overall safety in the vehicle. When you live where we do, how the car handles in the snow is a factor not to oversee. The Corolla was not so great in the snow, but it was economically suitable and environmentally friendly. MPG was clutch. Aside the airbags not deploying upon impact, my person was left unscathed aside a few sore spots. Should there have been a person in the back of my car, however; there is no certainty.

Other questions to ask?

  • Is this vehicle suitable for a road trip?
    Reality: Do you want to be seen in this vehicle, seriously? This includes the commute to and from work.
  • How’s the gas mileage?
    Reality:  The higher the number, the wider the smile, the more Mother Nature nurtures me, the more karma on my shoulders.
  • Does the vehicle fit your music tastes?
    Reality: I love my parents’ Jeep Wrangler. It’s awesome for bands like G. Love, Slightly Stoopid, Every Time I Die, Umphrey’s McGee, Foo Fighters, The Shins, Led Zeppelin, Beck, BoySetsFire, Red Fang, and — dare it be said? — Dave Matthews Band. It’s been odd playing some oldies-oldies, classical and jazz. Something doesn’t feel right. A vehicle should be comfortable for all of your genres of music.However, there is always the option to go with the used BMW, Benz, Jaguar, or any other car driven by a yuppie. But playing jazz or classical in those cars is like wearing the T-shirt of the band or event you’re attending.
  • Muppets. Are there any?
    Reality: There isn’t room for boring, and they should come with any vehicle regardless what make they are pushing. Statler and Waldorf would be the best backseat companions for any occasion. I don’t care what you say. My other picks would be Sweetums and Bobo the Bear. Pepe the Prawn and Crazy Harry would be perfect hatchback Muppets.
  • Tires? How good are they?
    Reality: Seriously. We have had massive rainstorms lately. We get snowflakes times infinity. How will my tires handle the elements? If debris is accidentally driven over, can the tires withstand the nails and sharp wood pieces? If some unruly characters that my Italian mother doesn’t want me hanging around with are after me: Will sharp turns be able to be made safely?
  • Bleach? Will it cause any change in the trunk?
    Reality: Hey, look at the time. Where did you get that watch of yours?

***

With all that said. I’ll never forget my first Big Wheel.

‘The Espresso Shot’ by Christopher Malone is served every Thursday as a compliment to The Inevitable Coffee Ring (Tuesdays)

The Inevitable Coffee Ring

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