I bought a new car in April. Well, technically, I bought an old car and, technically, it’s an SUV. We call it a “truck” around here, though, because when referencing a thing it’s easier to use the one-syllable, simplistic derivative than the three-syllable acronym. Ironically, we called my original SUV – the 1998 Dodge Durango Magnum V8 I drove around for 15 years – the “big dog.”
Mrs C would say, for example: “Are we taking my car or the big dog?”
That question never comes up now. The new “big dog” – a 2004 Chevy Tahoe – isn’t for taking. For one thing it’s a gas guzzler that probably affords me 12 mpg, at best. I mean, have you seen the gas prices? I’m sure you have since it’s all the red-hats talk about these days. With Joe doing an above average job running the nation despite pandemic-driven, supply chain inflationary pressures “have you seen the gas prices?!” is all they’ve got.
I never mind gas prices, as an aside. It’s hard to say how much more I’m spending on gas right now because of the nature of my budget spreadsheet but I’d say it’s somewhere in the $40/month range for all cars total. I’m spending about $10 a week more on gas, it seems. About two beers at a bar plus tip’s worth. A couple of Starbucks coffees. About four times as much as I spend on my Sirius XM subscription which I listen to exactly 16 minutes/day.
My commute to work is 8 minutes. My commute back is also 8 minutes. That’s all my radio time.
Not to say that I’m not sympathetic to the problem. We’ve built a civilization dependent on petrol fuel, taken almost everything we can from the bottom wage earners in society, funneled that money upwards to make the extreme rich richer and richer, and work very hard to keep the downtrodden down. When a staple of their daily needs – fuel or food – spikes in price it causes greater hardship at the bottom and greater profits at the top exactly the way we set it up. The answer, obviously, isn’t to drill more oil or destroy sacred lands with pipelines but to fix the basic setup of society by distributing the gains we all accomplish together as a society to more of its constituents. We could use the billions trapped at the top to all but erase the pressure of $10 a week at the bottom. Crazy, huh?
But enough of the aside, I came here to talk about my new old car. It is, as I said, a 2004 Chevy Tahoe, black (of course), and nice looking with some obvious wear. Wear doesn’t bother me since I didn’t buy it to be a show car. I bought it for a very specific reason:
From the moment I sold my old Durango and realized the 2017 Limited Edition Star Wars Nissan Rogue One was never going to be a dog car, I realized I had made a mistake. In the five years since I have been searching for a new dog car. Well, more like 2 years, since the 2017 Limited Edition Star Wars Nissan Rogue One was a three-year lease and I wanted to finish that up before committing to another vehicle (or two). As you know, when I turned the 2017 Limited Edition Star Wars Nissan Rogue One back into the dealer – happily, because it had to go to the body/repair shop three times in the first year – I bought my wife a black 2020 Honda Civic EX Sedan and took over driving her old one.
That one’s still a good car and I drive it for exactly 16 minutes every day. When we go places together, which we ought to do more now, we never ask “are we taking the old 2004 Honda Civic EX Sedan or the 12 mpg 2004 Chevy Tahoe Sport Utility Vehicle today?” we just simply both jump into the 2020 Honda Civic EX Sedan and off we go.
The picture above of the boys sticking their heads out the window at the gas station is from 2017 in the Durango, of course. That’s Moxie and Ludo, before the coming of him:
It is my fervent wish to recreate that picture above with the new old SUV, which I might end up simply calling “the Beast.” But I’ve had to do some fine-tuning to get it dog-ready.
Besides, it still mostly scares the hell out of one of them.
Such is life.
So, one of the important things that has happened to me in the last few months – besides realizing that I have somehow contracted benign paroxysmal positional vertigo – is that I bought my dogs a car.
They love it.
Or they will.
Once they figure out what it’s for. 😁