Nothing to say, and I intend to say it.

Today was That Day Before We Travel.

Y'know the one, right? When you realize you've done nothing to get prepared for the trip and start getting all wound up. I won't name names but some of us here at Chez Joke tend to confuse movement with progress and start flapping around, generating much motion...none of it forward.

To compound the thing, TFBIM's car arrived in the middle of the day. We had been expecting it early in January, but no. For some bizarre reason they dropped it off early, left us with a fat stack of manuals translated with, um, latitude from the original Italian and that kind of brought things to a screech for a couple of hours, as we sat around testing all the seats, reveling in the neat embossed logo in the leather surface and wondering "what does THIS button do?"

Then we went on illegal joyrides (because we haven't gotten the license plate yet) and generally showed it off.

Fortunately, TFBIM is the kind of girl who prefers driving stick. Let's be honest, a manual transmission has eleventy zillion advantages over an automatic:

1- The car goes faster
2- The car has better fuel economy
3- The car can be push started in 10 seconds, instead of waiting for the towtruck to arrive in ___ hours
4- Criminals are generally too bloody ignorant to know how to shift their own damned gears...and those who are not too bloody ignorant are going to get stymied by the bizarro reverse gear lockout.
5- NOBODY in the USA wants to borrow your car, because the percentage of drivers who know how to drive a manual is somewhere between 20%-25%.

So the inlaws showed up and got an illegal joyride. FiL went off on a rant about how it's far more dangerous to drive a sedan than a minivan--don't ask--and then he pointed out umpteen other unseen dangers around the house.

The car IS cool, besides the overachieving engine. There is alumin(i)um scattered about the structure so it weighs surprisingly little for a car the size of a BMW 5-series. Combine this with an overpowered engine which faily begs you to rev the ever-lovin' whee out of it and you have a family sedan that, er, gets out of its own way. It's plush enough, but a Lexus driver would feel deprivation. This car is for drivers, not passengers-in-chief. Being Italian, there are very intelligently designed ashtrays everywhere. Lights, also. The socket-y, swivel-y jetliner kind of lights, and buttons out the wazoo for good measure.

Of course, none of this changed the fact we needed to do all kinds of things for our trip to Poppyville...instead of watching the DVD manual. But the notion of being able to go on the autobahn at 140+ mph in such comfort that your toddlers and your wife can sleep soundly makes for very riveting viewing. That and finding out what all the damned buttons do, and why they work.

After a while, we broke off from the thrill that was the Guided Tour of All Your ETCETERINI X-99's Safety Features and began to pack. I just finished, and now, as a reward, I get to watch the scene where the test driver shows all the car's jacking points and changes a deflated tire.


P.S. Tomorrow is a travel day. Expect minimal--if any--bloggery.


Hi. I am DIH's husband and after following your comments for so long I decided I had to visit the blog. Lot's of fun. But could you say exactly what the car is. I am not really a car guy, but the most fun car I ever drove for an extended period was an Alpha we rented in Italy. I have fantaaized on and off about getting one. Naturally since I hear you bought something Italian I am curious.
Jess said…
Wait...there will be no Joke and Poppy Hour? No guest blogging?


Have a splendiforous time!
blackbird said…
Am totally jealous -
not that I WANTED an Italian sedan for Christmas, not that this would be the right year to even MENTION it to my K...
but you're off to see Poppy, and I'd love to go off to see Poppy.
Kiss her for me.
Major Bedhead said…
Mmmm, a stick shift. Man, I do love a stick shift.

I have a Honda right now and it's the first car I've ever owned (and I've owned a fair few cars) that isn't a stick. I keep stomping on the floor boards, lo these many years later, looking for the clutch. It's still not there, although I've put a bit of a hole in the rug...whoops.

Have fun in Poppyville.
Sharon said…
So when you get home, do we get to see a photo? Or a sketch? Or a lovingly descriptive... uh... description?
We definately need a pic ... or at least something we can google images over..

My husband has a weekend loan of something foreign, exclusive, posh and show-offish sometime soon.

But I can't ask him as he's sleeping off a decadent lunch on the couch.

As he does. And I blog.
Thus completes the life cycle.
Caro said…
Yeah, where's the pic of the car?!

I drive a stick. They're pretty fun. I don't have to wait for it to shift when it's good and ready.

I'm in charge of the shifting. Mwahahahahahaha.
Joke said…
Richard: Your kind patience will be rewarded.

Everyone else: We JUST landed in from Poppyville. Photos will be taken and posted in the morning.


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