New Car or New Toy?


There is no point in arguing with a man when he gets that “I-want-a-new-car” gleam in his eye.

My man got that gleam in his eye nearly two months ago. By now, it is no longer a gleam, but more like a laser beam.

All the usual excuses came up as to why he had to have a new car now, right now, today – yesterday — if possible.

“It needs new tires.”

Not good enough, I thought.

“The inside light doesn’t work right.”

You’ve got to be kidding.

“The mechanic said that the only way he could fix the noise is with a $3,000 repair.”

That one got my attention. Of course, it was running just fine anyhow, and we were still driving it every day like always.

Finally, the clincher: “It has over 100,000 miles on it!”

Oh, my goodness, 100,000 miles? It could explode into a cloud of hot gases any day now and leave us sitting on the road in a puddle of oil.

As I said, there is no point in arguing when a man wants a new car. To make matters even worse, his brother works at a car dealership and can get him a “deal”.

There were numerous automotive conversations with his brother on the phone. The kind of new car we were getting changed with every conversation, depending on what was in stock. Each time we saw a car on the road that was similar to the “car of the hour,” he would point it out.

“It’s like that one, except it is blue.” Or “It is like that one, except it is bigger.”

“Don’t you want to help pick it out?” he asked.

He would get what he wanted anyhow.

He came home with something entirely different from anything we discussed, loaded down with every toy ever invented by a demented Detroit engineer. Besides the usual CD player, heated seats, and automatic everything, this electronic marvel had a Global Positioning System (GPS), and a DVD player.

“Don’t you love it?” he asked excitedly. “Look what it can do!”

We got in and went for an ego trip. GPS is another word for NAG I found out.

“Turn left at the next corner,” said the GPS digital voice.

“Go one quarter of a mile, stay right, and merge onto the highway.”

“I said stay RIGHT.”

“Make a legal U-turn and turn around!”

“You missed it!”

“Make a right turn at the next corner. Now make another right turn. Now turn right again and go left at the next corner.”

“What is the matter with you? I said turn LEFT!” The system is recalculating. “At this rate you will never get where you are going!”

He just wanted to see what it would do. Men and their toys.

I wish it could say something like: “Don’t stop at this gas station. There is one with a lower price in half a mile.” Or, if it could give us the location of all the Cracker Barrels, that would be useful. But that stupid GPS won’t even let you pull off the road for a rest stop without going into a tizzy.

Who needs this stuff? Now that we have it, he seldom uses it. We don’t go many places that we need directions to find.

And the DVD player? Well, we didn’t have any DVD’s to play. Besides, you can’t sit in the back seat and watch a movie while driving anyhow.

But, he has his new toy and he is happy. His brother is happy. The salesman is very happy.

So, why complain?

I’ve learned at least one thing from the GPS. If things don’t go your way, just recalculate and go on.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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