Stevieslaw: Tire Pressure–The LAGuide to Buying a Car

Tire Pressure: The LAGuide to Buying a Car
No one sane would ever accuse the male members of my immediate family of “poetic leanings,” yet each and every one of them certainly subscribed to a philosophy based to some extent on the poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes entitled the Deacon’s Masterpiece, or The Wonderful One-Hoss Shay.” You probably memorized parts of the poem as a child. It is about a carriage built so logically that “it ran for a hundred years to a day,” and “it went to pieces all at once.” That is, every single piece of the Shay broke down at exactly the same time. My father had a similar experience with a 1938 Packard that collapsed into gray dust on Hopkinson Avenue in Brownsville, Brooklyn in 1957 leaving just the cushion of the front seat behind. My dad considered it a highlight of his life and mounted that cushion on a wall in every apartment he and mom ever shared.
While Marvin next door and Joel around the block had parents that would buy new Chevys every three years, my parents—indeed all my relatives—would only buy cars when the ones they owned went completely to pieces. My memorabilia from childhood vacations consists mostly of post cards or photos from repair garages all across the Northeast. The roughly 200 mile trip from New York City to The Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, that might take most folks 4 hours, was a 9 day trip for us. My relatives’ cars were constantly breaking down. For that reason, they always went in a convoy of three or four cars, if attending to some serious business—like taking someone to the airport.
For those of us who buy a car every 20 years or so, the process of purchasing one is very serious business and that is the reason, we, at Stevieslaw are in the unique position to publish, “Tire Pressure: The Less-intelligent-than-average-American Guide to Buying a Car.” In the guide, we will hammer home the one overriding principle to buying a car—bragging rights. New car-used car, good car-bad car, gas guzzler-plug-in all pale in comparison to good deal-bad deal. If you can get the same lousy car that your neighbor did for fifty dollars less, you win! In the guide, you will learn how to:
1. Use Consumer Reports and the Highway Safety Agency Reports to zero in on the cars you should consider. Spend several careful weeks analyzing the reports and preparing spreadsheets. Pick the ten most likely models and schedule test drives at the dealerships. Then learn to throw all the research away and go with your neighbor Harvey’s offhand remark that “the Banshee Expanded SUV is a sweet ride and gets great gas mileage.”
2. Choose new or used by careful weighing the advantages and disadvantages of creating your own headache through a huge payment book to inheriting someone else’s headache—one that was clearly not just used by a gray haired grandmother to and from church on Sundays. For those of you choosing used, we have a how to kick the tires like a pro video; while for those choosing new, we provide a handy pull-out guide explaining what the sticker on the window might mean and why it doesn’t matter.
3. Although all the really cool people are buying hybrids, we analyze your driving habits and lifestyle to determine whether a gas engine, hybrid or plug in vehicle is best for you. Our sophisticated program uses over 100 variables from age and hair color to foot size and type of deodorant to determine what the best money saving choice will be. And there is no need for you to fill out a complex form with information you may find hard to recall, as every shred of information about you and yours is readily available to us from the NSA, Google and Amazon websites.
4. Find a dealer who believes you are a unique and special human being who deserves better than the best deal possible, because of your charming social skills and fierce bargaining abilities. This is the essential ingredient to your future bragging rights! In the guide, we will show you that the best deals are never in your town, even if it is the home to nearly fifty or sixty car dealerships. Finding the best deals, like finding Shangri-La, will require you to traverse Tibetan like mountainous regions around your home in mid-winter, so that you may find the near mythical dealer who has no overhead. (My cousin Alfred, after two years of searching, a divorce, and 450 gallons of gas at $3.50 a gallon, found a dealer willing to knock nearly $80 off the sticker price of a Nash Rambler. And, although he bought the car in 1953, he is still bragging about it.)
Drive by the Guide store and pick up the guide as soon as you can. For each purchase, we will place a bold advertisement in your local newspaper, informing all the people who know you—or wish they did—that you made the best deal in the history of mankind in buying your new car.

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