Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Talk is Jeep

If anyone ever asks you for the price of stupidity, the answer is this:

$161.24 plus tax and labor.

I'll explain how I arrived at this figure in just a little while but to fully understand the situation, we must start at the beginning.

Not Theresa's truck, but it makes the point better.
About a year or so ago, Theresa's truck, a Ford F-150, decided that it no longer wanted to remain operational.  I would go into more detail about this, but after the McRib fiasco, I sort of promised Theresa that I'd stop writing things that she might find embarrassing, no matter how true or utterly hilarious they were.  So we're going to leave it at, "the truck broke."

Anyway, instead of rushing into a new vehicle, Theresa decided to save up for something really nice and in the meantime we'd just make do with the cars we had.

The plan worked perfectly, and just last weekend, we went out car shopping.

Smart Car, aka truck without the bed.
Theresa's first instinct was to buy a new truck.  She liked the look, and after all, trucks are rugged.  The problem is, we don't really need a truck.  For years, back when the F-150 was running, I thought that she had far more vehicle than she really needed.  The cab was a little crowded, and we hardly ever used the truckish features, which basically transformed the F-150 into a gas-guzzling Smart Car.

Ironically, right after her truck shuffled off the mortal coil, we moved into a new house.  How convenient it would've been to have a truck to help carry our belongings across town.  Also, for the past year, we've been landscaping our back yard with decorative rock.  We probably could've carried 20-30 bags at a time in a sturdy vehicle such as, I don't know, a Ford pickup, but we no longer had one.  Do you know how many bags of rock you can carry in the trunk of a 2008 Chrysler Sebring?


To sum up, when we had a truck we didn't need it, and when we needed it we didn't have it.  And now that we'd finished everything we could possibly need a truck for, Theresa decided to go a different direction.

So we looked at Jeeps.  Some with four doors, some with two.  Some were used and some were new.  Jeeps in red and tan and blue.  We think Jeeps are cool, do you?

Sorry about that, kind of got lost on Mulberry Street for a minute.

After a bit of Jeep-browsing, Theresa decided on a four-door silver Wrangler Sport with a removable roof, outstanding stereo system including XM radio, lots of bells and whistles.  In fact, it was only lacking in one feature.

This particular Jeep did not have automatic locks and windows.

To most people, this wouldn't be much of a sticking point.  Sure, it's a little inconvenient to actually use a key to unlock your doors, and manually rolling windows down is primitive to the point of absurdity, but still.  It was a pretty cool Jeep, so you'd think these minor details could be overlooked.

And you, my friend, would be very, very wrong.

Theresa wasn't having any of it.

Theresa: Is there any way we could get the automatic windows installed?

Salesman: Sure, it usually runs an extra fifteen hundred dollars.  We could build that into your deal.

Me: For five hundred, you can poke me on the shoulder and I'll roll the window down for you.

Theresa (ignoring me): Do you have any Jeeps with automatic windows and locks?

Salesman: Of course.

So we looked at some more Jeeps.  None of which were even remotely close to our price range.  But they did have automatic windows and locks.  And leather interior, GPS systems, stuff like that.

Back in the negotiating room, the salesman had met our requirement for the monthly payments on the original, prehistoric, non-automatic window Jeep.

Salesman: So we're back to the windows and locks.

Me: Theresa.  This is an awesome deal.  We can live with the windows and locks.

Theresa: Who's side are you on here, anyway?

Me: Yours.  I want you to have the car you want.

Theresa: I don't want to feel like I'm settling, though, this is still a lot of money.

Salesman: Okay, what if I could get your locks and windows installed for this same price?

Theresa (pauses . . . looks at me . . . then back at the salesman): Then we would have a deal.

And with that, Theresa got exactly what she wanted.  She deserved it.

All of which brings us back to the price of stupidity.

At our house, we have a two car garage which, up to this point, has been a one-car-and-a-whole-lot-of-other-crap garage.  Not wanting to park her new Jeep in the driveway, where it could be defiled by lawn sprinklers, low-flying birds, or neighbors who have limited control of what their lawnmowers run over and send flying all the hell over the neighborhood (I'm looking at YOU, Walt from Next Door), Theresa suggested that we organize the garage to make room for both of our vehicles.

So we did.

The next morning, I started backing ever-so-slowly out of the garage.  This was a dangerous task for two reasons:

1. I'm not real good at driving in reverse.
2. It was six in the morning and I was really Goddamn tired.

I carefully looked over my right shoulder, because the last thing I wanted to do was to scrape, bump, or smash the Jeep.  As I inched my way backward, out of the corner of my ear I heard a loud crunch, which sounded an awful lot like a driver's side mirror getting ripped off by the door frame of a garage.

Which, coincidentally, is precisely what it was.

$161.24 is what a side view mirror for a 2008 Chrysler Sebring costs.

As I said earlier, plus tax and labor.



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Kelley said...

This was so entertaining! I laughed many times. You are do right about trucks practically being smart cars.

Kev D. said...

Seems steep for a mirror... couldn't you just duct ta it back on?

Or duct tape any mirror to the side?

Frank Lee MeiDere said...

Brilliant piece. Again.

Skinny said...

Funny. I did that once. Only once.

Eva Gallant said...

$161.00 shouldn't be a problem with all the cash you've got coming to you from Nigeria! If you ever need parts, tires, or accessories for the jeep, check out my son's online business www.4x4groupbuy.com

He has a store in Auburn, Maine, but does tons of business on line.

Suldog said...

That's so often the way, isn't it? We get so caught up in not doing one bad thing we do another inadvertently. I'm sure this could all be tied up into a neat theological bow of some sort, if you ever have a desire to crack that market :-)

Jonah Gibson said...

We lent our station wagon to my sister-in-law because she had her Honda in the shop for some electrical work. My wife took my PT Cruiser out on some errands (mostly buying stuff at Hobby Lobby and Michael's that we will sell in the original packaging several years hence at a garage sale) Along the way she managed to rip the front bumper cover off. It's now held on with duct tape. I need to blog this, but I have a similar arrangement with my wife about blogging stuff that would be embarrassing to her, so I'll just have to publish it here, surreptitiously, as a comment. Thanks for providing a forum.

Mich said...

I feel prehistoric now, with my manual locks and windows. But I wanted the bright red car, and that was the only one they had within 300 miles of the local Toyota dealership...

Hope you're doing well with your Jeep! The Wranglers are pretty good cars. Stay the heck away from the Grand Cherokees, though. They're pure evil.


MikeWJ said...

I guess you ought to be happy that you didn't tear the mirror off the Sebring and the Jeep. That's how I would've done it.

ReformingGeek said...

Sideview mirrors have a desire to become with with things - just about anything will do.

Loved the post!

So. Cal. Gal said...

When I bought my 1st "brand spankin' new" car in 1998, the salesman looked at me like I'd lost my mind.


Because I did NOT want power locks or windows. My dad's car had both and one window was frozen 1/2 way open so he had to tape it in rainy weather.

11 years later, I'm still driving that car...and loving my non-electric doors and windows.

Brooke said...

Eh...it could be worse. Don't be so hard on yourself.

Fred Miller said...

You can get lots more heavy bags in a car if you spread them around in the front seat, on the floors, and such. Learned that from my brother, a cattle feed salesman. He could get a whole ton of feed in a car and still drive. That's forty bags.

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