In my 35 years, I have only been through the car-buying experience once, and that was a relatively painless process, involving the brother of a guy at work. Now that I’ve got my Arizona driving licence, I begin to twitch gently in the general direction of possibly doubling that tally.
It has to be said, that obtaining the licence was not nearly as taxing as I feared, and never mind piece of cake, it was an entire gateau compared to the British one. If it took 15 minutes, I’d be surprised, and seemed to involve little more than once around the block, hitting no more than two (2) pedestrians. Maneoveres were limited to one spot of reversing, into a gap large enough to land a space shuttle. Parallel parking? You never need to do it in Arizona, so it wasn’t included. Going by this, nor do you need to turn right. The disturbing thing is that some people probably still required more than one attempt to pass. And I am now sharing the road with them…
I cheerfully confess to being both ignorant about and apathetic of motor-vehicles in general. Chris and I have reversed the usual roles here: she can spot a 67 Shelby GT Cobra with her eyes closed, while I identify it as “the red one”. The only two things I am certain of about any new car I buy, are that it will have a CD player, and air-conditioning. The latter is actually more important than anything else – never mind revving the engine, let’s hear how the A/C sounds.
More consideration has been given to what personalised number plate I’m going to have. Arizona permits you to choose seven letters, though the Morality Police in the States appear to impose restrictions on what you can have [the First Amendment doesn’t seem to apply here]. RAPNJAP, for instance, was pulled as offensive to Japanese-Americans, even though the car belonged to Robin Arnett Petty and Judy Ann Petty, and even IRISH was rejected in Vermont. Better be careful; last thing I want is to be deported for possession of an offensive number plate.
With TRSHCTY already gone to Chris, I find myself contemplating alternatives in idle moments: TCEDITR is one possibility, or maybe FILMFAN? ILUVCRS? The choices are endless, but trying to come up with seven letters to be the perfect expression of my character, heritage, and interests, as well as ideally saying “Don’t fuck with me” (would they hand over UZIS4ME?), is harder than it seems.
This part of the endeavour is rather more fun than the prospect of going to a car dealer, which by all accounts is like going for a dip in a shark tank while wearing trunks made of raw liver. We did think about getting one of those “seized by police” vehicles, because it’d be really cool to drive around in something bullet-riddled. Mind you, given the percentage of gun-owners around here, all you’d have to do is cut up the wrong person and Bob’s your uncle.
Maybe I should just get a new bicycle instead. Though that’d be a whole different set of problems – such as what to call it. We just got Robert a new bike, and he has named it “Stacey”. As yet, we haven’t dared ask why…