Monday, October 19, 2015

Mini Bennies

Hey there, WYMOP readers!

2002 Blue Jeep GC.jpgAs some of you may know—though most of you may not—I used to drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Early this year I decided I needed a change (read: the Jeep’s motor turned in its pink slip and retired Florida) and picked up a used Mini Cooper.

Mini 1.jpgWas this a bit different? You bet your ass.
“What,” some people still ask me, “were you thinking? Don’t you know what kind of a change that is?”
“You,” I answer these people, “bet your ass.”
Tired of pointing out all of the good things about my Mini ownership on a one-to-one basis, I’ve decided to throw out a short list of the positives that just don’t seem to occur to these people.

  1. Fuel Economy

    I do author events in New England, and even though I try to keep it pretty local (generally less than three hours away), I do drive about Massachusetts and New Hampshire more than I used to. When I drove the Jeep, I found that showing up at a book sale or other event with tears in my eyes from actually watching the gas gauge fall for the past ninety minutes was not the best way to impress and sell books. Now, however, pulling into the lot with a big smile on my face, then having people watch as I unpack a van-load of stuff from inside a red shoe box with wheels (I was pretty good at Tetris when I was a lad) is a sure way to entertain and get people in a buying mood. Of course, that might just be my red, rubber-ball nose and big Bozo wig. And then there’s the huge shoes . . .
  2. Fun to Drive

    Maneuverability, thy name is Mini.

    Look, on the highway, my Mini’s darting, hummingbird-like ability to appear to be in three places at once is a bit of an advantage; also it is fun to see the expression on other drivers’ faces when a perfectly good slot in traffic suddenly disappears, filled by a small red package of high-pitched motor whine, and giggling driver (yes, I am a speeding Masshole behind the wheel).  

    Also, since I have a tendency to overrun the instructions coming out of my Garmin GPS unit (speeding Masshole, remember?), some people who have driven with me in
    the past have remarked on my penchant for three-point turns. Now, though, before the Garmin can even finish saying “Recalculating,” I’m pulling a U-turn tighter than anything this side of a Big Wheel and cackling like a psychotic six-year-old on a fifteen Pixie-Stix sugar rush. I once was lost, but now I’m found, as my little red car goes round and round!

  3. Camouflage

    I know. It’s just a little four-cylinder engine. But it’s not pushing a lot of weight, and the Mini Cooper can move. It might take a little longer than a sports car to get to the speed I want, but once it arrives, it stays there pretty damn easily, no matter how many curves and turns I have to take (see “Fun to Drive,” above), so getting from point A to point B happens faster than you’d think.

    But here’s the best part—

    The management would like to take this opportunity to invite officers of the law, anyone who drives a car equipped with flashing blue lights, or anyone otherwise enabled to hand out traffic tickets, to please skip ahead to #4—we know your time is more valuable than the rest of ours, and we wouldn’t want to take you away from your very important business.

    Are they gone? Okay.

    The best part is the strange blind spot the police seem to have regarding cars of a certain type. You can drive a Mini past a parked cop doing 70mph in a 30mph zone (Mom, this is hypothetical, okay?) and it’s like they don’t even see you. Either they see the Mini and assume their radar must be faulty because there’s no way that car can go that fast, or they’re picturing the embarrassment of there being a record of them pulling a speed stop on a vehicle that slows down when the hamster gets tired.

    Either way, if you’ve ever been pulled over for speeding in a Mini, then you were really trying!

  4. Roadside Assistance

    What assistance? You break down, you just put the car in your pocket and walk the hell home.

  5. And the Most Important Difference of All, as of 6:00 This Morning:

    28 degrees.jpg    . . . heated seats!


Talk to you later!

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