Saturday, March 10, 2012

Feeling like the bug that impacted the windshield

  With all due respect, to the former First Lady Nancy Reagan after this past week I wish the reason my brains felt like eggs frying on a hot skillet were because of drugs. Even now, there is serious debate going on in what few active brain cells I have left about the possibility of sending both my precious children to military boarding school.

  When you last heard from me, I was playing, largely unsuccessful, mediator in a titanic battle of wills between my lovely bride, Dragonwife, and my son, Darth Spoilboy. Since last Friday several deals, for both a new Kia and several used cars fell through for any number of reason you might be able to guess. As time went on though, the main issue became how Dragonwife and I wanted to go slow and look around for the “right” car figuring we could juggle the duties of driving him to and from work with the vehicles, we already own. However, the hormone-crazed teenage Spoilboy wanted something bought immediately and became increasingly aggravated with what he saw was our glacial pace.

  Both Dragonwife and Spoilboy heavily searched the internet all week looking for a car or truck that was dependable and at the right price but when the former would find something the latter would more than likely shoot it down. All I can say when that happened was thank God for the Carfax internet service. Because without a doubt everyone involved in this car buying quest had an extensive re-education in the fact that private citizens selling some sort of car or truck on their own could lie with professional grade level making the ubiquitous used car salesman green with envy.

  For example, last Thursday an individual listed a nice looking Ford F-150 truck on Craig’s List that upon discovery by both Spoilboy and Dragonwife curled their toes with glee. For Spoilboy it was the appearance of the truck and the reasonable price. Dragonwife on the other hand liked the low mileage and the fact that its purchase would turn both Spoilboy and me into suburban yard working serfs for all eternity.

  Yes, I had more than a small interest in shooting this deal down but by this time I was near mental collapse and just wanted this torture over and done. Luckily, for me the Carfax report showed over twice the listed mileage the owner stated and a couple of accidents he completely forgot to tell us about, which shot down the deal. Spoilboy had jumped the gun a little and had already arranged a meeting with this person at a halfway point between our respective locations. Upon reading the Carfax report for some reason neither Dragonwife, Spoilboy nor myself remember to call this guy back and cancel the meeting. Ooops, I hope the shit did not wait very long at the Applebees we were supposed to meet.

  Now you may be wondering that if this is the worst things got why I am whining more than usual? Thank you good sir or madam, I will gladly tell you what sent this week into an abyss of despair.

  Sometime Wednesday evening I heard a loud and very shrill scream from the upstairs family room. Dragonwife is currently involved in an extensive E-bay selling frenzy and while reviewing her Pay-Pal account discovered over two-hundred and fifty dollars in charges from a weird social networking website catering to little girls. In short, Darth Wiggles completely without our permission reactivated her membership in this site and accidentally or on purpose ran up those charges. Dragonwife and I went through this once before with her and after getting the charges withdrawn by the company setup several internet blocks to prevent her from even mistakenly navigating back to that website.

  I am no expert but I am still trying to figure out how she did it. The blocks I setup were extensions offered by internet browsers we use on the family computers. One of my buddies, far more knowledgeable in this stuff than me, has suggested some internet companies willfully attempt to undermine the type of website blocks I used and that I should go out and purchase software dedicated to the job.

  The second issue unrelated to the purchase of a car for Spoilboy involves his girlfriend. If you look up the definition of “clingy” in the dictionary, you will see a picture of this young woman beside the word. Frankly, she has bothered me for a long time with her incessant talking and ability to bend Spoilboy to her whims. Several times, I have had to remind my son that before he makes any plans with his girlfriend he is to confer with his mother or me first. However, over the last few months Spoilboy’s girlfriend has felt the need to show up at our house very early in the morning on the weekends and hang out with him all day. This has gone way beyond the normal range of visits in both number and durations forcing my wife and I to put a limit on the time they spend together.

  Everything finally came to a head Friday when I learned Girlfriend had an issue with Darth Wiggles hanging out with them in the family room upstairs. Somehow, she felt that a public area in our house could be reserved for the sole use of the two lovebirds while Dragonwife, Wiggles, of me were restricted downstairs. My son Darth Spoilboy was not ready for my volcanic eruption and the news that if I got any hint she was mistreating Wiggles in even the smallest way they would never see each other again. I also gave the Spoilboy today to break the news to her they were only going to see each other two days a week outside of high school. It is my hope that once Spoilboy is fully engaged in his part-time job and working to keep his grades up that the two will drift apart.

  Now as Saturday closes hopefully the worst is over. While it may seem we went around our elbows to get to our thumbs, early this afternoon we bought a 2012 Kia Rio. Much to my surprise it looks like I will be driving the Rio since it is far better on gas mileage that either the Toyota Corolla or the Honda CRV. As much as Spoilboy hates it, he is now the “owner” of the Honda CRV, the breaking point came after we looked at one of his beloved Jeep Cherokees. Once again, the Carfax report showed huge issues with the car that the used car dealer did not want to discuss.

  Dragonwife showing her ability to scare the living Hell out of any salesman and wheeled and dealed a Rio with several exceptional nice bells and whistles at a damn good price, one of them being an extended subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio. Yes, I have already preset Radio Margaritaville on the radio along with my usual NPR stations.

  In closing, I am now sitting at the patio table on my backyard deck nursing my fifth Landshark Lager. The four empties are standing guard along the rail as I look out at my fine collection of weeds sprouting from my much-abused lawn. It is my sincere hope that things begin to unwind around here and become less complicated. If not, at some point I can feel a road trip down to Cocoa Beach, Florida coming on and once I get down there I am sure the siren of call of Key West might become overwhelming.

Not that anyone wants to know but yes, that is what I looked like this morning, and secondly, screw Newty.


Truth 101 said...

Maybe it's mean of me but I tale comfort and some pleasure knowing there are others dealing with the same miseries I deal with.

deafmutes said...

Perfect car for a teenager.
a. doggedly reliable
b. not good on gas
c. good crash test results
Why you ask? You know they will get there safely....but they won't go far.

Windsmoke. said...

You get to drive around in the brand new Kia Rio, now that's what i call a good result. Sounds like the girlfriend is a control freak and needs to be given the boot quick smart :-).

Akelamalu said...

The girlfriend sounds freaky! :0

Sarge said...

Don't forget that awesome 10 year -100K mile warranty on a KIA. I love my 09 Sportage...


jadedj said...

My brain is bleeding reading this. We face the same car buying issue next year with our oldest daughter. She already has her sights set beyond the stars in terms of "want". Oh yeah, confrontation is coming down the pike...I can smell it.

Btw, on your way to Key West, take the Old Dixie Hwy (Card Sound Rd) at Florida City, to Key Largo. Stop at Alabama Jack's just before the Car Sound Bridge. Of course, if you are a Parrothead, you probably already know about this place.

Pammy said...

I've had my Kia Soul now for a little over a year. The Sirius radio station has never changed from Margaritaville. Glad the misery is over...and soooo glad I don't hafta go through that again. heh

Collin Hinds said...

When I was a wipper-snapper, my dad bought me a dented, rusted VW Super Beetle with bad breaks, and I liked it that way. This is great reading this. Now I know what I am up against in 4 years when the oldest turns 16.

Beach Bum said...

Truth: These yahoos better watch out, they tick me off I could head down to Key West for a private vacations.

Deaf: LOL!!!!
Yeah, that is one of the reasons Spoilboy did not want the CRV. The gas mileage sucks.

Windsmoke: Yeah, I like the Rio and figure I will test the mileage out very soon. As of the girlfriend she is very much a pain.

Akelamalu: I'd hate to stop them from seeing each other but I may have to.

Sarge: Damn straight!

JadedJ: No I didn't thanks! I figure the road trip is coming as soon as I have enough money in my slush fund.

Pammy: The girlfriend issue is still open but I did a drive around town today while listening to Jimmy's station and felt better.

Colin: My first car was a gremlin, I loved that bad boy and if I could get one I would give the Kia to Spoilboy.

Pixel Peeper said...

As far as the arrangement of who owns which car in your family, you made the correct choice. So congratulations to you. And as soon as I read "satellite radio," I just knew that the Margaritaville station would be your favorite.

The girlfriend...well, from my experience, those things run their course. Don't interfere too much, or it just may take longer (you know, the spite factor).

There is a law somewhere that says that you have to take a new car out for ice cream. There is nothing in the law that says it has to be in your home town. I'm pretty sure they have ice cream in Key West.

Red Nomad OZ said...

Hell, why not just give up and see how far you can drive before anyone notices??!! I'm sure you can drive it onto a ship or something headed downunder ...

Life As I Know It Now said...

Yup, sounds like the family life alright. You had better get the new car and not the son or something would not be right in the universe!

Life As I Know It Now said...

Yup, sounds like the family life alright. You had better get the new car and not the son or something would not be right in the universe!

Randal Graves said...

Aren't you glad you had kids?

Mr. Charleston said...

This whole thing is just wonderful sport... from my advanced age vantage point. Prediction: the kid will end up with the Kia.

Suzan said...

Now, I want to join you on that Key West trip as I was just thinking about it.

All that good winter (summer) weather is spoiling us.

Love 'em while they're still kids. But don't let them get the upper hand!

I know. Mine now lives in Ft. Lauderdale and drives a mini Cooper.


Beach Bum said...

Pixel: When we got the car Saturday I told my wife I would not keep Sirius radio service after the three month free trial. Now I am not that sure.

As for the girlfriend, yeah, I figure going to strong would just push them closer.

Red Nomad: That has crossed my mind. Biggest problem would be emigration papers when I get to Oz.

Life: LOL!!!
Actually Spoilboy is okay with the CRV mainly because he hates the "looks" of the Rio. I can;t figure that boy out.

Randal" Yeah, sort of, maybe, I guess. I'm I a bad parent by increasingly daydreaming about them going off to college, getting jobs, and allowing me to move some place tropical?

Mr. Charleston: He might, but he will not have the Sirius.

Suzan: Yeah, now if we could only get Key West to really leave the Union.

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Ranch Chimp said...

Tell ya Bum, them damn Jeep Cherokee's have a long record of problem's in my opinion ... you couldnt even get me in a goddamn AMC for that matter, I have seen problem after problem with them, and a buddy (Floyd) who was lucky enough to be a mechanic constantly under the hood ... almost like what Ford car's (not Ford truck's though) were like ... I dont know about todayz Ford's. So, be thrilled on the CRV (I drive a Honda myself, but a sport coup). Probably one of the best car's I had as far as longevity had to be a 1993 Isuzu Stylus (sport) ... no ... I shit you not, I bought it new off the showroom floor then, kept it 7+ year's, had it paid in 4 though, and put over 350K mile's on it, without rebuilding the engine either! But I used to also back then toss a quart of "Slick 50" in my engine every few change's, and the rest Valvoline 10W30 (Valvoline I used for many year's, and of course Castrol ... as far as the popular Pennzoil ... you couldnt get me to put that shit in my lawnmower! ... Pennzoil would buld up alot of engine sludge for some reason). But I'll never forget the Isuzu ... man .. if that car could talk it could tell some stories : ) I actually sold it with all them mile's on it too, to this dude down in Mexico, who wanted to put a new engine in it after almost 8 year's, as a sort of project, which he done ... gave it to him for $300 cash (American dollar's of course). When I bought it, I made sure all the part's under the hood were Japanese too, with the Tokyo stamp's, now ... the kickback on working on them of course back then, is that the Japanese make everything so damn tight under the hood, compared to American's, so getting shit loose could get a tad nerveracking : ) But no ... it even had the same transmission, beside's some minor trans work I had done on a gear slipping, but after 5 year's at that ... imagine that!

I need to shut up ... : )

Later ....

lime said...

aack, we are heading into car negotiations soon.....i so do not want to go there.

clingy girl sounds like a royal pain in the rump.