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Johnny LaRue's Crane Shot
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Spend That Dough
Well, I'm a step closer to buying a car. Not a Nissan, not a Ford. A 2005 Chevrolet Malibu Classic. Automatic, four doors, V4 2.2L, A/C, CD player, power everything, cup holders, tripometer, blah blah blah. 24,000 miles on it. Still covered under the factory warranty, plus the dealer offers a free 3-year, 75,000-mile warranty to go with it. They had me take it home to "test" over the weekend. It's got a few little flaws, but at $199 per month for 60 months, I have to admit it seems like a nice deal.

The rough part was withstanding the barrage of pressure from the saleswoman and the finance manager at the dealer, who use a little basic psychology to pressure you without it seeming like they're pressuring you. Basically, they act as though you're obviously buying the car and just go about setting up the paperwork and handing you things to sign without even asking if you really want to buy the thing. I was trying to convince them that I needed a day or two to think about the purchase, and they were all, "Oh, gee, I was under the impression that you were all ready to sign the papers and drive it home tonight." Were they really? I doubt it. Keep in mind that, at that point, I didn't even know for sure if my loan had been approved or even what the price and monthly payments were going to be! I sure wasn't signing anything without that information!

The other thing slowing me down is that the settlement check from the insurance company, which I'm using as my down payment, hasn't arrived yet. I told them I felt skittish buying a car and promising a down payment that wasn't yet in my hand. They were willing to let me bring it in next week, but I have this fear that the check might be lost in the mail or that maybe USAA General is still spinning its wheels, and I don't want to have a deadline to deliver a down payment if I don't know the money is going to be in my hand by that date.

I took it over to Chicken's this afternoon so he could give it a good glance. We wondered why it was smelling like burning oil--that's a bad sign--and when we opened the hood, we got our answer. Whoever the last mechanic was to look at it apparently forgot to put the cap back on the oil tank! So oil had spurt out all over the engine and under the hood. Oops. On the bright side, the oil was clean, so I guess it's been changed recently.

I've got to drop the car back off at the dealer tomorrow night after work. I'll call the insurance company tomorrow and see if they've sent that settlement check yet. But the car feels good to me, and I hope it will be mine by the end of the week.

I've been very happy with my recent cable switch from HBO to Showtime, which shows a lot of crappy movies, and often letterboxes them to boot. Today I caught ROLLING VENGEANCE, which isn't really very special, but does have a kickass monster truck.

Joey Rosso (Don Michael Paul, who wrote HARLEY DAVIDSON AND THE MARLBORO MAN!) is a young trucker who works with his dad (Lawrence Dane from RITUALS and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME). Ned Beatty plays Tiny, a sleazy used car dealer and strip club owner with five drunken redneck sons. When the sons cause a car accident that kills Joey's mom, little brother, and little sister, you'd think that would be enough to quench their animalistic lust, but they later kill Dane by dropping cement blocks off an overhead onto his semi, and then they rape Joey's virginal girlfriend (Lisa Howard from BOUNTY HUNTERS). Man, is Joey pissed. He builds an enormous monster truck with fire blazing from the top and a huge corkscrew built in to the front, and drives around the "Ohio" (filmed in Ontario) countryside squashing Tiny's family and his dealership and his bar and his warehouse and anything else that needs crushing. The script and performances are paint-by-numbers, and there isn't really enough trashy stuff to warrant the R rating, but the monster truck is very cool and kicks major redneck ass.

Posted by Marty at 4:39 PM CST
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