Last weekend I finally did it. I found the Prius I was looking for and I pulled the trigger and bought it. I had been searching craigslist for months in cities from Portland to Seattle to Missoula to San Antonio and everywhere in between. After a few dead ends including a fantastic plan that had my dad and step-mom buying the car for me in Missoula and the bizarre correspondence with self declared "Bomb Wife and Loving Mother" Whitley Evans, I was finally able to find a 2006 Prius with only 80,000 miles on it in great shape (it has a few scratches and dings, but nothing I’m concerned about) for the price I wanted! It’s great. The lady I bought it from is a physician who works in The Dalles (why The Dalles is special enough to get a “The” in front it as though it’s as important as “the flu” or “the clap” or “the herpes” or "The Oprah" I don’t know, but it could be because it is home to the world famous Spooky’s Pizza). She was selling the car so that she could buy a motorcycle. She was going to be hitting the gym this year to build up enough strength to manhandle a Harley around. Whatever, it’s a goal.
She wanted to sell the car TODAY when I met her Saturday and she wanted the money in cash. Yeah, no red flags here…but I happen to be one of those idiots who thinks “I’m a pretty good judge of character” and I trusted her story so we drove to the credit union. At the credit union I made her show me her ID to match up the name on the title with some photographic evidence that she is who she said she is. She again insisted on cash instead of a cashier’s check because she thought it would be fun if this was as close to a drug deal as possible. It was pretty fun…watching all those hard earned $100 bills get laid out on the table one by one and knowing they were going from me to someone else. She remarked “isn’t it funny that this (pointing to the stacks of paper money being slid into an envelope very drug-dealesquely) equals that (pointing to the north wall of the credit union beyond which the car was sitting)”. Yeah, hilarious.
If I’m being completely honest, Alison was a very very very nice woman and I couldn’t have been happier with her as a seller. She said she would be willing to make right anything that turned up in the inspection I would have later in the week and again I believed her because I’m such a great judge of character and I had judged her character as strong. I hate it when I realize I’m “that guy” but when it comes to “good judge of character guy” I’m pretty sure I am him. What a jerk.
So I took the Prius down to Wentworth to check it out. Why Wentworth? Because I don’t trust mechanics but I know a Wentworth. For the fantastic price of $89.95 (I have no idea if that was a good price since I called nobody else) I found out that I wasted my $89.95. The car is in perfect shape. The brakes are good. The battery is strong. It’s a great car. I didn’t really waste the money…I bought peace of mind blah blah blah. Some might say “I WENT and it was WORTH it!”
As a bonus, when the mechanic was doing the inspection I walked around the streets of beautiful inner SE Portland. I came around a corner after admiring endless gutters full of litter. Lo and behold, in front of me was a small fat man in a tiny three wheeled vehicle. Who be you, sir? Who do you think it was? If I told you his first name was Douche would you know? That’s right, fresh from writing two parking tickets it was Meter Maid Douche Thoreson making yet another appearance in my life. He had already altered my life negatively by putting in motion the events that led to me to quitting Meals on Wheels. Here he was, looking me in the eye without an ounce of recognition. So I followed him on foot, trying desperately to keep up with the ice-cream-man-motorized-tricycle the good citizens of Portland had bought for his use. About block three of what I now refer to as “the chase” I watched him write a ticket then he stopped at another car and was radioing it in to headquarters. I can’t imagine the poor depraved soul who has to answer this idiot’s questions all day: “Yes, Thoreson, that car is registered and has just as much a right to park on the city street as anyone else” day after day after day. Anyway, as he was radioing I just stood there 10 feet away and stared at him. He stopped radioing. “Hey, remember me?” No. “You wrote me a couple of tickets a few months ago.” Oh, around here? “No. I’m the Meals on Wheels guy.” Oh yeah. “I wanted you to know that for the last ticket you gave me when I called you a 'Meter Maid B**ch' I drew a picture of you calling you a douche, wrote that you were everything that’s wrong with the city of Portland and they gave me nearly all my money back.” Oh yeah? “Yeah…I guess that’s how you beat the rap. You make fun of the Meter Maid.” Huh.
That was it, that was all. It wasn’t much, but it was enough for me. I was able to let him know just how little his job is worth. Despite the fact that he makes legitimate money for the budget, the way he uses no discretion when issuing tickets has led to the courts giving back fines to people who draw pictures of him as a fat idiot in a bicycle helmet.
But I digress…the Prius is so great. I drove it for 8 days before I had to fill up the gas tank. That was over 375 miles. It cost me $27.49 to fill the tank. Much of that driving has been with the entire family of 5 in it because the back seat is big enough to fit the three kids. What I have noticed, however, is that because there is a real-time fuel-efficiency meter and I know exactly how much gas I’m using at any given moment I now drive like a grandma (no offense to the grandmas out there). I never want to use the gas because the electric is free. I’m quickly turning into an old Asian woman behind the wheel…but for $27.49 I’m okay with that.
Then Sunday I went and bought this putter.
Now I’m an old man on the golf course who can’t bring himself to bend over a regular putter. Essentially I’ve become a senior citizen in a week’s time which wouldn’t be so great if it didn’t get me discounts at Sayler's Old Country Kitchen with their weather-beaten sign that’s nothing more than a revolving picture of a 40 year old sun-bleached t-bone steak. I don’t know what color to call it, but I wouldn’t say it’s “steak color” at this point.
Anyway, I’ll see you on the roadway…probably in my rearview mirror yelling at me because I’m going 8 mph under the posted speed limit while I’m laughing about how I’m currently getting 75 miles to the gallon which is pushing up my 45 mpg average for this particular tank of gas. Fred Flinstone didn't get this kind of gas mileage!