Here’s a free pro tip for you from your friendly neighborhood Goldfish: don’t ever buy a car. Just walk or ride a bike or teleport or something, because buying a car is positively the worst experience you’ll ever have. It’s worse than jamming white hot nails in your eyeballs (I’d imagine). At least the hotness of the nails cauterizes the wounds. When buying a car, the blood never coagulates: it just keep gushing forever. Hey, Henry Ford… fuck you.
After scouring the interweb for weeks on end and researching cars I’ve never even heard of before, I finally decided on a few models and set forth into the world wide world to purchase a vehicle. That was my first mistake. I should have said, nah, I’ll just buy a horse. Although, honestly, I don’t know anything about horses either. I would have ended up with one that was blind and lame, but was a nice color.
Let’s set the scene shall we? Me: blonde and female. People selling cars: biased against blonde and female. Females, especially blonde ones, are idiots to be taken advantage of, shystered, lied to, swindled, hornswoggled and exploited. Nay, not just can be exploited, but it’s ethically and morally and universally acknowledged by the used car salesmen set that it’s required that blonde females are exploited. You will lose your car salesmen cred if you don’t lie to them at least three times. Don’t worry about being caught in a lie either since blonde females are universally dim. They won’t notice.
Well, I noticed. When you tell me three different mileages in two minutes, it’s kind of hard not to. It’s also difficult not to notice that the car that you’re trying to sell me as a “clean title” is actually a salvaged title because it was stolen. You don’t need to be a detective or non-blonde to figure this out. All you have to do is notice the marks on the outside where someone who was obviously not a professional tried to use a crowbar or a chainsaw to open it, or the missing radio with wires hanging down or that the center console was just missing altogether. All that was left in its place was a twisted piece of metal that just hung out in the middle of the car forlorn and bereft of purpose. I also noticed the bird crap inside the car. Hey, used car guys, if you want to sell a car, the very least you should do is remove the animal feces from the interior of the vehicle, but you didn’t even do that. Good job.
I test drove cars that had faulty brakes, suspension, transmission or electrical. I drove cars that locked me inside and I couldn’t figure out how to get out. I drove cars where the windows didn’t open and the blinkers didn’t work. I drove cars that made strange noises at odd times. I drove cars where I couldn’t find first gear. I drove a car where the electrical on the entire right side of the car didn’t work like a stroke patient. I saw more incomprehensible buttons and knobs than a mixing board. They all became one fucked up old car after a while. I couldn’t remember which one had the bird poop and which one had the marshmallow suspension. I made a thousand phone calls and received a hundred in return. I had countless phone numbers saved in my phone so that when a number called back, if they called back, I would know which car was calling. I had cars that I was on the way to see get sold out from under me. That happened four times in the same day. “Hi, I’m on my way over to look at the car.” Fifteen minutes later, “I’m sorry. I just sold it.”
So, when I finally found a car on my list of acceptable models in my price range with less than 100,000 miles that had just been posted 15 minutes prior, I was standing in front of it a half an hour later. I slightly overpaid for it, because while I was there, the owner received a dozen phone calls from people who wanted to see it and someone drove by to ask about it. It was a now or never type of situation, and quite frankly, I was goddamn sick of car shopping.
We talked her down on the price since the car needs new brakes, I gave her the money and I was now the proud owner of an ancient BMW 318is. It’s the BMW with the tiny 4-cylinder engine. I specifically wanted the smallest engine because it’s better on fuel economy. It is literally the bottom of the line for BMWs. Do I care? No. Do I even give a crap that it’s a BMW? No. It’s old enough that I think the entitled asshole license has expired. Strangely, the “s” stands for sport suspension package and you can actually tell it’s there when you drive it.
Now, my new purchase is at a shop getting fancy new brakes and a general checkup. Fingers crossed that nothing is really wrong with it, but based on the way it drives, I don’t really think there is. I will spruce it up and drive it into the ground (or at least another 100K miles) and put this episode far, far behind me. Until the next time I go to buy a car and say, Oh, yeah. I forgot. This SUCKS.
UPDATE: After unexpectedly having to replace every piece of rubber inside the engine compartment along with the new brakes, it drives like a brand new car, except that it still has that awesome, old car throaty growl. It drives better than the new car I had that was totaled. I named her Lotta since she’s already cost me a lotta money, which means that I’ll be driving her for a lotta years, but my mechanic has assured me that a lotta years are entirely possible with this car. “Easily another 100K,” he boasted. Lotta passed the smog check with flying colors while I waited with nervous dread at the results. She is now registered in my name. Other than oil changes, I don’t have to worry about anything car related until March of 2013 when the registration needs to be renewed. I am done with car crap. Done.