Sunday, 21 April 2013

Va-Va Vroom Vroom

Last Saturday Mr V wanted to go looking at cars.  Now it has to be said that I’m rather allergic to car show rooms.  All that mooching around a vast space occupied by hugely expensive shiny objects.  Spotlights in the ceiling positioned just so.  Paintwork gleaming.  Bonnets protruding like women sticking their chests out.  And, typically, any man within spitting distance trying not to drool too obviously.
          Over the last few weeks Mr V has carted me around various dealers.  Audi.  BMW.  Back to Audi.  Back to BMW.  And then Mercedes.  My husband is a man who likes to think things over.  And I am a woman who doesn’t.  If you want a car, get on and buy it.  Don’t um and ah and ponder and scratch your chin and pace backwards and forwards.  It’s a waste of time, energy and – apart from anything else – I have a low boredom threshold.  And last weekend my boredom threshold hit rock bottom.  Which was possibly why, as we drove into the Mercedes dealership, my ears pricked up and my nose twitched.  The moment the passenger door opened, I was off on a scent.
          While Mr V ambled into the show room to um, ah, ponder, scratch his chin, and pace backwards and forwards, I was off across the parking lot where row upon row of cars were available to view.  Ooh, that one was nice – big sporty wheels.  But what about this one?  An M Class.  It only did how much to the gallon?  I swiftly moved on.  This one was more like it.  But wrong colour.  See?  Instant processing of brain, immediate acceptance or dismissal of what the eyes were seeing.  None of this fannying about and pacing over a model with a horrific insurance group.  I ground to a halt.  There, before me, was the car of my dreams.  Well, no I lie actually.  The real car of my dreams was the M Class, but I was more than happy to settle for this one.  The B Class.  Very elegant.  Silver.  Which also meant it didn’t need to go through the car wash every two minutes like other colours (never buy black, looks great until it rains, which is virtually every day in the UK).
          I peered in through the driver’s window.  Automatic.  Sat-Nav.  And several other buttons and controls – way beyond my immediate understanding on account I’d never driven anything so swish before (thanks to owning a moulting dog and kids who drop sweet wrappers everywhere).  But as I stood there enthralled, my mind was made up.  I was having this car.  I strode off to the show room.
          ‘So what sort of deal would you give me?’ Mr V was asking a young salesman.  So young that surely he shouldn’t be driving, never mind selling cars.  I’d heard all these questions before, along with the haggling and weighted silences aimed to tease the salesman.  I stood there and waited for the next pause – which wasn’t long as my husband loves to stretch a salesman’s nerves to breaking point.  I jumped in.
          ‘That car over there,’ I pointed through the showroom’s vast glass windows, ‘I’ll have it.’
          Mr V’s jaw hit the marble floor and I thought the salesman was going to faint.  Never before had he secured such a speedy deal.  And he hadn’t even had to seek me out!
          ‘If you’ll excuse me for one moment,’ Mr V smiled at the salesman before propelling me away by the elbow.  The salesman looked like he was about to burst into tears.  Nor had he ever lost a sale in a nano-second.  ‘What the devil are you doing?’ hissed my husband.
          ‘I want to buy a new car.’
          ‘But you bought a new car only a few months ago.’
          This is true.  But it was a Micra.  There is a world of difference between a Micra that bashes my front passenger’s knees every time I change gear, and a Mercedes.  The only thing they have in common is that they both begin with M.
          ‘I know, but this time I’m going to be utterly selfish and buy what I want.’
          And so I did.
          Meanwhile Mr V is thinking about checking out some convertible sports cars.  Another ten years and he might even buy one.  I'll leave him to it because I’m off for a little drive.  Which reminds me.  A woman told her husband she wanted a new car.  ‘I want something that goes 0-140 in three seconds.’  The husband produced some weighing scales and said, ‘Stand on that.’

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