January 14, 2005
The car arrived Thursday, and I think it's cursed. The bad luck and general bad karma that defined the buying process has carried over into the car itself.
Not that there's anything physically wrong with the car. It's great. It slices, it dices, it does everything I want. But since we pulled out of the dealer's (phone number: 666-5181) lot on that January 13th (now there's a lucky date) night, there's been a black cloud over it.
Our first destination was a stop at an Applebee's not too far from the dealer for a celebratory dinner. I should point out that Applebee's is becoming -- not through our choice -- "our" restaurant for important dates. On our first wedding anniversary, we planned a dinner at a romantic-sounding restaurant, only to arrive to find a glorified diner with a menu that didn't look too impressive. So we drove around to find another place, but our hunger overwhelmed us and we settled for an Applebee's. Now that the Prius dinner was at an Applebee's, I'm starting to worry about a trend.
Here we are outside the restaurant. Luckily, I wore my good jeans on this fateful day.
Back to the car. After dinner, we headed to my parents house to drop off the Grand Am. I decided this would be a perfect opportunity to test out the car's navigation system. What is neat about the navigation system is that when you punch in a destination, it gives you three routes: quickest, shortest, and alternate. Apparently, I hit a button that wasn't even presented -- "scenic" -- because 45 minutes later, we were still twisting through the back roads of Westchester county. The kind woman whose voice says "Turn left" and "Exit approaching" stayed silent as we passed highway after highway, choosing instead to wind us through the backcountry, taking one 160-degree left turn and at least one full U-turn.
Not that it wasn't a lovely day for a drive. Fog like I've never seen rolled across the roads in waves. Occasional breaks in the fog prevent me from describing it as the proverbial "pea soup" -- perhaps a dense broth, instead, or a nice bisque -- but it was enough to bring traffic to about 15mph or so.
This photo really doesn't do the conditions justice. But it does show the speed we were going, and you can see that the people in front of us had their hazard flashers on.
On the plus side, the navigation system was really quite handy in the fog. I knew every turn before it came, and I was in the exit lane for each off-ramp before the first blurry sign appeared. Which was handy, because there were a lot of turns and a lot of exits on this journey. At the same time, it's rather dangerous, because I find myself blindly listing to whatever the navigation lady (I really have to find a good name for her) says. At times I didn't even know what road I was on. It's like being a passenger in your own car. If the navigation ever breaks mid-trip somewhere, I'm going to be in a lot of trouble. So if you ever get a phone call from me at 3:30 in the morning, odds are I'll be needing directions. Keep a map in the bedside table.
Over an hour later we arrived at my parents, and showed off our new wheels. I took my brother for a test drive -- for which Amy still hasn't forgiven me, since that meant he got to drive it before she did -- and then we set off home.
Amy took over the wheel this time, while I played with all the neat toys. The fog rolled in again, so I had plenty of time to play while we inched home. When we got to our house (the navigation was much better this time), I searched for the "Find us a Parking Space" button, but no luck. I guess that's on the 2006 model. We finally had to settle a spot about a block-and-a-half away.
Our first Prius experience was over.
This morning the black cloud continues (literally). In lieu of fog there is rain, which has prevented me from taking any more pictures, or giving the tour to my co-workers.
Okay, so the curse only consists of some bad weather and one trip that took too long. I didn't say this was a bad curse. It's more along the lines of "I curse you to a lifetime of hangnails and sporadic bad hair days" than a real curse, but I sense it just the same.
I have a feeling the cloud will lift soon. I'm not too worried if it doesn't, though: the car is still awesome, and I might get a few good stories out of it. :)Posted by Kevin at January 14, 2005 12:31 PM