Thursday, September 18, 2008

Everyone Wants to Be Me

One of those movies I watch anytime I happen across it is Overboard. Yeah, I know, it's fluff and a chick flick. So sue me. I love Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell and together they are great fun.

Toward the beginning, after having been told off by Kurt's character for being a bored, rich bitch, Goldie flops down and says "I'm not bored! I'm happy! Everyone wants to be me!"

It's not often I get somewhere before everybody else, so I'm enjoying my brief stint as leader of the pack. For all that I work with a bunch of lawyers who travel incessantly by car, not one of them has yet ventured into the hybrid market. Of course they get a travel expense, which makes gas consumption in today's world a little less painful than it is for those of us not on an expense account. And the vast majority of them are Republicans and in denial.

But, there has been some interest in Big Red. One of the partners was in the parking lot when I was leaving for home today and came over and inspected it, sat in the driver's seat and asked me how I was liking it so far. I told him I was loving it, especially that little number in the lower center of the dash:

That's a whopping 47.6 miles per gallon I've averaged over 253 miles. When the salesman showed me this display, he remarked that I would find myself changing the way I drive. I snickered. I've been driving for thirty-four years and perfectly happy that I know what I'm doing. But, you know what? I'm enjoying seeing how my driving affects the rate those little green cars pop up. Every little green car on the display is a certain level of energy I have regenerated by lowering my speed, not accelerating faster than necessary, coasting down hills, and other things that help my over-all fuel consumption. (They pop up more frequently in city driving, where you regenerate energy every time you brake. The solid yellow columns represent highway travel.) Toyota knew what it was doing when it included this little screen.

For the last few months, ever since I put in the order, I've been drooling over the odd Prius as it passed me on the highway or sat next to me in the grocery store parking lot. I was even drooling over the icky green version. I am tootling happily down the road now, confident that someone else who hasn't made it to the top of the waiting list yet is looking on with envy.

For once I have made an intelligent decision and lead the way. For once I'm not trailing along in every one else's dust. I'm having a really good time with my little high-tech baby.

Now, for those of you who haven't actually been close to one or know someone who owns one, guess how long it took me to get used to that weird little gear shift?

It's that funny little grey knob to the right of the steering wheel. Forward, Neutral and Reverse. Who needs all those other positions? Bet you never use anything but P, D, R and sometimes N. The button above the gear shift is for Park. And the button just left of the air vent is what you press to start the car. No key. Really. That's been the hardest thing to get my head around. My remote sits in my purse and so long as it's in the vicinity, I have access to my car and can start it with just that button.

Too cool. Very weird. I love it.


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