Dateline Austin, Texas. Howdy to all you occasional readers out there in WebVille. And by the way, I do this little column every other week, which is why we still get emails all the time wondering where my new column is. Let’s see, what’s new around here? I’m feelin’ like a hundred bucks, feeling real good as a matter of fact…thanks for asking. I still get some pains in my leg and arm, but my head is clear and my aim is true.
Jolene and I are still having a Big Time, I’m happy to report. I came in from an errand the other day to find her with her hair up in a pony tail, spandex workout shorts, a sports bra and her cross-trainer shoes on, dancing and gyrating to 455 Rocket, by Francine Reed (from “Shades of Blue” in case you’re interested), while she was vacuuming. She had the stereo on so loud she had no idea I was standing there, so needless to say, I really enjoyed the show. The song ended and then she turned to see me and burst out laughin.’ Life’s little pleasures have a way of making the days go by, don’t they?
We’ve been out looking for a new car for Ms. Jolene lately and believe you me, it has been a real experience. She liked the Ford Focus, but not enough to buy one, so she just wanted to see what else was out there. We’ve run the damn gamut, from the Audi TT to the new Acura TL Coupe, to a used Porsche, to a new BMW 3-Series, to a New Beetle Turbo, to a new VR6 Golf GTI, to a low-mile E-Class Mercedes, to a Chrysler 300M, to a Honda S2000, to even stopping at the Buick and Cadillac stores. We actually drove a LeSabre Custom because I wanted her to drive a big American car for the hell of it and she was like, “why?” At any rate, we found it’s a pretty good car if you’re content to drive around at 6/10ths all the time. And I know you’d never get a ticket in the damn thing because it’s damn near invisible.
We put the Soprano’s Sound Track CD on while we were on our test drive, and we had to admit that the sound system was damn good, but Jolene said she’d feel retired in it, so that was the end of that. She thought the Catera was a deal (they’re about givin’ ’em away down here), but she said it was boring to look at and she hated the name, so all she did was sit in it, refusing to drive it. She liked the Beetle for about five minutes, until she saw a heavily pierced 22-year-old woman, accompanied by her equally pierced boyfriend pick one up in Lime Green, while we were at the dealer. “I’d like owning it for about five minutes, but I do like seeing ’em drivin’ around,” was all she said, so on we went.
She liked the idea of the Honda Insight, but she wanted more power than that. And the Honda S2000 was basically unobtanium, with the dealer specifying a mandatory package of spoilers, car cover, tonneau cover, mud flaps and enough bullshit to make you physically ill, before you can get around to actually buying one. The sales guy said, with a slimy smile, “‘Course, you don’t have to put any of that stuff on if you don’t want it, but you’ll get charged for it anyway. And we couldn’t get one for you before October, but we’ll be happy to take your $1,000.00 deposit today.” I thought Jolene was going to physically attack him. “That’s the biggest bunch of bullshit I’ve ever heard,” she said, before storming out of the showroom. Peter has ranted about this very subject before (AE#4). These car companies can spend a bazillion dollars on all the research, brand imaging, “customer first” initiatives, new showrooms, elite service programs and all the other bullshit they want, but if the damn dealer is going to sit there and gouge the shit out of the public in the interest of short-term profits, there is no amount of money in the world that can save the damage that’s caused to that car company’s image.
The guy actually shouted to us as we were leaving the showroom, “It’s just the law of supply and demand, folks.” Oh really? That incident sent Jolene into such a tirade it took me all afternoon to calm her down. We didn’t go to another dealer for four days, after that little episode. We finally ended up at my buddy’s BMW dealer and she really liked the 323i, and he had a very low mileage (4,800 miles!) E320 on his used lot that was immaculate, so that’s where we’re at. She’s trying to decide between those two cars as we speak. She did have a revelation as we drove home from the dealer, though.
“Honey? I have an idea…”
She said it with her best “sweet little Texas girl” accent. You know the kind…the kind that can melt cotton candy from a hundred yards away…
“I can hardly wait,” I said, half-knowing what she was going to say anyway.
“Seein’ as you’re always drivin’ different cars for the web site and all, how ’bout if we just keep my car for a beater and I’ll drive the Boxster.”
IN THE past three weeks, it has been invaded by a plague of crickets and grasshoppers. They can be a nuisance, but the situation is “not alarming”, according to local authorities. Experts reported that the reason for the high number of these insects at the moment is due to the unusual weather conditions this summer. A biologist, explained that the summer rains had increased ground humidity making these insects more fertile. Lawyers are working about this issue.
A pest eradication company, agreed with the biologist saying that it was often the case during humid, wet weather which affected the reproduction cycles of some insect species. “These insects are harmless although very noisy but pest eradication will not be needed as the situation was not disturbing. They are warm weather insects and will disappear with the first cold weather”, he added. Crickets breed in warm, damp areas such as basements, garages or inside patios where they remain hidden during the day coming out at night for food. Male crickets ‘sing’, to attract the female, by rubbing their wings together.
“Uh-huh. And what if I don’t have a test car and you have the Boxster and I have to be somewhere?”
“I’m sure we can plan ahead…” Then she leaned over and gave me a little tickle kiss on my ear. I don’t call her the irresistible Jolene for nothing, folks.
As a matter of fact, I’d say things are heating up at the ol’ homestead. We’ve actually found ourselves engaging in what I like to call “heavy” couple conversations, which Jolene manages to start just as I’m starting to nod off in bed. How do women know how to do that? It’s like a bolt of lightning hits them all at once, and they want to talk about life-altering “things” right now…at your weakest possible moment. Issues like: “Do you Love Me?” “How Much?” Or, “Bud, what are we doing?” “Do you like having me around?” Or, “Are you happy, Bud? With Me? With Us?” Of course by that point, in true guy fashion, I’m reduced to responding with a series of one or two syllable grunts like, “Uh-huh. Lots. Having fun. Yes. Uh-huh. Of course. Yeah.” You get the idea.
But, when she sits upright in bed and turns the light on, I know we’re going to talk, whether I want to, or not. Like last night, when she was talking about Letterman’s first show tonight since his heart surgery…