Hump Day: In spring, a man’s fancy to turns to thoughts of cars

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

Saturday began like any other. Got up. Went to the farmers’ market. Brought my dog Milane to visit my aunt. Milane reveled in getting held and petted during the entire visit. We stayed for a few minutes and then went home.

After I dropped Milane off, I went grocery shopping here, there and everywhere to stock up because I knew the stores would be closed on Victoria Day Monday. On my way home, I drove by the car dealership where I bought my vehicle and noticed the parking lot was empty. “That’s strange,” I thought. There was no way they had gone out of business. Maybe they were painting new lines in the parking lot?

But then, like the Grinch does in How the Grinch Stole Christmas when he comes up with his diabolical plan to steal all the Whos’ gifts so they’ll wake up with nothing on Christmas morning, my face turned into an evil grin. “Maybe,” I thought. “Just maybe,” I thought again. “Perhaps they’re having a big off-site sale.”

Oh oh; this could be dangerous. I’d been thinking of trading in my 2009 vehicle for quite some time. I keep my vehicles for three or four years maximum. This one was at 3-1/2 years, so its days were numbered. Besides, an impetuous decision a few years ago to upgrade meant that I was spending a lot more money on gas than I needed to. And with gas prices through the roof since I purchased it in 2009, better gas mileage was at the top of my list for features. I still wanted a similar SUV-style crossover vehicle, but not one that required me to fill up before I even got 300 kilometres from a tank.

I checked online and the dealership did indeed have a huge off-site sale going on. The little angel dressed in white on one shoulder was telling me to simply pay off my vehicle, while the other little angel dressed in red and carrying a pitchfork told me to just go take a look. What could it hurt, eh?

Now, I desperately needed to rest, so the lure of going to a big car sale wasn’t really on my Top 10 list that day. I’d gone through several busy weeks of working long hours, and with my son away for the weekend, having the house all to myself for gloriously long naps in peace and quiet was something I’d been looking forward to all week.

But, I’m a man. And when that little evil angel sits on a man’s shoulder and whispers into his ear that getting a new vehicle would feel s-o-o-o-o-o good, well, you can pretty well figure out the rest. I decided I’d just go for half-an-hour to check out the sale and see what was there. I wouldn’t get anything. I’d do some research. I knew I wanted to upgrade to the same kind of vehicle, but a model with much better gas mileage, and reading a few online reviews certainly couldn’t hurt.

“I’ll do my research afterwards,” I told myself. Then I heard the little red angel with the pitchfork laugh out loud, catching himself in mid-cackle of his masterful manipulation of an addict of that new car smell — me!

So, I decided to forego that long peaceful nap to which I was so looking forward all week. I’d just drop by the sale for a minute. Just to look. There was no way I’d buy anything today. The little red angel cackled again.

Upon arrival, the place was a beehive of activity with an announcer excitedly letting everyone know whenever there was sale. Everyone would clap. “You deserve the applause, too, Brian. You’ve been working so hard. You need a new vehicle. Oh yeah! Can you smell that new upholstery?” That little red angel was getting inside my head.

I found a salesperson from the dealership and asked to speak to my regular sales guy, only to find out that he’d abruptly (and very happily) retired just a few weeks ago. He’s been thinking about it for a while and then just announced at a staff meeting one morning that he was done.

I was very surprised, but that’s life. Someone else would get the benefit of showing me around to the vehicles I wasn’t going to buy that day. I adopted the salesperson who greeted me as my new “sales guy” right on the spot and asked to see some versions of the model I wanted. After walking around and looking at several, one colour kept popping out at me — platinum silver. It looked so rich. It looked like a colour that would look great in my driveway, too. But wait, I wasn’t buying anything — at least not today.

We went from vehicle to vehicle. They looked so sleek and modern since the model had been redesigned with a new look and technology since I purchased mine back in 2009. Those three ensuing years has been very kind to the model and the redesign was getting rave reviews.

Anyway, let’s just cut to the chase here, shall we? Would it surprise you that I managed to resist temptation and went home empty handed? Oh, you silly reader. You don’t know me very well, do you? In fact, I bought that vehicle like it was the last vehicle on Earth. The next thing I knew, I was signing my life away to the bank and transferring an impossible amount of junk from the old vehicle to the new vehicle.

I drove away more than a bit shell shocked. Immediately, I had second thoughts. But as I drove, I breathed in that new-car smell, got acquainted with all the bells and whistles and fell in love. Enjoy it while you can, car. You’re a sexy vixen to me now, but in three years you’ll likely just be tossed aside like an old rag. Enjoy it while it lasts

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