Sunday, February 20, 2005

Ooooh boy

I may not be the most sophisticated consumer of automobiles. What I want in a car is dependable transportation with a modicum of comfort. I have to have air conditioning and cup holders. I enjoy my sun roof a great deal, but if, suddenly, I had to give it up, I could. It is a treat, but not essential.

I consider myself a somewhat responsible consumer of the earth's resources, so I like a car that gets good gas mileage. I'm old enough that I remember having cars with vinyl seats, so now I require better. Fabric seats are essential.

As I mentioned in the high school meme the other day, I missed out on contemporary pop music while I was in high school. The car I first drove didn't have a radio. Now, I have a 10-year-old car that has AM/FM/Cassette. That's nice. A CD player would be nice. XM radio would be a real luxury, akin to Godiva chocolate for someone who loves Hershey bars. It might just be too much for me.

I am a rare person in our current society. I don't have a cell phone. So I certainly would not want a phone in my car, except, perhaps for cases of emergency. I don't have OnStar or any of the similar tracking services, so I have to rely on myself not to lock my keys in the car. Fortunately, the driver's door requires a key to lock it. I don't have a remote door opener either.

And I have no alarm system. It's a 10-year-old car, remember? The only times I've had any problems, an alarm wouldn't have helped. Once I was at choir practice at church when someone chucked a brick through the passenger window. It was a sheer act of vandalism because they took nothing. They probably had no idea how much the music books in my car were worth -- they certainly had no value for the vandal.

The second time was during a snowy Christmas. I had left my door unlocked so the lock wouldn't freeze shut. During the night, someone drove down the street opening car doors and prowling around. I had just brought a load of things home from my mom's house after her death. All that was left in the car was my late grandmother's overnight case. I hadn't been able to open it, but the prowler did. And what they saw when they opened it was a bit of spilled face powder, a couple of bobby pins and some used Kleenex from 1978 when she last went to the hospital. This prowler had an accomplice, as was evident by the footprints in the snow. They went straight from the street to the car door and back to the street. Too lazy to walk door to door stealing, I suppose.

In any event, to me a car is a modern necessity for getting from one place to the next. I don't want it to serve as a portable living room with entertainment systems, DVD players, televisions or dish washers.

So, my little left eyebrow raises a bit when I see a comment on a bulletin board about a car called a Maybach. Apparently, this car costs $350,000. They aren't sold at car dealerships. No, they are sold at "studios." You don't deal with a car salesman, but a "Maybach Relationship Manager."

I'll leave it to you to Google "Maybach" if you want to look at the features of this vehicle. You can see the recliners (complete with air-cushioned back supports...), the panoramic glass roof and everything else. You might like that stuff.

Meanwhile, I'll be sitting in the cheap seats, shaking my head that the world has come to this. My philosophy of life leans more toward this motto: Live simply, so others may simply live.

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