We’re getting ready to buy a new car. A bigger one. A safer one. The ones we currently own are two small sedans that would crumble if a riding lawnmower hit them. My wife’s car is a little bit nicer than mine. But not by much. She refuses to drive mine. Well, only if she absolutely must. I will admit its pure treachery trying to put a car seat in my car, let alone a child in the car seat. Only one door works on the entire vehicle. The AC is broken and we live in Hawaii. The check engine light loves to play a sort of hide and seek game with you every so often and the interior is dotted with cigarette stains as though the previous owner had no other place in the world to bury his butt. That’s the bad. Most of it. Purely cosmetic and superficial if you ask me.
I’ve come to realize I have a very different idea about the value of cars compared to most of my peers. You see a car as it simply is, is a vehicle for which its primary purpose is to get you from point A to point B. If it can fulfill this purpose with little to no hiccups then it is a winner. My blue Kia is exactly that. I bought it for $3000 and I’ve had it for three years. I’ve paid for oil changes, break replacements, and new tires. But not only has this been one of my sharpest bargains, it has also been one of my most astute investments. My blue baby has actually made me money.
One marvelous Saturday morning my wife got gently bumped from behind while she was begrudgingly driving my car. I had taken hers that morning. The lady who rear-ended her put on the brakes a little too late. Nobody was hurt thankfully. The perpetrator got out of her car, ran to my wife’s window and said:
“I know it’s my fault. Here are my details. Please don’t call the cops. I just want to go to the beach. My insurance will pay out.”
The blue Kia had a small shiner on the back of her trunk, but nothing to alter the glimmer of her faded blue appearance. The insurance company called us three weeks later offering to fix the dent or pay out $2500. Hmm… tough decision. What a little money maker.
It’s not like we sleep in our cars or host dinner parties for friends and family while the engine’s running. So why do we as a society pay so much money for them? It’s a curious fascination I have for people who have massive car payments yet part with little return when the next shiny model takes the showroom.
Perhaps it’s the greater problem of the age. Apparently working car doors and AC haven’t quite affected me like other areas where I’m apt to spend money on items that lend towards immaturity and superficiality.
Today I took my blue bomber in for an oil change. The news was sad.
“You’ve got about $1400 worth of repairs that need to be done, Luke.”
“Shoot. Well, will she keep me going for a month without blowing up?”
“Yeah. You could squeeze another month.”
“Alright. Let’s just do the oil change.”
I’m going to list my Kia on Craigslist soon. If I can get $600 for her I would have made more from her than what I bought her for. I’m certain I’ll find a like-minded companion out there on the internet.
“$600. Beautiful, faded, blue Kia. Drives like silk. One working door. No AC. Cigarette stains for miles. This one’s going to sell in a hurry.”