Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Not a loaner, it's a loser

I'm driving a loaner car these days.

My 2007 Lexus had to go in for a lengthy service.

"The manifold gaskets' shot and we have to replace the upper knuckle joints and recalibrate the flick-flacks. The estimate says $600, but you and I both know it's more likely to be $1600."

At that point I was whisked off to the luxurious comfort of the customer lounge. A misnomer if there ever one. Car dealerships, even those in Beverly Hills, are my least favorite place to be.

I had been given loaner cars before. This time I was careful not to get stuck in an RX 350, the official Mom Mobile of West Los Angeles. Nor did I want the clunky CT 200. Last time I got one it had been driven by a hipster fond of smoking clove cigarettes in the car.

Moreover, I'm not a fan of hybrids.

For a week I found myself asking my wife, "is the car on or off?"

Maybe I should have spent more time listening in science class, but I still don't understand how electric cars are better for the planet than those that run on fossil fuels.

Charging a hybrid requires electricity and most of our electricity comes from burning coal. By the transitive law of conspicuous consumption haven't we just swapped one poison for another?

So before they stuck me in a car I didn't want to be stuck in, I specifically requested an IS 250. I like the look and feel of the IS. Plus it has shifting paddles on the steering wheel. I haven't mastered the paddles by any means, but it's all about the illusion of driving a sports car and not letting on about my advanced age of 44.

Fortunately, they had one available. A good one. With low miles and no hint of second hand clove. Of course, as I have often documented on this blog, not all goes as planned. This is another one for the Shit-That-Only-Happens-To-Me File.

If you look at the above picture, you'll see the car has a vanity license plate. I'm not a vanity license plate guy.

And certainly not a fan of this one.

I've been driving this for three days now, blissfully unaware that while I've been smiling at pretty women stopped at red lights, I've been piloting the automotive equivalent of the world's most embarrassing T-shirt…

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