Didn’t expect to buy a car today, but things happen.

Oh, who am I kidding. Of course I did. I didn’t take the title to the dealership – that’s like putting a condom in your wallet knowing full well you’re going down to Ho Row, but heck, you have no intention of hiring anyone for a Party, oh no. Right. No, I picked up Gnat from school and said we were going to look at new cars. She was excited, since there was the possibility it might be purple. Or pink! That would be so cool.

Uh huh. And what if it’s green?

Great! That’s my third favorite color. (She’s been arranging lists lately; tigers are her fifth favorite animal, Spongebob is her first favorite show, chicken tenders are her second favorite lunch, Warren G. Harding is her fourth favorite pre-WW2 20th century president. He went up a notch after we had a long talk about Wilson and his eugenicist leanings.) So off to the dealership, where she decided we should buy the Pilot, because it had a DVD player. It also seats 100 and has the wheelbase of an aircraft carrier; no thanks, don’t need.

I should really hold my fire here, since I’m writing a four-part Quirk series (links busted – great! Wonderful! Dandy!) on buying a new car; I’ll only say that it doesn’t help your bargaining position when your small associate says Yay! We’re Going to Buy it, Hurray!  when the salesman comes back from one of his periodic mystery trips. For the first time in my life, however, I bargained. I countered, asked for a few accessories, and sat back, unconcerned whether they took it or not. I’d made up my mind to walk if they didn’t accept the offer. They did, and that was that.

Drove home with that strange old-car feeling.

Emptied it out. Told myself I was doing the right thing. After all, she – no, it, this was an it – needed new tires anyway. So knock that off what I’d pay. Plus, the gas gauge was almost on E. I was practically stealing the new one. Drove back after dinner, and went through the usual gruesome paperwork – if buying a washing machine was like buying a car, everyone would still do the clothes in a galvanized bucket out back, because it would be easier in the long run. Criminey. Went out to the parking lot – perfect New Car Evening, warm, pastel sunset. I patted the old car on the spare tire, and thanked it, but felt absolutely no emotion. Not like the day I sold my sports car; that hurt. That cut deep; the blade, I felt it twist. But this new car – it spoke to me. I’d liked it when it was first announced, but it had fallen off my radar. Now, here it was. Mine. And I loved it.

And it was not black. Or blue. Or beige. Or White. Or Red. It was green.  Green, with suicide doors.

Photos tomorrow.

Busy day here at Jasperwood, but I’ve plenty of energy & material, so the Crow doesn’t have his claws digging into my neck. (Note: I have never mentioned the Crow before. He is the day-to-day personal assistant to the Black Dog, and his job is to irritate me when work backs up, time seems short, and the desire to write flags somewhat.) So it’s time for the almost-weekly fun collection of cell phone photos – ripped directly from the RAZR via Bluetooth, a trick which surprised the cell phone guy at the Verizon booth in the mall.

Really? he asked, skeptical. How? (Translation: I thought we crippled that so you’d have to go through our email program!) USB?

Nope: just plain old Bluetooth. The trick: after you fail to connect, try again, and it works. How intuitive, I know.


There’s an ancient grocery store on University Avenue – the “Tower Grocery,” named after a watertower up on the hill above.

It’s being rehabbed, and that means they’ve shaved off the encrustations of time, revealing the old glazed white bricks from its 1915-era façade.

From the Dollar Store, this week’s Nonexistant Brand Names:

A holdover, I think, from the Carter-era malaise days, when everything was branded with PRIDE to symbolize how America was really okay, and you could feel good about our country by supporting those dust-bin bags whose name asserted our resilient glow of self-regard.

I wonder if the alarm makes the sound of a baby crying:

From the grocery store parking lot, my favorite bumpersticker combo of the week:

The erroneous Thomas Jefferson quote, plus another sign of resurgent theocracy. From the grocery store itself:


Rise and shine, men! Time to head into the fields and harvest the cheese!

I love the old archaic products that manage to hang on, relegated to the dusty bottom shelf:

You can imagine people’s first reaction: hey, this sandwich tastes different. Did you add FAMOUS SAUCE? Naturally, the brand is not heavily advertised. Everyone knows about it. It’s famous! Literally!

Finally: she likes her new computer. 

And now to finish my night’s work – like I said, busy day, and I did not expect to spend my early evening writing time buying a car. I will say this: it rides better than the CR-V, which was slightly mushy when cornering, and it has better acceleration and brakes. The interior is better by a factor of 10, and has a cool little sci-fi shuttlecraft feel; if the old CR-V tot transport was the Galileo (all my cars, God help me, are named after Star Trek ships) this one is –

No, I can’t call it the Delta Flyer; that would be the height of dorkdom, and I never liked that ship. But the Rio Grande? Just maybe.

Oy, am I pathetic.

New Motels, as usual for a Tuesday. Also new Quirk, if the link works. More tomorrow – thanks for stopping by.

Okay, okay, I got the Honda Element. In green!


  c. j. lileks 2006. Email may be sent to first name at last name dot com, frantic one!