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Sunday, March 21, 2010

The New Swede in Town

Well, I've really done it now.

I bought a car yesterday.

Not only did I buy a car, I bought a Volvo.

Not only did I buy a Volvo, I bought a Volvo from a salesman named "Zen."

I swear.

The vehicular shenanigans began quite innocently enough with a Friday morning coffee and breakfast meeting with my father at Saxby's ("Sexyboys"). I was bemoaning my current state of automotive troubles and travails.

"Mummy-- I am getting rid of Mommy's car tomorrow at the Volvo place-- you will come with me. They are having a huge one-day sale-- blowout. Just see what they have."

I got very annoyed with him.

"What's wrong with you?" I asked-- rhetorically, of course-- he's convinced there's nothing wrong with him. "I can't afford a fucking Volvo. Maybe one that's twenty years old and that's been hit by a deer."

"Mummy, please," he said. "Humor me."

Well, I've never been one to turn down an opportunity to humor my father. So, yesterday morning, I began searching for the title to the P.T. Cruiser. Now, if I were searching for random shards of fabric emblazoned with cupcake print, or notes referring to a meeting I attended four months ago, or a CD I haven't listened to in seven years, I would have experienced no difficulty whatsoever. Because, however, I was searching for an important legal document, it was essentially a task of insurmountable difficulty. I turned this cuntsucker house upsidethefuckdown. Even my wife, who had fought me tooth and nail on whether or not to get rid of the Cruiser (she was the "Not" side) joined in the search.

"We suck," I said, dejected, looking at the piles and piles of shit in the basement.

"I'm sorry we're such slobs," she said, her eyes glazing over the mountains of fabric in the office/sewing/blogging headquarters.

Finally, a thunderclap or a mini-stroke hit me. A while ago, I had tried to outsmart us by actually placing important documents into the very front of the first file cabinet drawer, you know-- like a normal person might do. I even shocked myself as I pulled out the long ago forgotten about blue folder, containing our marriage certificate, and, yup, the title to the Cruiser. Armed with that document and a blank check, I set out on my little adventure.

"Do you want to be called before a deal is done?" I asked my wife over breakfast.

She thought about that for a minute.


See, on Friday night, my wife and I threw our swords down in the sand and we did what lots of normal couples do when emotions run high: we had a fight. It was a fight about cars, and about rationales, and about equity, and about sentimentality, and about history, and about, well, everything. You know how fights get-- it starts about one thing and then, if you're not careful, it escalates and it gets, well, metastatic.

Finally, after the yelling had subsided, it was agreed that I would go to the Volvo dealership and see what they were willing to give us for the Cruiser, and what they had on the lot that we could afford. Which wasn't much.

Yesterday, Zen showed me a 2002 Volvo S-40, the smallest Volvo of that vintage. Metallic Bamboo Green. 60,800 miles. He told me the "bottom-line sale price."

"That doesn't impress me at all," I said, pulling out my phone and showing him the Kelley Blue Book retail value for a 2002 S-40 with that mileage. When he said they would give me $2,200 for the P.T. Cruiser, I said, "Well, I guess there isn't anything to talk to you about."

45 minutes later, they gave me $3,500 for the Cruiser, and dropped the price of the Volvo by $600. And I signed and gave them a check for the difference. And now I have a tight, reliable, well-made car. A car to drive until the goddamn wheels fall off.

I feel a little strange about owning a "luxury car." I mean, it's an eight-year-old, small luxury car. But it's swathed in sumptuous cow-ass, there's fake wood everywhere-- it has enough airbags to cushion both my balls in the event of an accident-- there are ass-warmers and stability control and, well, I'm not really an ass-warmer kind of guy.

But I guess I am now. Because, as a wise woman once said, "You are what you own."

If you had told me two days ago that I would be a Volvo owner today, I would have told you to go suck a Swedish dick. But life's funny, and what was unbelievable on Thursday is a reality on Saturday. But, though a couple thousand dollars poorer than we were on Thursday, we're pretty much where we were before-- with only one car payment and with a somewhat aged 2nd car. But a damn good one. With a turbo.


"That's definitely a married man's car," my mother said, looking at it fondly. She really loves it. I've never had a car that my mother's liked before-- and I've had, um, a lot of cars. I suppose I'm really growing up, now that I have a car my mother approves of. Hell, she even loves my wife-- which is a lot more than I can say for my unfortunate exes.

I don't know if it's a married man's car or not, and I don't really care. I do like it, though. And I think I'm going to name it "Bjorn" with the diagonal slash through the "o."

Thanks, Zen.

Thanks, Mrs. Apron.

Thanks, Dad.

Welcome, Bjorn.


  1. You know- I feel like maybe we should grieve the PT Cruiser. Did you at least give it a hug? You should have. ;)

  2. What's most shocking about this post is that you owned a PT Cruiser. I'm sorry; it's not like I know you or anything, but technically I don't think you have to know someone in order to judge them for owning a PT Cruiser. Congrats on baby Bjorn.

  3. Nothing like the mind telling you you're not really an adult yet by forgetting to remember where you tried to place your important documents.

  4. He did! He gave it a kiss good bye to thank Clementine (the PT Cruiser) for her long years of faithful service.

  5. Welcome to the wonderful world of Volvos. I don't know if you should really call it a 'luxury car' though.

    And Volvos are not married men's cars -- I am a female single college student and I too own a Volvo. I, personally, am rather impartial about the whole matter. However, I did name mine "Dilbert" because it's big (s80), white, and boring.

    Anyways, congrats on the new purchase!

  6. Wynn--

    Not a luxury car?

    But... but.... butt-warmers....

  7. A new car AND a new puppy. I'm waiting for the trifecta. Big announcements always happen in threes.

  8. Colleen--

    Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that we got 4 new windows in the house.

    Um.... that probably wasn't the trifecta you were looking for, but it counts, right?


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