Car Shopping: A Brief Memoir

April 27, 2009

If you're ever bored on a Friday night, don't have enough cash to buy a burger, and want to be more than entertained for the length of a double-feature movie, then you should come shopping with me for a new family vehicle. Really, you're all invited.

You see, we did some car shopping this past Friday, and let me tell you, I did not disappoint. The whole experience from start to finish, all four hours of it, was beyond insane.

It started with me saying, "Huh. So that's what the Dodge Journey looks like," sometime around 4pm.

Somewhere around 7:15pm I could be heard saying (and this is no joke), "Listen Jeff, if you let me take the car home for one night, see how it fits my lifestyle, and figure out if the third row is at all suitable for making out with my husband, then I can 99% guarantee that you'll have yourself a deal."

And then, sometime around 8:30, it ended with me shouting, and I kid you not, "You have BULL SH*T running through your dirty, little veins! Both of you! BULL SH*T," ripping up a contract, and marching out the front door of the dealership.

Yes, I will do my best to relay the entire story to you without boring you to tears. But first, please allow me provide a little bit of background information to any readers who might be new kids on the crazy block...

My name is Amy Lawson, and it is in fact against my religion to swear. Anywho, I am also the proud driver of a 1989 4wd Chevy S10 Blazer. This particular vehicle has been in my life since I was in junior high, so obviously I love it just as much as any other member of my family--4-year-old child included. I learned how to drive in the Blazer, I took it with me to college, and when I got married at the ripe old age of 21, my parents were like, " can keep it?" And thus it has remained a fixture in my life. Heck, it even survived a trip to Texas and back. Sure the trip back was on a flatbed truck, but you know, whatever.

It's a beast in the snow, it's incredibly fun to stand on top of, and oh, did I mention how very much I love it?

If you'd like to see a picture of the Blazer with its front wheel falling off, please click here.

If you'd like to learn more about the condition of my vehicle a year and a half ago--and trust me, you really, really do--please click here.

Anyway, Jared and I took a sacred and solemn vow on the night of our wedding--the same night he complimented me on my sparkling green eyes (they're blue ya dumb ass!)--that we would drive the Blazer right into the ground.

Well ladies and gentlemen, *DING!*, we have officially arrived in the basement level. She's got an oil leak that can't be pinpointed (head gasket, anyone?), a moderate to severely wicked antifreeze leak, and she leans six good inches to the left--which Google has clearly told me is a strong indicator that the breaks could go out and any second. And let's be honest here, the blue book value is somewhere in the $600 range--my husband's life has got to be worth at least $750.

Realistically, we're hoping to get enough money from the sale to buy ourselves a new lawnmower (the push kind), two Slurpees, and a 6-pack of Trojans--just to feel young again.

So anywho, here we are in the market for a new family vehicle. Which led me to Google the phrase "crossover," which led me to the Journey, which led me to the stinky, slimy hands of the most frig-awful car dealer in the history of all history. Yes Jeff, I'm talking about you.

And here's the part that led to the ever so dramatic weeping, wailing, and ripping of contracts. The part that I've promised to make quick. Ten steps, bear with me:

1) We agree on a fair price. They agree to give us a $1,000 trade for the Blazer. They agree to make our last payment on our station wagon that we're planning to keep.
2) We say, "Fine. It's late. We're hungry. Just sell us the car."
3) They print up some contracts.
4) I read the contracts.
5) They're selling us the car, which had 3,000 miles on it, supposedly from the manager, as used. Funny, because the car with 5,000 miles on it? Yeah, they were going to sell to us as new.
6) Because it's used, the lifetime warranty is null and void. $1,900 if we want to buy it.
7) Because it's used, we get a higher interest rate on the loan and no longer qualify for 0% financing.
8) Because it's used, that rebate they mentioned? Yeah, we don't get that either.
9) The last car payment that they so generously offered to make has been not-so-generously rolled into our new car loan.
10) I call them all bastards and leave them a huge, disgusting fart as I walk out the door.

The super skeevy financing guy yells, "But wait? Don't you want this car?" And I yell back over my shoulder, "Just about as bad as I want to have your baby." And trust me guys, the last thing I want, in this world, is a baby with slicked back hair, a goatee, poor taste in shoes, and no moral compass.

Needless to say, we didn't buy that car--but we did buy another car.

And as for me? I just want the Blazer back.


Gina said...

That is hilarious! I wish I would have thought of that comeback myself on my last car-shopping nightmare.

Keli said...

That would be one babe of a baby.

Good job on the well timed fart, too. Props for that.

Mindy said...

Wait a gosh darn minute... I think I was supposed to win that Blazer or something a long time ago many many posts back... I can't remember the details, but I think it's mine. Sigh. I guess I'll have to get along with my 163,000 mile Dodge Stratus that lists to the left and squeals. ;)

Congratulations on the new car... I walked out on a car deal once too, but I wasn't able to fart at such an opportune time, darn it!

amelia said...

What a shady guy. You just renewed my faith in reading ALL the fine print.

Julia said...

Oh, that was funny. Thanks for the laugh today.

Sarah said...

ooo, ooo whatdya buy? did you buy it Saturday night? I'm dying to know!

Cheryl said...

How sad... the ole Blazer is no longer in the family! Good for you, walking out on that shady deal and slick salesman. Car shopping gives me the creeps.

Mel said...

I had the sales guy annoyed that I took 10 min to install my carseat into my new car when I bought it. It was 20 degrees out and I (GASP) asked to do it in their garage where they had just cleaned the car. He did agree to it but the whole time he rolled his eyes and asked me how long it was going to take me.

I told him as long as I pleased because I wasn't leaving until I was confident it was in properly since my CHILD would be riding in it with me.
-Mel the crazy carseat lady

PS we want pics of the new car.

Mindy said...

Although I'd LOVE to meet you halfway to exchange the Blazer keys, I'll be okay without my prize Blazer. Just knowing that it's mine in my heart will be enough for me. ;) We'll mourn the loss of that amazing vehicle together...

X-Country2 said...

Did you really say that? Awesome. I wish I had your balls. :o)

Unknown said...

Hey, I'm going Thursday to trade in my dads 2008 Ford F150, wanna come along for the thrill of it, I loathe car dealerships, however I have an ACE in the hole...the truck books for $16,000, and I will make them commit to a trade in figure, than get it in writing then I will slap the title down and demand the check(difference after said purchase)they will never see it coming...2008 PAID FOR!!!!

Michelle Glauser said...

Yeah, I seriously have trust issues with salesman-like-people. Even my friends who are kind of like that don't get why I don't believe them when they tell me something could help me--they really mean that it could somehow help them.

Katy Shamitz said...

Work it, Amy. Well done.

RIP Blazer. Thanks for the memories!

(PS- How come you got a free Blazer and I got a HOnda AND a $13K car payment? Oh well, I'm making it up in free child care now!)

Grandma said...

Not sure where that equity was, but the Honda was in primo shape w/ low miles and just driven by an old school! Do we soon forget brand new leases delivered to school?

j said...

The carbon copy of the shipping paper for your Blazer was too funny.

I hate shopping for cars with my husband. It can only be described as an embarrassing hellish experience because he IS a salesman and knows all of the weaslely tricks.

Congrats on your new car!

Chase's Moma said...

Amy, I'm so sorry about your Blazer:-( I saw this picture and it reminded me of you, lol. Way to let 'em have it!

Jes said...

I remember the day I said goodbye to my 96 Plymouth Neon. I still remember every scratch and exactly where the paint was peeling. Sigh. I'd trade anything to have it back.

I totally understand how you feel about the blazer.

Anonymous said...

Very nice thanks for the sharing...........

The only Satellite Television Delivers the Best Value in Entertainment

Anonymous said...