By the way, here's why things were so quiet here on Wednesday...I was helping my son buy his first car! With one thing and another, it took most of the day.
It's a creampuff '98 Buick Park Avenue Ultra with loads of bling. Chrome rims, fenders, rocker panel, and exhaust tips. Even a little spoiler! And pinstriping. Only 40k miles, and our mechanic (we took it in to get checked over before forking over any dough) rhapsodized over its condition...he says the muffler is original, the underside is clean, there's no rust anywhere, and the engine compartment practically looks new. The interior is redolent of a 1910 bordello—acres of red leather, dark wood, and plush carpeting. It's got the works—sunroof, climate zones, even a head's-up display on the windshield like a fighter plane. The suspension is firmer than a standard Park Avenue (which of course is like saying it's a responsive ocean liner, but hey). Must have been some very cool dude's (or dudette's) Sunday go-to-meeting wheels.
Because it's big and old and a gas guzzler—big aging Buicks and Caddies are unpopular on Waukesha car lots—it didn't cost much. He paid half down (the least the bank would accept) and financed the other half. I cosigned. At least Papa's off the hook for those gasoline bills.
He's never been a car guy, and his taste runs to what I used to scornfully call "land yachts" when I was his age—cars like this were not cool in my youth. (For me, Buicks really were my father's cars.) But it's the kind of car he likes. And he loves it.
(And to throw in an on-topic bone, my iPhone takes better pictures than either of my first two dedicated digital cameras. Although I couldn't see the display when I took this—but I'm learning to look at the subject when I take iPhone pictures and and not try to squint at the viewing screen.)
All in all: fun day for Pop. Thanks for putting up with the momentary radio silence from TOP.
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Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.