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We Bought a Car

John W. Pinkerton


The other day we bought a car.   Our other car developed some self-destructive habits a few months ago, so I asked my nephew to find us a car---not new, used.  I ain’t totally senile.

I guess the manly thing to have done was to do a lot of research, seek out a number of dealers, and bargain for the best deal possible.  I didn’t do any of those.  I asked my nephew to do them.  I guess it’s a confession of old age when you give up the “pleasures” of hunting and bringing a new beast down.

After a couple of months, he said that he had found what we were looking for: a Chrysler 300 not older than three years and not more than 30,000 miles on the odometer.  Linda required a silver car with light colored seats.

Our nephew drove us to Katy, Texas, to a Toyota dealer who must have had about a thousand cars on the lot.   Our car was in the showroom which I found a little strange for a Toyota dealer, but it looked at home there.  It was a 2018 Chrysler 300 with 16,000 miles---practically new without the new car price, but it still wasn’t cheap.

We took it for a drive.  Well, I took it for a ride.  Linda kept asking me to drive it.  I’ve driven cars before…no need.

After extensive, and I do mean extensive, paperwork, I signed a check and the car was ours; however, Linda had an issue with a stain on a seat, so we left the car behind to be detailed, and my nephew drove us home to Somerville.

Getting my nephew to do all the heavy lifting freed me to harass both customers and salesmen and paperwork folks.  I had a great day.

About a week later, my nephew and a friend went back to Katy, picked up the car, and delivered it to our home.  That’s service…which I deserve.

I asked my nephew to find a buyer for the old car, a 2007 Chrysler 300 with over 200,000 miles, but I quickly told him to hold off on that.

The problem is that Linda and I are both intimidated by the new car.

Being that I don’t upgrade my cars very often, I look forward to what new gadgets and doodads are in the updated vehicle.

While viewing the world from the backseat on our test drive, it seemed to me that Chrysler might have taken the gadgets and doodads a step too far.  You might say that they jumped the shark.  I didn’t mention it to Linda.  I just wanted to buy a car and go home.

However, Linda had also noticed, and once the car was home, demanded a tutorial in buttons and screens from the nephew who is definitely a car guy and seemed to know what each one did.   She was not reassured.  She tried reading the manual which had never been unsealed and reported most of the information she was seeking was not included.  I told her that it would take a publication the size of the Encyclopedia Brittannica to cover it all.


I’m a funny old guy.

I know I’m in my second childhood because when I’m in the car with Linda, I get yelled at a lot…a lot---“Don’t touch that!”

“I ain’t afraid of no car.”  Well, as I said, I’m a little intimidated, but not “afraid.”

I’ve done more looking at the new car from my front porch than driving it.  When I head out for a short trip, I just naturally fall into the old 300.  It still has a few miles left in it, and until we both become comfortable with the new one, it will hang around.

I don’t think I’ve ever given a car of mine a nickname, but having two 300’s might be confusing, so I picked out the name of “The Governor” for the new one and “The Lieutenant Governor” for the old one.

We took the Governor for a cat spotting (See “Counting Cat”) trip after our usual Friday evening restaurant meal.   As I was touring the town at the breakneck speed of 5 mph, I realized why the car made me feel ill at ease when I drove it.  I had noticed that the car seemed to be getting ahead of my awareness.  I had to laugh at myself when I realized that I was missing the road noise of the  Lieutenant Governor. The noise helped me keep in touch with the car and its surrounding.


Okay, now that I’m aware of the problem, I can overcome it, and if Linda will quit yelling at me to not touch the buttons, I may even learn what they do, but if I don’t, that’s okay.  All I care about is giddy-up-go.