Archive for the 'Buy Stuff' Category

New York, Buy a Honda!

I’m a late bloomer.

In fact all the men in my family are, according to my Aunt Babs anyway, and the facts support her conclusion. Only recently with my 30’s ebbing away, did I finally lease my first ever brand new car, an all-black 2010 Honda Fit Sport.

Folks, this is one sweet ride!

Like me, it’s urban and sexy yet compact and practical.

Yes, I know it’s not exactly “cool,” but hey, I’m a freakin’ soccer dad, not a 22 year old gansta rapper (although I hope to retain the characteristics of one at least until my late 40’s, naturally.)

Ah, but it’s been a long, hard battle, my friends. Why, just two months ago I was driving one of the biggest piles of crap I’ve ever had the displeasure to own, a 1991 Cutlass Ciera given to me for free by one of my sales accounts. It had a light film of grime over its stained and world-weary interior, with a bruised and battered frame that screamed, relentlessly, “I am losing the game of life!”

This of course made perfect sense since I believe we cannot rise to our greatest heights without first descending to our lowest lows. And boy did that car suck. The 1995 punk rock van I had before that was superior, but no Bentley either, I can assure you.


In any case, anyone who’s shopped for a new car knows the myriad of challenges I faced. I refused to settle for something like a Civic, since I often haul large and voluminous cargo, whether its a late delivery for a customer who’d missed the morning run, or me and Superkid tossing our “turbo-cycles” (OK, bikes) into the ol’ jalopy to begin a day trip to Prospect Park. So I wanted something that could lug mass but still look at least a tad hip and sporty. This of course cut most if not all sedans and mini-vans from my search, especially since I was looking for something that wouldn’t break the bank, nor scream, “Soccer-mom!” Something under $20K, with a $200 per month lease payment and little or no money down.

For some reason (and with no small help from auto-gurus I very quickly settled on the Honda Fit. This is odd because I’m in the midst of researching a puny wireless headset for my iPhone and have been in the process for months and months, so astonishing is the level of my indecisive middle-child Libra-ness. I DID know for sure that I absolutely HAD to get the stepped-up Sport model with the alloy wheels, being in the automotive industry myself.

I had the “Why, what, and when” Now I needed the “Where?” Some impulse phone-calls quickly cut my options down to an elite few. The three gladiators remaining in the pit to duel for my sparse but hard-earned new-car cash were:

-Paul Miller Honda, West Caldwell, NJ.

-Paragon Honda, Queens.

-North Shore Honda, Long island.

Amazingly, I made the bungling error of a noobie and immediately hopped the dreaded G train towards Queens. Sadly, it seems the MTA only allow a select few attractive women on this line, this being only one of the unfortunate aspects of this rightfully maligned subway route. Still, during the day it’s notorious slowness and unreliability is not quite so bad and I soon arrived in Woodside, Queens.

Despite a myriad of promises and smooth assurances, the final tally ended up being $279 a month with a grand or so down, and this after the salesman helped me call several insurance companies to factor that obscene rate in to my monthly payment.

Hmmm, let’s see…

Well over 500 clams a month for about ten million days, AFTER putting over a grand down? That just ain’t gonna happen.

I began to think a new car might not work out for me after all.

Back to the drawing board I went…

From our phone convo, I pictured Jack at North Shore Honda looking like my old landlord from F street in Washington, DC, so many years ago: Grey-haired and withering before my eyes, his hand forever cupped before him as a makeshift ashtray for the perpetual cigarette in his mouth as he wandered about. He assured me I could get the car of my dreams for $199 a month after dropping approximately 2K but the online reviews of the place were positively scary, all the more so since I’d have to take a long train ride to get out there, after which, competing dealerships guaranteed me, he’d pull the ol’ “bait n’ switch,” substituting my chosen vehicle for something else at a different price. The deal sounded too good to be true.

I was starting to get desperate: I began researching a KIA Soul.

But with its notorious loss of re-sale value over time, the fact that $222 a month with 2K down was the best deal I could get made it pointless.

Pay MORE for a KIA than a Honda? Not gonna happen, homes.

The miracle finally arrived: Kim over at Paul Miller Honda in West Caldwell called back with a final offer of a grand down and $210 a month for my black beast of the night. I also got a surprise way-lower insurance quote through the insurer my workplace goes through.  Now admittedly, my company does a lot of biz with P.M. Honda and I can’t be sure how much this affected my final cost. With that in mind, perhaps the best lesson is one that any savvy buyer already knows: Shop, Shop, SHOP… and don’t give up until you get what you want.

We are after all in America, land of consumer choice                                          And in this economy, it’s a buyer’s market. Really, what a place we live in when a man with decent credit can drop a grand and drive off in a brand new car!

You can top off your sleek new machine with what is easily the greatest auto air freshner I’ve ever come across, readily available at any Strauss Auto. Rich yet subtle with a light touch of European Cafe allure, the Jenray Super Power Cinnamon Stix Scent Sak adds more than can be described with mere words.

Drive safe, and drive well!


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