SHE'S NEW, SHE'S SEXY,
AND SHE'S A PROBLEM
"I'm thinking about making a change," I said to my
wife a few months ago. "Something sleeker, something racier,
"Go ahead," she replied, barely looking up.
"You're not getting any younger. This might be your last
What a good sport! But I didn't change. I stuck with the
comfort of home, the reliability of routine, the pleasures of simplicity.
Then one day I had an epiphany. It was over, and there was no
turning back. The old girl disappointed me one too many times. It was time
to get rid of her, and go with the younger model before it was too late.
I wanted youth, I wanted shape, I wanted freshness. And more
than anything, I wanted a hands-free telephone with voice control.
My love affair with my 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid was suddenly a
thing of the past. Lacking imagination, I headed for my local Ford dealer
to check out the brand spanking new 2017 Ford Escapes, with their radical
"I want all the bells and whistles," I said to the
eager young salesman. "Technology is what I'm all about."
"You know we don't make the Hybrids anymore in the
Escape model," he explained.
"Screw the environment," I shouted, as I
looked over the Titatium 2.4 liter Eco-Boost model. "I've moved on. I
want power and speed, and sleek leather and gadgets. And more
I settled on a black one, with black leather interior. And it
had gadgets. The dashboard looked like an airline cockpit. I couldn't wait
to get home and try out all my new toys.
The young salesman gave me a tutorial before setting me free.
I learned about the navigation system, the phone, climate control, the
entertainment options, voice activation, the self-parking features, and
even how to get scores off the internet. All of which I had forgotten
before I drove off the lot.
But I was still pretty excited driving home. My 27 year old
son, who had cheated me into selling him my 2010 Escape for a bargain
price (I'm suing him for elder abuse) was driving my old car next to me on
the freeway, since we had driven to the dealership together. I couldn't
believe I used to drive that old piece of crap with its cloth seats and
heater that didn't even tell you the digital temperature.
I deserved better, and now I had it. My butt was a little
cold in the leather seat, though, so I turned the seat warmer on. That got
a little toasty, so I turned it down.
As I changed lanes on the freeway, I checked my side view
mirror and looked for the blind spot warning light, which tells you if
there's another car in the lane next to you. I quickly decided I would
never trust it. It's irritated me ever since.
I pushed the voice control lever and some nice lady asked me
what I wanted to do. I said call home. It asked me if I wanted to call my
sister in San Diego. After a few more tries, I was yelling obscenities at
I pulled into my driveway and all those bells and whistles I
asked for began ringing. Apparently, I was within three feet of something
solid and warning signals were firing. The radio, which I had managed to
master, went silent, apparently so I could hear the alarms. It was in the
middle of an important news story, and I missed it.
I pushed the button to turn off the engine (no keys, of
course), and the radio went back on, as did lights and dashboard
information. I'm still not sure why.
I staggered into the house and gave my wife a big hug.
"I miss my old car," I whimpered. "I thought I wanted
something fresh and racy, but it's all far too complicated. I can't handle
all this new technology. I want to go back to a simple, comfortable
"There's a lesson here," replied my wife as she
caressed my sagging shoulders.
"Don't be enticed by fresh, beautiful shapes with flashy
accoutrements?" I asked, nodding.
She looked over at my 27 year old son, who was eagerly
staring out the window at my new car, sensing an opportunity.
"I was thinking more about not getting fleeced again by