Poet, Essayist, Photographer, Naturalist

Car Talk

The time came to say good by to what Nancy called “a Crushed Tin Can.” She is referring to my Honda Civic. I bought it used for 9K with 35K miles and sold it for 300$ with 153K. The engine lasted. The rest, not so much. Right rear window didn’t close. Hood cable snapped; two expensive repairs ignition key and transmission pad; there were dents; and my large body and small foot room left a large warn hole on the floor rug on the driver side; CD player stuck; and the major reason I stopped driving it – air bag computer replacement $1,000. It was time for an automatic gear shift. I am sick of getting beeped when street intersection lights turn green.

I was thinking I can’t drive a car whose air bags don’t work. With Nancy in the passenger seat a head on crash is possible death. Joe Jones, our excellent mechanic, gave it to me straight. It was time to move on.

Nancy suggested another Honda. My thought was a small gas efficient and the least amount of Carbon dioxide exhaust. I decided on a Prius and after a week, Nancy said.”We’re going to Toyota, get in my car.”

We met our sales woman, Diania Merilan, and we looked at two cars. I chose the C model – the little guy, the size of a VW Bug. Black, automatic, with a dash board that looked like the control panel in a nuclear power plant. “I don’t need all this stuff..radio, cd, light that tell me stuff I really don’t need to know. But anyway, I bought the car. Here are some comments on the first 100 miles:

As I slide into the drivers seat, I feel as if I’ve been swallowed by a shark or a whale because the roof of the car had a “shark-fin antennae” which I don’t need. I bought the car to get around, not have an entertainment center. My major entertainment is going to continue to remain alive in shark-infested waters along with the other 800,000 cars in Suffolk County. There are monster cars, diesel trucks that growl, race drivers, and all but a few of us…FAST DRIVERS.
There are beeper drivers,

A sticker on the inside window listed NINE standard safety devices that would keep me alive as I pulled out of the driveway like not being able to see traffic both ways because of large SUV pick up trucks blocking my view. I don’t see that on the safety stand sticker.

“Vehicle stability control” I don’t know how this works because I feel pretty stable already. BUT… every little bit helps.
It must apply to older senior drivers.

“Traction Control” will this help me on icy roads. My traction control is to stay home. I’m retired. I don’t feel the need to drive in bad weather conditions.

“Anti-lock brake system” wow…I’m excited don’t locked brakes..might need them at stop signs

“Electronic brake-force distribution” to me this means that both brakes work together which is a good thing why wouldn’t they?

“Brake assist” does this mean that there’s a small person hiding under the seat that depresses the brake wheeen I’m asleep at the wheel?

“Smart Stop Technology” I take this to mean that I’m awake, sober, and can see ahead of me.

_”Pre-collison System” is this an alarm that comes out of the dashboard that screams “YOU’RE GONNA CRASH?”

– “Lane Departure Alert” this will be a great help when I change lanes ( a speaker will announce “DUDE, YOU’RE CHANGING LANES”

“Auto High Beams” I assume this safety feature is to announce when a cop is ready to pull me over and arrest me for being drunk.

I bought a Prius because I had to buy a car. It was a necessity. I chose to help Mother Earth by not letting a lot of carbon dioxide come out of the exhaust pipe.

The owners manual is 600 pages! Weighs 1.25 pounds. It was written for millenials, not a 77 year old. So far, I’ve driver about 100 miles without looking at a single page.

Your ad says “Go Places” Of course, that’s the general idea. Even people without cars go places. My goal is to fill the gas tanks once a month. In addition, I want to cut my total yearly milage by ¼ so my mantra is GO SOME PLACES

A smaller manual says that the car has a 23 point child restraint system. Good got, the people who wrote the Toyota Manual mush have some ready bac, nasty, children!

Rthe car isn’t without total silence. There are sounds and vibrations specific to a hybrid vehicle on page 78 it lists 9. I hope they don’at jump out at me on Halloween.

Nine airbags!!! My god, if I have an accident and they deploy. I’ll suffocate!

In conclusion: after all the mirth and wise cracks, I am happy with my new car for only one reason. I’ve been a hypocrite with all the cars I’ve driven in the past. They guzzled gas and I added my share of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Now I can boast, I can show off, I use my Prius to show now Earth Friendly I am.

Thanks Toyota. I like your logo because it looks like a cowboy with a ten gallon hat.

Toom Stock

Blog: tomstock.org


Gardiner County Park In Winter


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  1. Toom, I got a good chuckle.
    As an aside: Someone I know had their airbags pop after a collision. The car wa totaled because it cost so much to repack the airbags it was ‘more practical’ to buy a whole new vehicle.

    • tom stock

      ah, the american way. design a product so it can’t be fixed. not like the old days when you could get the parts and fix it yourself.

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