January 5th, 2007

krazy koati

She's got a competition clutch with the four on the floor

Buying a car is one of the leading ways to legally gain possession of a car, and it is certainly more convenient than building one yourself, what with the extensive investment needed to make your own assembly plant. But this is not to suggest you should buy the first car you see. Very likely the first car you see isn't even for sale; it just happens to be near you when you start looking. Trying to buy it anyway will often confuse the driver, if there is one.

It's important to investigate a car you might buy. One of the things to check is whether your car is still car-shaped. There are many amusing anecdotes to have by buying a car which has some other shape, such as that of a chimney or a camera tripod, but they will only be satisfying rides for topologists. Other traits a car should have before you buy it include available wheels, a hood, and an engine of some form. If it is a used car the back seat should also have at least four copies of partly-read magazines, a crumpled bag, empty except for six napkins, left over from Wendy's or White Castle, between eight and ten soda bottle caps, and what might be either a tissue or a completely dried wet-wipe. It would have been convenient for the earlier owner to clean those out, but they are fairly disgusting, so you can't blame the owner for refusing to touch them. It should also have a slightly muddy floor mat folded over so it no longer fits in any orientation when flattened out. It's also worth checking that your money is still money-shaped after the year you just had.

Under no circumstances should you buy a car without taking it for a test drive, which should test the car's performance under all the common road conditions and weather conditions in your area, including over rough road during freezing rain in the worst flooding in 75 years, so multiple test drives spread over several years may be needed. In the event you fall off the road and into the path of an experimental molecular transference beam which fuses your body with the car's so that you shift between biological and automotive form with remarkable frequency do note the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission offers a special combined operator's-license-and-vehicle-registration card at $3.25 less than the cost of separate license and registration, so plan your accidents accordingly.

Before buying a used car, make certain to have a mechanic you trust inspect the vehicle. If the mechanic can see the car, watch his reactions. If he screams, runs far away, and dives under cover, this may indicate problems which will need costly and time-consuming attention. If he falls over laughing until he gasps for air this could also be a problem unless you have a particularly amusing vehicle identification number. Vehicle identification numbers generally try to be amusing by heavy use of irony and stringing together less-common definitions of words that look casually like malapropisms; it takes a while to really understand this writing style. This is another reason it's poor form to buy a car too quickly. Don't be afraid to change your mind and decline to buy a car you've already shown interest in, even after the vehicle inspection, unless you are buying it from a large and scary-looking person. if you are, try to disguise yourself when you announce you aren't interested and this may distract or confuse or at least annoy the old owner. If the mechanic can not see the car, it may be the result of an eye disorder. Many of these conditions can be caught if treated early enough by an eye doctor, and your mechanic will appreciate the help.

In conclusion, you should most often buy the fifth car you see.

Trivia: From 1650 to 1700 tea imports to what would be Great Britain (not counting smuggling) totalled 181,545 pounds. Source: Tastes of Paradise, Wolfgang Schivelbusch.

Currently Reading: Inside ABC: American Broadcasting Company's Rise to Power, Sterling Quinlan.