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7:54 a.m. - 2011-10-07
Shake it up, baby.

Sometimes you just have to DO something. You know, shake things up. Bust stuff loose. Put a little cosmic WD-40 on your life and give it a couple hard turns to the right. I've been patient long enough waiting for this current run of yuck, grubbiness, and bullshit to pass.

So yesterday I got a new car.

Yes. Really.

Leased one, actually. Swapped Mick's (useless to us as a family vehicle) truck for a 2012 Ford Focus SEL 5-door. The lease is fully paid for up front. I wrangled extra miles and a full service plan into the lease. And walked away with not only the car but a hefty chunk of change too. When the lease is over we will be in a much better place to make a more longterm plan for our vehicles. For the duration though we have a gorgeous new car. A safe, clean, comfortable car that except for gas and insurance I don't have to put another dime into. For years.

Mick is over the moon. Driving semi-broken pieces of crap is a lifestyle for me, but Mick doesn't do deprivation very well. Just a wee bit spoiled by a lifetime of nice cars and nothing like kids or a house to get in the way of his barging into a dealership every few years waving his checkbook and begging to be reamed with it. So Mick whose life isn't worth living without a snazzy car is all grins. Delighted with the new ride and its sunroof, leather, and NASA-worthy electronics. LA the cheapskate is all grins over negotiating a very good deal that all parties are happy with. The dealership got a very sellable trade-in, our salesperson gets a modest commission and she'll get a nice bonus when I send in the customer review. Wolf is happy because Mom is happy and the backseat has legroom to spare even if he grows another 10 inches. (It's possible, he's got plenty of tall DNA and may well end up topping both his father and brother.) Even my old Escort is happy, relieved of the burden of being the main family car and can now spend its golden years doing nothing more arduous than hauling my butt to Shoprite and the farmer's market. The rest of the time it can sit quietly beneath the maple tree, dreaming whatever dreams old econo-box cars do. Perhaps it pretends it's a Porsche or fantasizes about going to the car wash for the super-deluxe package with the simonizing and tire scrub.

After all the recent computer trauma my poor noggin wasn't up for an extensive intro to all the electronic doo-dads, but my phone is synched in already and I can do that cool thing where I flip a lever and direct the car to call somebody without ever taking my hands off the wheel or my eyes off the road. I know, jeeze, welcome to the 21st century, LA. But to someone whose other car has a cassette player and the windows are cranked by hand, telling the new car to call Pizza Hut and order dinner is just too Knight Rider to be blase about.

I do have an appointment with the doo-dad teacher. A service tech dedicated solely to teaching newbies how to use all the fancy gizmos. He even comes to the house and I can try to get the hang of the NASA stuff in the comfort of my own driveway. A huge bonus for this technophobe.

Why a new car? Why not? I'm sick to death of waiting for my life to be in a good enough place to start having nice things. Besides, I didn't buy a yacht. I got a sweet little family car with an excellent safety rating and great gas mileage. It's not the Lincoln hybrid I lusted for, but it's still a damn sight nicer than anything I've ever owned before. And it's only the second brand new car I've ever had. If not now then when? My idiot practicality did me out of a wedding, a honeymoon, my trip to England, pretty much everything that wasn't strictly necessary. So screw it. I'm old, fat and the most obscure least sucessful writer on the planet. The nicest thing I ever got for myself before this was a new stove. A fucking stove. All the better to serve, my dear. May I saute something for you?

Be smart if I did a little living before I die, eh? This lovely new car is a good start.


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