Friday, May 06, 2005

Riding in Cars with Boys

Ahhhh...the sound of that phrase brings to mind summer nights in the South cruising around the Dairy Queen. Unfortunately, I was never one of the girls getting a ride in those little red corvettes. Being the only child of a strict father who owned a shotgun and wasn't afraid to brandish it sorta put a damper on that kind of thing. So, sadly, no invitations were forthcoming.

I did get to cruise with my older cousins, once, however. Sweet Peanut Buster Parfait, how cool I felt that night, sittin' in the back seat with the windows rolled down and the radio blaring. Even better, I was with my cousin, Myrl Dean (aka "Dinky"), who was getting ready to head to Texas and become an American Airlines flight attendant.

Dinky came back home from her training in Dallas a couple of months later, just long enough to teach me how to apply mascara, and then flew off again into her new life as "Myrl." We made a pinky-pact a few years later in a shopping mall parking lot: I'd drop her "Dean" and forget she was ever called Dinky; she'd forget I was ever called Debbie Jean.

Now that I'm older and wishful days of cruising are past, there's only one thing that riding in cars with boys means...I'm car shopping!

The big difference now, of course, is that daddy won't get upset when he hears I went around the block with some guy. (hee, hee) Even better, these boys let me drive, they are a lot more attentive, and there's no doubt they will call the next day. Heck, I'll probably even get a letter from them the next week!

Our Chrysler 300C is an awesome car, but Pensacola Beach with its record rainfall and flooding this past April proved it simply was not a good choice. The only way to get down Via de Luna after a flash flood is by boat or truck, although the 300C almost qualifies as a boat when it tries to make its way through a foot of water. I think the right choice for a new vehicle is probably a truck or SUV.

The other problem with our 300C is that it is black; not a good color at the beach. Black is great if you want to fry up a couple of eggs on the hood mid-August, but the new vehicle must be light colored.

Let's not forget another prime objective is to acquire a vehicle with better gas mileage, so we shift the search into the compact category or possibly even go to a four-cylinder engine. Hmmmm...thoughts of merging onto I-10 E from Highway 29... Forget the four-cylinder!

So now I have my initial list of contenders prepared. Time to go riding in cars with boys.

First to Toyota... then Nissan...then Chevrolet... Hyundai... Jeep... Ford... Mazda... back to Toyota... Ford... Mazda. At this point, I can't keep the makes and models straight, much less the names of the boys with whom I went riding. What kind of girl am I?

I have to say I fell in love with the Ford Escape Hybrid until time to go for a test drive and the battery was dead. As three salesmen descended with a portable battery charger and worked to get it going, all I could think of was where I'd find three salesmen to help me jump start my vehicle as I tried to flee the island in the middle of the night under a mandatory hurricane evacuation.

A good ol' boy named Keith tried to keep me distracted as they recharged the battery. "Yeah, I know what you mean about needin' something to get around when it's floodin'. I used to live down around Daytona, but moved up to Georgia after one of those hurricanes. I didn't think about tornadoes bein’ a problem."

"Mmmmm..." I muttered as I watched them recharged.

"Yep," he continued. "I thought I heard a freight train coming through my house one night and looked out the next mornin’ to see my barn was gone. I looked out 'n the pasture and there 'uz my old cow with a dang 2 x 4 stickin’ through 'er stomach."

"Oh NO," I exclaimed! He had all my attention now.

"Yea, and she 'uz pregnant too."

"Ohhhhhh noooooooo," I said as my eyes welled up with tears.

"Ah, it's okay. I called the vet and he came and took it out and sewed her up. She 'uz fine and the calf wuz too."

"Oh wow," I said, relieved.

"Yeah, it was too bad we had to eat 'er later."


At this point I realized that ol' Keith had cast, hooked, and reeled me in.

After many rides filled with countless stories and jokes and sales pitches (not to mention some pretty strong cologne), I've discovered that salesmen, like boys, are sort of like crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and there are different colors, but they all pretty much fit into the same box - a box full of colorful characters.

And as for me, I can't make up my mind, so I’m still riding in cars with boys.


Mr. Outrageous Ebay Auctions said...

Great Blog.

Pensacola beach is fun but I am from the east coast and enjoy Hutchinson Island.

Found you from blogexplosion.

The Complimenting Commenter said...

That was a great post. He had me reeled in too at the end. Great writing.

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