Leo and I

Leo and I

John’s been itching for a convertible. Before our move to China, he drove a sports coupe. Personally, I find sports cars a bit too flashy, not to mention impractical, but hey, that was his car and he was “only going to be 25 once.” Whatever, I hear that excuse no matter how old he is. So, fast forward five years and the car once again tops of our list of necessitites (actually, it ranked second to his big-screen tv). Thankfully, John showed a little self-control this time. Coming from a family of Toyota loyalists, I was very pleased when he called to report that he had purchased a used Camry. Yes, I know the choice is boring as hell, but hey, I’m almost a thirty-something; it’s all downhill from here, baby. I should mention that John prefaced his news with this: I WILL have a convertible at some point while we are in California. To that, I replied, “We’ll talk about it later.” Haha, tricksies.

So the Camry has about 90k miles on it. Last week I took it into the shop for the usual 90k-mile service: timing belt, water pump, new brakes, etc. Yeah, wasn’t cheap, but I got to testdrive a Prius, the electric hybrid. Oh yeah, I’m in Leo’s club now. Do you even have to ask? Duh! Leo DiCaprio, of course. The biggest tree-huggin’ A-list celeb out there (out of like, five). Leo and I, man: we tight. Ok, enough with the bs. I should be ashamed: clearly, my addiction to Hollywood gossip is stronger than ever, despite my living in China.

And truth be told, the Prius was a disappointment. At first I felt all cutting edge, starting the car with an on/off button (no ignition key) and shit, but that novelty wore off quickly. Toyota tweaked the dashboard, and the digital spedometer feels like it’s 100 meters away. Then at red lights, the car engine just shuts off. I don’t know, operating the car is just weird, unnatural, and counterintuitive. On top of that, its mpg isn’t all that impressive: 50 mpg or something for a car whose body reminds me of a Geo. Remember those? They were like cars the size of golf carts– no wonder they had high gas mileage; they were practically soapbox derby cars! It’s kinda cheating when you scrimp on size and materials, you know?

Ah well. I enjoyed testing out the Prius. I felt all green and tree-huggery for the day. So special… at least until I ran into about 50 of them driving around town. The onboard GPS system was cool too. Accurate directions, delivered in a calm, soothing voice with plenty of notice for upcoming turns and exits. What, us? Arguing about directions? No way. You’re reading too much into this.

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