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Would You Buy a Car from The Dude? [Tall Drink of Nerd]

That is the question I ask myself whenever I see a Hyundai commercial. Yes, I know that Jeff Bridges is a man, and The Dude is a character. But, when I hear that voice, I can’t help but think of how a new Hyundai would really pull the room together.

If you look in my driveway tonight, you’ll see how compelling that argument really is.

Our old Saturn, Blue, was falling apart. At 8 years old, she was way past warranty. The struts rattled incessantly, the Saturn dealer had told us that was standard. Ole Blue’s check engine popped on and off at random and the mechanic said it had to do with a part that turned the check engine light on, which is an expensive and unnecessary replacement. So we lived with it.

Over the past two months, we’d been scanning other cars, checking them out in ads, looking them up on the web, sneaking glances at them while we drove down the street. It felt illicit and to be sitting in my trusty car and lusting after a new one.

Seen and Ole Blue

This blue sedan had ferried me back and forth when I lived in Santa Clarita and worked near LACMA (that’s about 50 miles, in LA traffic). She had moved us from the Valley to the Sea. Blue was the car that had carried sick Weasel and Munchy to their vet appointments. That was the backseat where I had curled into a fetal position on the drive home after getting food poisoning at a wedding in Northern California. There were traces of my eye-liner, mascara, lip-gloss and a variety of lotions and sunscreens wiped under the driver seat. She has a indentation in her hood from my butt, from when I thought the car would be a great place to sit and eat frozen yogurt while road tripping.

But when the plastic strip just over the windshield peeled halfway off and kept flapping a steady beat on our roof as we drove, we knew if was finally time to stimulate the economy and trade the old girl in.

So many pretty cars! They all wanted our attention. But my husband, Seen, and I were determined to focus and get a car we really, really wanted. Yesterday, we decided to test-drive our top three choices. It was time for auto-speed-dating.

First up was a Honda Element. This is the actual conversation that took place at the Honda dealership:

Mr. Opportunity (aka, Honda Guy): Due to the recent tragedy in Japan (the tsunami), we don’t have any new Elements in stock. Oh and Honda is discontinuing it so we may not see any 2012s. I have one that’s used, it’s a manual transmission.

Me: Nope (As I have done manual transmission in the past, kinda fun, but now lazy and need automatic)

Mr. Opportunity: Would you like to see a CR-V?

Me: God, no. Those are so common…(I did sound pretentious, but what I really meant was that we like unique looking cars.)

Mr. Opportunity: ….oh

So off to the Hyundai dealer we went. My massage therapist drives a Tucson and she let us explore hers last week when she was at my house. Seen and I both loved it.

We saw a bright red version of the car on the lot. Exactly the color we wanted! Eddie, the salesman, took us on a test drive and told Seen to “go fast” on surface streets near LAX. “Nobody is around. Take it up to 70” he said. Eddie was like a mellower, older version of The Dude. I liked him because he showed us the cool stuff, but didn’t oversell us. Eddie just sat in the back seat and laughed at my jokes. He was laid back and very cool.

We loved it, but told Eddie we needed to go drive a Kia Sportage before a final decision could be made. He understood and we hopped onto the 405 South for the long journey to Carson. As Ole Blue rolled up the entrance ramp, Seen turned to me:

Seen: Do you really, really want to go check out the Sportage?

Me: I love the Tucson!

Seen: Me too. So do you want to go back and buy it?

Me: I love the Tucson!!

Seen: Does that mean yes?

Me: I love the Tucson!!

He stopped asking and immediately turned Blue around.

Seen and his new girlfr..., er, car.

So after 2 hours of paperwork and chatter, Ole Blue has been traded in for a younger, fresher version. Our new love has a lot more room to put junk in the trunk. Oh, yeah. I got a lot of junk to put in that trunk.

As we waved good-bye to that sturdy, broken-down machine, I knew she would abide.

Steeping in an intoxicating new car smell, I happily rode away in a new, Garnet Red Tucson.

So apparently, I would, indeed, buy a car from The Dude.

Hellooooo Beautiful!

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featured image credit: Sleeper Cell