Saturday, June 26, 2010

In A Funk or My New Car

I have been in a funk of late - at least since the Car Club Invitational event and its aftermath.  Maybe even before that, not sure.  As I'm melancholy by nature the change is subtle, and not easy to identify.   It is a strange depression, tinged with boredom, like something is missing.  Sometimes I want to crawl out of my skin; or cry; or be angry.  It seems there is no rest, like I'm spinning wheels and getting nowhere. I suspect there is a "spiritual" dimension to it (and I use the term for lack of a less loaded alternative).  It seems that there is no real spirituality left in religion of any brand; this is unsettling in itself; so I find no receptacle or conduit for that "spiritual" dimension.  Maybe it stems from the Great Oil Spill and what it symbolizes for me about our ultimate inability to control our destiny or to help ourselves, like watching a real live Greek tragedy.   The fact that we are somewhere in the delicate balance between poverty and comfort also causes anxiety - and the fact that we can spend money we don't yet have and very likely never will have is scary.  So this is where I'm at as we were still looking at cars last week.

As I stated before, I despised the Prius I took over from  Leon after I wrecked my Mazda.  I was resigned to driving it for the rest of my life, but swore at the car and its designers every time I drove it.  So Leon made me look at alternatives.  We decided to check out the Honda Fit.

To make a story short, I liked it.  It felt like coming home. I dreaded the buying procedure.  After an hour and a half and still not getting close to our bottom line with a trade-in allowance (mainly telling us the Prius was in "good" rather than "excellent" condition but their definition was there in black and white  and the Prius was a hair away from "excellent"), the manager says "Let me check one more thing" and runs off to his office.  Why didn't he "check one more thing" an hour ago?  Well, that didn't get us to our price either. I reached my emotional limit and apologized for taking his time and said we are obviously looking at a car that's out of our budget (the Fit is one of the least expensive new cars) and we left.  When we got home and found a phone message from the dealer...it turns out that he had met our bottom line.

So, a trade-in of the Prius and a small home equity loan got me a new Honda Fit Sport with manual transmission.  With a 3 year Honda warrantee plus a 1 year Dealer extension.  Plus some extras and options. Like floor mats, a hatch cover.  Like a "personal assistant" that I'm looking forward to using somehow.  It has real knobs, buttons and dials for the radio and heat/air condition.  It has a fuel gage I can see.  It has comfortable seats and great visibility.

Can we afford it?  I really don't know.  The price of this car is what some people make in a month, what others make in a day, what some make in an hour, what I make in 9 months, if I'm lucky.  The Prius was out of warranty and we know any potential repairs would be expensive.  The Fit should be good for 4 years under warranty and then another 10 after that.  Then Leon will be taking my keys away anyway.

Now, when I get into the driver's seat, instead of swearing at Toyota's stupid accouterments, I find myself whispering to myself, like Brick in the TV show "The Middle", sotto il voce: "It's so much nicer, it's so much nicer".






As the oil gushes into the sea, we are all gushing mini oil-spills and the products of combustion into the environment.  Every time we change our oil, fill our tanks, buy a plastic product, turn on a light, turn up the thermostat, crank up the air conditioning, throw trash into the dump, dispose of a computer, flush prescription drugs down the toilet or excrete their un-metabolized remnants into the sewer system, use Roundup or Weed and Feed, the list goes on.... So, here I am contributing to the problem, rather than being part of the solution.  Despite composting, recycling, drying clothes on the line, growing vegetables...I'm thinking there is no solution.  

5 comments:

Russ Manley said...

Well sir, if you ain't gonna get you no truck, that shore is a cool lookin' little mo-chine ya picked out. Purty color too. Looks like lotsa fun, enjoy it pardner.

Just one question though - where does the wind-up key go?

Grin.

truthspew said...

Huh, I didn't know you could still get a car with a standard transmission.

They can be a blast to drive but I got cured of that when I was doing Providence to Boston and back again. Getting stuck on the lower deck of I-93 for over an hour coming home meant my left leg was getting quite the workout.

FDeF said...

Russ, Ha! We will be taking it to South Carolina in a few weeks and we are terrified. If Leon's mom sends us to that country store for bread, we will have to park it out of sight.

And, Truth, if I were still commuting daily I would have gotten the Automatic. As it happens, god is punishing me with a flare-up of gout, which means I can't clutch for at least a few days. I probably should have thought of that.

Russ Manley said...

Aw Frank what you talkin' bout son, them ol' boys in Cah'lina ain't gonna bother you none. Just like wasps, you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone.

Specially if you stick a couple of these on your little flivver there:

http://www.dixiegeneral.com/webdoc2.htm

FDeF said...

Hum...them stickers don't come in "rainbow".

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