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Monday, November 26, 2007

Car Talk

I love Click and Clack, also known as Tommy and Ray Magliozzi. They are the "Car Talk" guys with a radio show on NPR.

They crack me up. Sometimes when I'm driving on a Sunday and I hear them, I laugh so hard I get tears in my eyes and think I should pull over. They might be more dangerous than cell phones, actually. Maybe they shouldn't be allowed on car radios, for safety's sake. They should just be on house radios, I think.

The thing is, I love them, but I don't even like cars. I mean, sure, I like having a car, and I like driving in cars, but I don't care too much about fixing cars. I don't' even know what a chassy is. I don't even know how to spell it. But I love them anyway, because they make me laugh and they really are trying to help people. They're so noble that way, it's touching.

I don't care about cars the way I care about things like cute shoes, puff paint, good art and brownies. What I mean is, I'm sort of neutral on cars.

I dated a guy once who loved cars. He had a 1965 Mustang convertible. I remember the date because that was the year I was born. He tried to teach me to "date" all the Mustangs we saw by memorizing all the different chrome thingies that were different each year. All I remember about his car is that it was red, and it was fun to put the top down on a nice day. I felt a little like Princess Grace, except we were in St. Paul, Minnesota at the time.

After I broke up with him (since I didn't want to "date" cars after all) I moved to Palo Alto and went on a few dates with a successful start-up entrepreneur. This was back in 1990, when these guys actually had real money, not just paper money. This guy was nice, but he thought I'd be impressed with his new car, too. I tried to tell him I didn't care about cars. I think he thought I was being coy, to show him I wasn't after his money.

On our third date, he made a point of telling me he'd pick me up in his new car. After 20 minutes, when he could stand it no longer, he asked if I liked the car. "Oh, sure," I said, "What kind of car is this, a Toyota?"

It was a Lexus. One of the first ones, maybe, but I really have no idea. He had to explain how cool the car was, without saying how much it cost, because clearly if I didn't care about cars, I surely didn't want someone bragging about how much they spent. That's just bad manners.

I pretended I was super impressed, but he knew I could care less. He was nice, but I really didn't want his money, or his car. Last I heard, he married an accountant.

I think the only time I've been awed by a car was down in California, driving around in my friend Steve's vintage Porsche 911. Of course I can't remember what year. It was white, and bubbly, in that Volkswagon sort of way. I liked it because it was so cute, and the leather was soft and it seemed like a car Grace Kelly would drive, top or no top (I mean, the car top, of course.)

Maybe I liked that car so much because Steve had several Porsches, and I could compare them. But I certainly never "dated" them by their chrome thingies. And maybe I liked it because Steve wasn't into the Porsches for the status. He was a total car geek, but in a charming sort of way, like Click and Clack.

Steve lived in a funky old house that always needed work, but he collected old Porsches and fixed them up, all shiny and perfect. He drove me around in these fabulous cars and told me I should consider being a race car driver, since I liked Porsches so much.

And now here I am in Oregon. My husband drives his dad's 1998 Volvo Sedan. His dad got it from his grandpa, and when his dad bought a new Toyota, we got Grandpa's Volvo. We were thrilled, because now we have two cars. We got another hand-me down Volvo from Dad and Grandpa 15 years earlier, but the leaky trunk eventually rusted under the leaky carport in Eugene's perpetual rain, and we eventually traded it in for our station wagon.

We bought our Volvo station wagon back in 1999 right before the stock market bubble burst (at least I got the car.) My husband said we could get a new one, but it seemed so...conspicuous, so I picked the 1997 model. I liked the color better anyway, plus it was $20k cheaper, and I do like a bargin. Fine with him. He never "dated" cars much, he was more interested in dating me. That's why he won.

Check out Click and Clack. I hope you love them as much as I do:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember Click and Clack, now that you mention it. I used to listen to them a lot when I lived in Eugene. They are pretty funny ... and informative. They came in handy for me, because back then I was always driving old cars that broke down frequently. They were not very charming, and we had to have 3 at a time in order to insure getting to work if one was on the blink. There was a 1962 Ford Falcon, a 1968 lowered tan VW bus with a black bra (the door on that fine vehicle fell off at Farrell's) and a 1964 brown "greaser" van with no windows. I am so glad that those days are long gone.

Now I am married to a fine man who's accountant insists that we each get a new car at least every 3 years. Now here is where I notice that I am getting really spoiled, because for the first time in my life I have to oppotunity to choose a brand new car every 3 years, but my husband is a Chevy man, and I am limited to choosing Chevy's. I try to slip in once and a while statements such as "Do I have to get a Chevy?", that are answered with dirty looks insinuating that I am ungrateful or something. I have a Chevy Equinox, which is a pretty darn good car, but it is really noisy when you have to ride in the back seat. Maybe it never got an undercoating or something. I guess I should listed to NPR on Sundays and find out if Click and Clack ever address that issue. Thanks for the great topic, and take care!