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Laverne H. Bardy Headshot

My New Red Car

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We bought a beautiful new car, and it's for me. It's a gas guzzler but that's okay, it's red. I don't know the difference between a Lincoln and a Mini Cooper, but I do love red cars. The salesman at the car dealership tried to foist a black one on me. I wouldn't even open its door. It wasn't red on the outside, so I wasn't interested in the inside.

I can understand how the car dealer may have mistaken my disinterest in whether or not the car actually had an engine for stupidity. Nevertheless, I found it offensive when he explained every amenity and what was under the hood to Mighty Marc, then turned to me and said he would include a cute little bottle of red touch-up paint for the dings I'll be making.

So we drove my beautiful red car and it's amenities out of the lot, not knowing how to work anything but the ignition.

Even the radio is a challenge. Every time I'm certain I've learned how to set it, I discover that I haven't. On the steering wheel there are a group of buttons that I haven't figured out yet. There's one button that I accidentally found twice. When I pushed it, the steering wheel moved up and down. There's another button that raises and lowers the accelerator pedal, although since I don't plan on growing or shrinking any time in the near future, I can't imagine I'll ever use it.

My red car has cruise control, as do most new cars today, but this one has cruise control like none I've ever seen. It's called Automatic Cruise Control. I set the speed I want, and if my car determines that I'm driving too close to the car in front of me, it automatically slows down. Having this amenity allows me to relax and removes a lot of stress from driving. I'm tempted to try it with my eyes closed, but then I'd probably have to use the entire contents of that cute little bottle of red ding paint.

It also has a built in GPS, which I insisted I needed. Before buying this car, Mighty Marc bought me a Garmin GPS unit three years earlier, for my birthday. If I ever wanted to use it I had to go to his car, because that's where he kept it; sort of like the son who buys his father a baseball glove for Christmas. One day I decided to try it. I placed it on the dashboard, punched in the address of a new friend, followed every command perfectly and ended up at some stranger's house. Since we were guaranteed that such things would never happen with this expensive system, I asked the people in the house why they were there and demanded that they leave, immediately. They insisted they were the rightful owners of the house but, if I were to believe them I'd be forced to lose faith in the Garmin, which I wasn't about to do.

The GPS Mighty Marc bought me for my birthday isn't very nice. She talks down to us. We named her something that rhymes with Witch. Because we don't like her attitude, we often ignore her directions, purposely, and then regret it.

We discovered that my new red car's GPS has a glitch. It only accepts two-digit addresses, so if we need directions to someone whose address happens to have more than two numbers, it's sad, but we can never see them again.

We took my new red car to Manhattan yesterday and instructed the GPS to find a traffic-free route back home to Jersey. It led us through parts of upstate New York, Connecticut and what might have been Massachusetts. The usual 70-minute drive took nearly five and a half hours, but in my beautiful red car's defense, we did avoid traffic.