Just Call Me Crazy

September 1996

The following story is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Parents of middle aged children, especially male children, may want to keep this to themselves so as not to trigger any destructive behavior known to occur during this fragile period.

Our story begins on a Sunday. A middle aged man was washing his Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo, the pride of his auto fleet. One coat of Maguires wax was applied and voila!, show room condition. It was a bright sunny day in So Cal so what better to do than remove the T-tops and go for a Sunday drive... but where to go? Well, he decides to cruise up to the local auto mall. This would be his first visit in some 7 years... since his love affair began with the ZX in November of 1989.

After making one swing past all the dealerships, he decides to be bold and stop at the Porsche emporium. In years past, the man lusted after a Porsche 928 but alas, they have now gone out of production. He had been too timid earlier to ask for test drives, knowing there was no way he could afford one. But this day would be different. Bold as beans he strode into the local Porsche/Acura dealer and demanded to test their wares. First on the list was a Porsche 911 Carerra... a mere $67,000 plus luxury tax, title, and license. Following this in order of testing were a 911 Cabriolet ($75,000), a 911 4S ($82,000) and finally the big daddy of them all, a 930 Turbo (out the door price somewhere in the $150,000 range).

Greatly to the man's surprise and relief... he didn't like any of them!! Oh sure, the 930 Turbo had neck snapping performance and bone jarring stopping power but the interior reminded him of his dad's old Volkswagen beetle. Amazingly, there were few creature features and for 150 large, it should be packed with items to amuse and entertain. "Great" the man says to himself, "My desire for such toys is now gone."

HOWEVER........ There was one last, lonely car on the lot. A small red one hidden from ordinary view in the corner of the show room. The car was so rare that this, the largest dealership in town, only sold 12 such units last year. It was the end of the day and after 4 grueling (and disappointing) hours testing all manor of Porsche, he decides just one more spin around the circuit would be tolerable.

This model was a mid-engine, low slung (even lower than his current ZX sports car), a foot longer than any other car tested that day and decked out in "Arrest Me Red," not the best color for such a seriously fast car. On climbing into the car he notices it has every creature feature known to man. And the leather seats fit like gloves around the pilot and co-pilot.

Tired and disappointed from his earlier forays, he pulls out of the lot and heads for the freeway, giving the engine time to warm up. He notices the wonderful sound of 270 horses coming from the firewall behind his right ear, an unusual place since the man has never driven a mid-engine, all aluminum car before. We get to the freeway on ramp and the sales guy says, "Punch it!" The man instantly obeys the command and HOOOOOAAAHHHHH! We are off with a roar. The course winds through an industrial park which is deserted on Sundays, a really good thing, too since the man and his stead are leaving numerous black marks on the pavement from acceleration, breaking and hard cornering.

At this point, an executive decision is made. The pair will abort the standard track and cruise over to La Costa, the man's home turf. First he goes by the family homestead.... no one home... "Good," he thinks, "I have made an effort to gain the approval of the little woman and it's now her fault if she fails to stop the progression of events." Next stop is the daughter's condo which is found to be filled with teenaged college students. After close inspection, all give their enthusiastic approval of the car. "Great," the man concludes, "I now have carte blanche to pursue the remaining procedural steps."

So back to the dealership he goes. It is 7PM and most of the staff is now gone. However, the smell of blood is in the water and the sales sharks are not leaving the tank. They swim around eyeballing each other for another 2.5 hours. No way is the man going to pay their outrageous asking price. Their offers for his venerable ZX are insulting... and so goes the dance.

I believe it was Darwin who had something to say about the inevitability of the result of this minnow and shark encounter. And yes, the shark did eat the minnow. Though it was not full price, the shark did enjoy the meal more than the minnow. However, the minnow did come away with an outrageous, Arrest Me Red, consolation prize. And gingerly home he went with the spoils of his day's work

Though the man truly did not plan on buying anything, I think you will agree, he did OK.

The Minnow's Prize

 

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