Highway star

September 13, 2006 at 12:51 am (Uncategorized)

salesdork.jpgI hate car shopping. For one, I’m not one of those guys who can look under a hood and see the myriad things that are right or wrong about an automobile. I open the hood, what I have to observe is largely: “Hey! There’s an engine in here!”

For two, I’ve always bought disposable cars that look like crumbled balls of tinfoil on wheels but that run great. The Chevy Vega. The Subaru Justy. The Geo Tracker. The Nissan Stanza. None of them babe magnets, but now and then I wheel past broken down motorists next to flashy cars with bras and spoilers and vanity plates like “RCKURWRLD” and I honk gleefully as I pass. If the horn’s working that day.

For three, car salesmen. They look all look to me like over-the-hill porn stars who jingle the keys in their pockets and whisper all conspiratorial when discussing the car you’re looking at. “That is one hell of a deal,” the porn star says in a low voice, leaning uncomfortably close, breath reeking of Tic Tacs. “I don’t know if it’s mis-labeled or what. But hey, you want her? That’s YOUR car.” And they spout off bunches of numbers that never mean anything to me. Letters, too. APR, MSRP, WIGY, LMAO, etc.

So, this weekend I was on a lot in Auburn looking at a Nissan Maxima. I test drove it and determined that it was probably designed for space flight. We’re talking thrust here, people. One second behind the wheel and I had Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” roaring through my head.

“Uh nobody gonna get my car, I’m gonna race it to the grow-hound. Uh nobody gonna take my car it’s gonna break the speed of sow-hound…”

So the salesman, a refreshingly low pressure type, began jabbing at a calculator with the frantic speed of a man disarming a bomb. He unleashed a series of numbers, some of them with decimal points, and what I heard was something like the voice of the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons: “Mwamp mwamp mwamp wamp waaaaaw…”

So I did what any man will do if he’s honest about his deficiencies. I turned it over to Flamette and went outside to smoke. You may think me a weasel, but I would have been no good at the negotiations. I would’ve been largely faking and doing more damage than good.

“Look here, Mr. Snake Oil,” I’d snarl, jabbing my finger at his paperwork. “If you can’t change that two to a six, I’m walking. And carry the three, for chrissakes. You think I’m a fool? I also don’t like the WBLM or the FUQ rates you’re offering. Wretch.”

So, I have no idea if we’re getting the car or not. What do I care? I’ve got the Nissan Stanza with the rust and the blue smoke and so I am also a highway star.

“I love it! I need it! I bleed it! Yeah, it’s a wild hurricane. Alright. Hold tight. I’m a highway… I’m a highway… I’m a highway staaaaaaaar.”

End rant.



  1. Mainetarr said,

    In case you are all wondering what color the stanza is, it’s a two tone-rust and primer.

    ZZ Top– She Loves My Automobile (from the One Foot in the Blues album)

    She don’t love me, she love my automobile.
    She don’t love me, she love my automobile.
    Well she would do anything just to slide behind the wheel.

    She said what’s it gonna take for you to lay your top on down?
    She said what’s it gonna take for you to lay your top on down?
    I said honey why don’t you ask me when we get to the outskirts of town.

    Well now she don’t care if I’m stoned or sloppy drunk.
    Well she don’t care if I’m stoned or sloppy drunk,
    Long as she got the keys and there’s a spare wheel in her trunk.

  2. Linda said,

    Great song MT! Guess I know what tune will be in my head all morning.

    I hope Flamette buys you the new car, Mark.

  3. K2 said,

    That price is TOO FUCKING HIGH *explosion*

    “Used Cars,” anyone?

  4. jarheaddoc said,

    No shit, K2. The problem anyone of meager means has with buying a new car is that others with more money push the pirces up simply because they will pay big bucks for something, just because it costs a lot of money.

    Now hlep me with my word problem math. If all rebates and incentives are kept by the dealer, and say they total $2000.00, hasn’t the dealership already made $2K on said vehicle? So why won’t they come down the amount that they’ve already made? And you figure in what they give you vs. what the value of your car is and don’t tell you that the amount ‘we paid off’ gets added to ‘what you owe’. Me no understand their math, to paraphrase you, K2.

    However, I understand the numbers at the bottom, once the line is drawn, add up to WE’RE FUCKING YOU.

    Used cars it is.

  5. Richie said,

    I’ve driven used cars all my life. You know; pinch that penny, save for a rainy day, get good gas mileage, save the earth, send your kids to college, blah blah blah.

    Well, I just went out and bought a 2006 Jeep Commander Limited, black in color; and ya know . . . I feel damn good. I cruise down the highway past all the other schlubs driving their tin-cans-on-wheels, their jap trash they have to pedal extra hard to get it up to highway speed; I turn up the tunes on the satelite radio; and I DON”T CARE !!! My kids paid their own way to college, didn’t cost me a penny. All those pennies I pinched and saved ? Well, they made for a nice substantial cash payment and I’m a happy boy.
    Heated leather seats for my tushy in the cold winter, sunroof in the summer, radio / CD / sat rad for my ears, tinted glass so the lower classes can’t look in on me, AC that’d make nipples pop on a corpse, oh yah, I be sylin’ and profilin’, strollin’ & patrollin’. I cruise the streets in my babe magnet & stand up in the sun roof area & wave to my adoring fans. It’s just too kewl. Gas mileage is at 16 in town right now, and, I DON”T CARE !!! It’s all about the style, my peeps !!

    Oh, and Mark, don’t get too close; please, the car alarm senses when undesireables are near & will activate the defense systems. It detects wood alcohol or metal shavings. Last guy who got to close, well, the squeegee brigade had to collect him. Just wanted to let you know,dude . . .

    Like Sammy Hagar says, “I can’t drive – 55 ” !

  6. Anonymous said,

    I’m so impressed

  7. Mainetarr said,

    Listen to him, would yah? Pretty soon he’ll be changing his name to Richie Rich. S’ok I love yah anyway, chick magnet or no chick magnet.

  8. LaFlamme said,

    I think Richie is probably an eccentric millionaire. Let’s be nice to him so he’ll heap treasures upon us.
    Hi Richie! Loving that car. You’re stylin! You da man! You’re all that and a bag of chips. Etc.

  9. LaFlamme said,

    Flamette’s off picking up the new ride as I write. I would’ve gone but it would have meant missing an hour of precious, precious sleep.

  10. LaFlamme said,

    For the sake of accuracy, I should point out that I’m keeping the Stanza. It’s the Kia that’s going back to the lot.

  11. Richie said,

    Geez, Mark, if you need a ride I can disarm the defense systems long enough so you can get in.

    Need the Kia brought back to the dealer ? No sweat; I’ll put the back seats down & we can throw it in. Kia’s are unsafe anyways.

    Lemme know what you wanna do, OK ?

  12. LaFlamme said,

    Kias may be unsafe, but they are also unable to pass. I don’t know engine stuff (see above), but I think it had like a 1.0 liter engine with .5 horsepower. The Maxima has a V-6 and several hundred Clydesdales.

  13. Richie said,

    – – – – – – –
    2006 Nissan Maxima Summary
    The 2006 Nissan Maxima is a 4-door, up to 5-passenger family sedan, or sports sedan, available in two trims, the SE and the SL.

    Upon introduction, both trims are equipped with a standard 3.5-liter, V6, 265-horsepower engine that achieves 20-mpg in the city and 28-mpg on the highway. A 5-speed automatic transmission is standard, and a 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is optional.

    The 2006 Nissan Maxima is a carryover from 2005.
    – – – – – – – –

    If you’re buying this new, you’re spending quite a chunk of paperboy change. Now, will you still be able to deliver your routes in Oxford COunty with this car ?

  14. LaFlamme said,

    Ha! New! No, this sucker is a 2003. I think. It’s basically Flamette’s car. I’m just helping with the payments and maybe tearing through the downtown with it once in a while.

  15. Linda said,

    Sounds like fun, new wheels. I like shopping for cars, but unfortunately can’t afford to buy them very often.

    Mark, you sounded melancholy in your SJ column this morning — will this cheer you up?

  16. LaFlamme said,

    No. Only the return of summer will cheer me up. I need to go hang out at the equator or something.

  17. K2 said,

    Do you simply box the Kia up and mail it and its 3-cylinder weedeater engine back to South Korea?

    Maximas are good cars. My old man had one for years, and now my brother’s driving it. They’re basically Infinities without the Infinity logo. In other words, a smart buy.

  18. K2 said,

    So they’re now saying Anna Nicole Smith’s son’s death is ‘suspicious.” So are her tits.

  19. LaFlamme said,

    Ha! Those babies are too large. Perhaps the death was a delayed complicaton from breast feeding.

  20. K2 said,

    Yeah, straight silicone can’t be good for a growing baby.

  21. Richie said,

    Put wheels and a lawnmower engine on ’em, and you could drive them around town. Hey, if the Pope can hava a popemobile, why can’t i have a ‘titty-wagon’ ?

  22. Richie said,

    Kia’s have a 10-cent recycling refund in Maine.

  23. Mainetarr said,

    Here’s a suggestion. I think if you go to http://www.kiajunk.com you can order a blade for the under carriage and use it for a lawn mower.

  24. Bobbie said,

    The guys that are complaining about Kia’s just don’t know how to properly drive them. I can get upwards of 30 mpg while hubby is lucky to manage 20 when he’s driving. I took a trip to Tennessee this summer and spent $386 on gas for the round trip. The hotter it got, the better the Sportage ran it seemed. The only time that the Sportage had a problem was going over Monarch Pass, but if I got a good run going, I’d almost make it to the top before the engine would bog down.

  25. LaFlamme said,

    The Sportage isn’t a bad car. It’s roomy and does well in the snow. But you can barely drive up a hill and forget about passing. I once got overtaken by a butterfly while trying to pass on Route 202.

  26. Mainetarr said,

    Wow, a butterfly, eh? Now that’s slow! It’s a cute car and all, but she’s gonna love that Maxima.

  27. LaFlamme said,

    Yup. She’s working her way up to a 1990 Stanza.

  28. Mainetarr said,

    oh geeze….

  29. Dave said,

    I had a 1997 Stanza. A great car – I put nearly 200,000 miles (about 10,000 miles on dirt-roads) on it before giving it away. Other than wearable parts like brake pads, never had to put any money into it.

    Now I drive my gas-guzzling, body shaking Mazda 4×4. While it’s convenient, my next vehicle will be more along a “sporty” line. Then again, probably my next vehicle is gonna be a motorcycle. Need that high miles-per-gallon without spending $20 grand on some type of a hybrid.

  30. Dave said,

    Correction.. a 1987 Stanza.

  31. AO said,

    Dave, you’re one sporting dude. You sound like me with my old Jeep. Oh, well, it gets me around. Not the best mileage but, still hauls the kids where they need to go. I don’t even want to talk about hitting all the bumps in the road in that thing! YIKES!

    Richie, I’m so jealous! You ARE all that and a bag of chips! You’re driving my dream Jeep!

  32. Dave said,

    Transportation costs suck. I can’t wait for the “transporter” to become a consumer good. Just think about it. You could live anywhere. Just step onto a pod and say “transport me to Merrill Lynch, Manhattan, NYC. And at the end of the day, say, “send me back to Auburn ME”.

  33. Dave said,

    I love Anna NIcole. Leave her alone! So sad to hear about her loss.

  34. Linda said,

    Speaking of stars — Britney’s baby arrived I see. She, probably more than anyone, needs “an heir and a spare.”

  35. Linda said,

    My car’s a little tin can but I totally love it. Studded tires — I never failed to get up a hill. I even passed a Wilton policeman on the hill on the old Rte 2 a couple of years ago, his tires were spinning and I just went around him. And I get 34 mpg.

    Not that I’d say no to a Jeep like Richie’s if, you know, it magically appeared in my life somehow.

  36. AO said,

    I’m sad to hear of Anna Nicole’s loss, too. I’ve never been a fan of her’s but, I know how she’s feeling.

  37. LaFlamme said,

    Well, let’s stay abreast of the situation, then. I mean, it’s so easy to let a case like this fade to mammary. If there’s anything Anna Nicole wants to get off her chest, we’re here for her.

  38. Linda said,

    So Whitney Houston is divorcing Bobby Brown. There’s another sad story. (Not the divorce specifically — just their whole story)

  39. Mainetarr said,

    I heard that tonight, but last time I mentioned a Hollywood split, I got shut down pretty quick, so I have been trying to steer clear of Hollywood gossip. But I will say one thing, it’s about time for Whitney.

  40. Linda said,

    Is that a blog rule — no Hollywood gossip? I wasn’t aware. I agree though — about time!

  41. Gil said,

    I’ve got you all beat. My high school babe magnet was a Kelley Green, AMC Hornet Wagon. Kept a skateboard in the back just in case I neede an alternate form of transportation.
    But nowadays I’m styling in my big-ass work truck that gets a whopping 9mpg!

  42. Gil said,

    Something like this what you had in mind Richie?

  43. Bobbie said,

    In reference to post #25, again, you don’t know how to drive, Mark. As long as it’s not a mountain pass, I have no problem passing anyone on the road. If need be, I just drop a gear and step on it to get around them. That’s one of the good things about driving a standard. I’ve only used the 4 wheel drive option twice since we’ve had the vehicle and that was to get out of iced over downward pointing parking spots.

  44. LaFlamme said,

    There’s a possibility your Sportage has more horse power than mine, too. I wish I could remember the stats for that car. The got up and go, as they say… wait, what do they say?

  45. K2 said,

    Gil, I am not at all surprised you drive a vehicle that gets 9 mpg.

    I do feel bad that a mother lost her son, but Anna’s a disgusting whore, period.

  46. Gil said,

    That’s right K2. As a subsidiary of Evil Conservative Industries it is my responsibility to squander all of our resources. On the plus side, that 9mpg truck has made me a buttload of money.

  47. {:>b~ said,

    I’m not sure if I’m sorry for Anna Nicole’s loss, but am sorry for her son who lost his life- he was a young man with everything ahead of him. I wonder if she had something to do with his death? Death follows her pretty closely, and she gains $$ from the death of her closest “loved ones” – she’s a black widow spider.

  48. Mainetarr said,

    Yeah, Linda, when I posted that Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson broke up, I got a big “who cares?” and was quickly moved to the next subject. But I am always happy to gossip about Hollywood, Linda.

  49. Richie said,

    Gil: Yah, sorta like that, but if I put the middle seats down we can get the whole thing inside. Don’t want that back hatch door just flopping around loose, ya know ?

    AO: Thanks you for the compliment !! I just love the ego-stroking ! Save your pennies
    and get a Commander; you won’t regret it. Next year they’re coming out with an Overland version which will have every bell and whistle on it as standard install.

  50. Linda said,

    Thanks for the “heads up”, MT. I guess we all have days when the neurons fire randomly and we just type whatever thoughts meander through our minds — and isn’t it amazing how often that’s JUST what everyone else wanted to talk about!

    So if we get the vacant screen back once in a while …. that’s life.

  51. Mainetarr said,

    The vacant screens once in a while aren’t so bad, it happens to us all. I’m am not going to get into regarding the comments. It’s unfortunate, but can be ignored very easily. Just have to keep in mind, it’s a blog. Just a blog….

  52. LaFlamme said,

    What? Just a blog?? I’m hurt, man. Hurt. I though the Screaming Room had mystical properties and could lengthen your life AND your penis.
    I got nuthin. Just woke up.

  53. Richie said,

    OK, this is for Mark; or anyone else for that matter, for when they decide to get married . . again . . or . . whatever . . .


  54. Linda said,

    Mark, maybe it lengthens YOUR life and your penis, but for those of us without a penis of our own, well, maybe it’s not JUST a blog, but you know, it IS a blog. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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