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I'm almost embarrassed to admit this. I really didn't think I was that kind of guy. I mean, I was CERTAIN that I wasn't that kind of guy.... until a few days ago.
You see, I'd always thought of cars as mere tools... just a way to get me and my things from point A to point B. Nothing more, nothing less. I have a long history of economical, practical driving relationships... 1990 Accura Integra, 1989 Toyota Camry, 2001 Honda Civic, and most recently, a 1997 Kia Sephia. No-frills, high miles, and for the most part, very fuel efficient vehicles. My most recent tool, the Kia, had been showing signs of trouble all year... the driver's side door handle broke, the vent system for the heating / AC did not work, it seems to have an annual appetite for ignition coils (not something one should have to replace every 5,000 miles), and the car reminded me of someone with nicotine shakes... the voltage in the electrical system would flutter - the headlights would pulsate in small cycles of brightness. It almost looked like I was running a stereo that was SO powerful, the amplifier was selfishly sucking up most of the car's juice to make the bass hit hard.... except that it wasn't.
Last tuesday morning, like an onery 6 year old who refuses to put her shoes on to leave for church, the Kia was not in the mood to start. It was obstinate. Cranking the engine over brought only sputtering protests. I knew this day was coming. I proceeded to jog to work, deciding to just go to work without her. Damn Kia can stay home, see if I care.
One of the routes I frequently deliver includes the Audi / Porsche dealership. There seems to be a certain kind of douchey person that the Audi dealership attracts... everyone is in a black turtle neck, everyone has a meticulously messy haircut, and everyone is wearing thick black rimmed glasses. Everyone reminds me of Steve Jobs. Everyone seems to look "artsy" but yet, one can tell that they really are just "accountanty". Audi drivers are lame, lame, lame.
Back to my dead Kia...
I was very stressed out. It was over due for inspection, it needed a host of repairs before it would pass, and I was not in a position to dump large amounts of money into this car. For those of you who have known me for a while, there was a point where I lived for 18 months without a car. My lifestyle has changed quite a bit since then, and a car is a complete necessity. I have weekly bass lessons in Draper, band practice (requiring me to transport bass and amplifier), and weekly photo shoots that often require some driving. And then there's the issue of getting to Logan to see my girls... I was stressed about my stranded state.
I was chatting with a friend about finding a repair shop, when he suggested that I buy his car from him. He had a car sitting in his driveway that he just never used, and was pretty happy to liquidate. I initially laughed, as said car was, in my mind, fantastically out of my price range. I shared that perspective with him, and he replied with a price that was shockingly low. After confirming that he was not drunk or high, I quickly accepted the offer. The amount he wanted for this car was, in all likelihood, very near the amount of money I'd need to sink into the Kia to get it back up and running in a reliable way... so it seemed a no-brainer.
One of the big lessons I seem to keep re-learning in life is that we often become just like those that we chide.
I just bought an Audi.
Hold on while I find my black turtleneck douche bag uniform...
The car could have been an old Honda, and it would have still been a fantastic deal. I really knew nothing about what it means to drive an Audi. For years, I have slightly scoffed at those who put resources into driving luxury European cars. It made no sense to me.
We live in a society of laws.
If you defy those laws, you will be forced to comply with them, by men who are pointing guns at you.
Most of those laws were created many years before you were even born.
You never were, nor will you ever have, a functional opportunity to decide whether or not you agree with those laws, and wish to live amongst them.
Here is the building that houses the men in suits who imagined those laws:
It's a pretty nice building.
It's fancier, more ornate, more expensive, than virtually any other office building in the state.
Ever wonder why a traditional, modest square office building wasn't good enough for the writing of those laws?
Why wouldn't an efficient, cost effective (albeit boring to look at) building suffice for the empowerment of the men with guns who will violently force you to obey the laws that you never had any say in?
And some say that capitalists are tyrants...
By DAVID PORTER and CARLA K. JOHNSON
Associated Press Writers