Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Of Dunes and Waves and Tires

I'm tempted at times to write off my Outback as a business expense. As my booksigning calendar fills up, it seems I drive more for business than pleasure these day. Work, preschool, home, bookstore, convention, expo. This weekend is no different. The car is a mess - it's full of books and promo items and scattered Cheerios. The latter you won't find on the next Phaze Books table, lord willing.

I do my best to keep the car running smoothly, though. I like to think I'm a good driver, better now since I'm usually the one toting precious cargo - little G. When my husband looks into buying a car, however, he doesn't see it as something we'll keep forever, but as a potential trade-in for the next car. That's how his brain is wired - cars are to him like shoes are to some women, in a way. Gradually you work up from the Thom McAns to the Jimmy Choos, just as he hopes to speed up from domestic to fine German engineering.

That might not happen soon, but eventually we'll need a car to suit the whole family. We've looked at SUVs, too. Owned one at one time until gas became an issue. Somebody once suggested we buy a jeep, but I've been skittish about rag tops. I wouldn't mind a convertible, but to me they are very uncomfortable to ride in...because of my hair. Leave the top down and I turn into Cousin It. Bandanas do little to help, I've tried.

Something like the new 2009 jeep compass might work for us - large enough to hold the bikes and book festival booth gear, and it has a hard top. Doesn't really resemble the classic Jeep style with the bars and vinyl flaps for doors. There's the rugged little buggy I remember: Saturdays nights rolling over sand dunes with Motley Crue pitched to 11 on the stereo. Yes, this pretty much passed for entertainment for those of us not quite old enough to drink legally. My best friend after high school enjoying something called "sand surfing." How it works is you get one of those curved plastic disks used for sliding down snowy hills (like a giant opaque contact lens, don't ask how you could get snow gear in Florida). Kneel on the disc, grab a rope tied to the back of the car, and hang on for dear life.

Good times, good times.

I'm sure there are plenty of sites with jeep compass reviews I could consult, but if I decide to buy or lease a jeep compass it may not be in the near future. The economy really needs to improve, and though we enjoy decent sales at book fairs, it isn't enough to buy a car. Perhaps I should just cut the middleman and sell books at dealerships. Might work out well for a romance author, a car lot is full of back seats. :)

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