Monday, June 03, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 71

The Time Mookie and Megan Abused A Car On A Test Drive

A few years back, the wife and I decided we needed to get another car.  We wanted to get a "new" car, but not spend a lot on it - so that limited our options quite a bit.  "Megan (*)" did a bit of internet research and found a few cheap models we could possibly afford, but we needed to see them up close before we made any big decisions.  One weekend we decided to head to the nearest dealership that we knew had a few of the particular make/models we had in mind.  At the top of our list of low-end cars to drive was a particular  Mazda (I don't recall which one -  a Protege possibly).  It was cheap, but it was a Mazda - which we felt wasn't a horrible car.

Once we got on the car lot, as predicted we were approached by a salesman in about 35 seconds - His name was Al.  You know how a lot of car salesman are nicely dressed, and you can tell they are greasy smooth talkers?  This guy was the utter opposite of that.  He was odd, dorky, nervous and very shaky.  I immediately dubbed him "Shaky Al."  We talked to Al about the Mazda, and he said he'd let us take it for a test drive to see what we thought of it.  Well, since we had NO intention of buying this particular car (color was lame and it didn't have options we wanted) we figured we would definitely put the car to task and see what this son-of-a-bitch could actually do.  Megan was first behind the wheel, and once we were out of sight of the dealership and Shaky Al - she put her foot down.  She took us up the ramp onto the interstate and we were exceeding the speed limit before we even merged.  The car had decent acceleration given it's tin-can demeanor, but we wondered how it would handle going through some corners.  As luck would have it, we saw a "cloverleaf" interchange ahead and Megan decided to give the car a workout.
A cloverleaf interchange

Megan took the exit and we leeeeaned into the first curve with a decent amount of speed, but not too much because we weren't sure what it would do - so she used some brake.  We came out of the curve up onto the perpendicular interstate and then entered the other clover.  As she hit the second curve, this time Megan used NO brake and she cramped the wheel taking us through yet another clover.  By the time we exited the third and forth clovers, Megan was on the gas into AND out of the curves.  She was really giving it hell, and I remember hearing the sound of the tires scraping the ground like they were just on the edge of losing their grip on the road - but yet she was still in control of it.  It was beautiful.  She always said she wanted to be the "professional driver on a closed course" that you always see doing the crazy shit in car commercials.

Once we got back on the primary interstate and up the road a bit, I said that it was my turn. Megan pulled off in a Hardee's parking lot so we could switch, and as we got out of the car we both noticed that there was an odd smell in the air.  Megan said "Do you smell that?"  And I smiled and said "Yeah."  It may have been coming from the car, but we weren't sure.

Once we got buckled in, I departed the parking lot and headed back in the direction of the dealership - and the cloverleaf.  Needless to say, I too felt the need for speed.  We were buzzing along pretty good when we got back to the cloverleaf, and I took the exit at full speed.  I jacked the wheel and we both held on and laughed our asses off.  I accelerated out of the curve up onto the entrance of the 2nd cloverleaf and tried my best to match Megan's effort to tear the wheels off the car as we tore through the curves.  The third and forth clovers were navigated with the same reckless abandon that Megan delivered, and the car probably sighed when we finally got back on the interstate towards the dealership.

When we both exited the car back at the dealership, we quickly noticed that the smell we smelled before back at Hardee's was even more pronounced - and definitely coming from the car.  Whoops.
"Hey Al we're back!  Yeah that's one hot automobile."

I figured it was probably the smell of the oils and grease they coat new car parts with burning off from the heat of the engine.  At least that's what I tried to convince myself.  When Shaky Al came out to greet us, we tried to keep him away from the car so that he couldn't smell the evidence that we had abused the shit out of it.  I don't know if we succeeded, but he never acted like he was any wiser about it.  I didn't matter in the end though, because we ended up going back to him a few weeks later and buying a different car.

So let that be lesson to you the next time you are looking to buy a car.  You never know who might have test-driven it, or owned it before you got there.  It might be someone who did stuff like we did.  Or even something like this:


(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent.

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