Here it is . . .
. . . the new ride.
Before I get a bunch of hate email, let me explain. It's a Chevy HHR (Which stands for 'Heritage High Roof,' basically a Honda Element in back and, I kid you not, a 1949 Chevy pickup truck in front). It gets 31 miles per gallon (Which I confirmed in a test drive). It's the only vehicle in our household (We're bus riders). It's a GM product (Don't blame me if #6 comes true). And it suits a lifestyle that ought to help keep your health insurance premiums lower (Two bikes fit nicely in the back when the rear seats are down).
I like it. My wife doesn't like it. She agreed to buy it without me having to do any Jedi mind tricking. We've decided to stay married. How I pulled this off . . . I'll never know.
It has XM Radio, a hands free phone, and OnStar which was a surreal way to drive off the lot since the dealer actually reached inside the window and activated it as I was preparing to roll up my window.
"Let's get you up and running," he said as he pressed the little OnStar button on my rear view mirror.
"Thanks," I replied, thinking that maybe he'd just activated something so I could use it if I got caught in an avalanche or locked my keys in the car.
I rolled out onto Silver Spring Drive in a snowstorm . . . feeling good . . . the new ride . . . ohhhhh yeahhhhh.
And then I almost went Depends right there on the new driver's seat . . . . . .
"Hello Mr. Jacobson, my name is Marsha. How are you enjoying your new Chevy HHR?"
The voice was coming from inside the car.
"Fine," I said, while glancing into the back seat because of that one urban legend.
"I'll tell you what, my aunt bought one last year, and she just loves it."
"Oh," I'm three seconds into meeting Marsha whose bodyless voice is talking to me in a snowstorm in a new purchase that, since I don't own a home, is the most valuable material item I now have, "Awesome."
"You'll have a lot of fun."
"Yeah, I, uhhh, hope to." Screw this. "Hey Marsha?"
"Yes, Mr. Jacobson."
"Where are you right now?"
"I'm at the OnStar call center." This meant nothing.
"Oh. OK." I froze. I couldn't do it. "I guess that makes sense." I couldn't subject her to the harrassment I reserve for telemarketers.
I backed down and submitted. She already had all my information but needed to confirm it. She even knew where I was at.
"I see you're getting ready to get onto the interstate highway," This left me just shy of freaked. I felt like Jack Bauer. I wanted FBI files patched in as I headed out toward the sleeper cell's safehouse.
Except I was going to the Target in Grafton to get winter floor mats.
It kept snowing. Marsha and I kept talking. When we finally said goodbye to each other I went ahead and found all the swear word stations on XM. The Target snack shop popcorn was real good.
Later, I got an iPod jack for the stereo on sale at Best Buy. I tried to find Marsha to tell her about it, but I got some other guy at a different call center. He didn't know her.
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