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Take a ride with me

October 13, 2013
By KELLY VAN DE WALLE (vandkel@hotmail.com) , Times-Republican

One of life's little pleasures is test driving new vehicles. Think about it; someone you've never met before gives you the keys to a brand new car and just lets you just drive it around for awhile. Sure, they have to chaperone, but there is still plenty of fun to be had. Sometimes I'll go on test drives, just to ride in a new car with a stranger.

Not only is it exciting, but because we each get First Date Butterflies, especially if you take full advantage of the situation.

When approaching a dealership, walk up timidly, like a baby meerkat noticing its first ostrich. This immediately puts them at ease and in a position of power. It's important to play coy. Let him come to you. Pick out a car, it doesn't matter which one; they'll let you drive anything.

"What kind of gas mileage does it have?" you ask on your chosen vehicle. When the salesman replies with a number, nod solemnly, like you have an idea whether or not that's good. Then follow that up with, "Consumer Reports states that this has a five-start crash safety rating" to sound even more like an expert and someone not some baffled amateur he can walk all over. Even if that's not true, he's not going to tell you the car is actually not as safe as you think it is.

"Do you want to drive it?" he'll eventually ask after the brief seduction and courtship. It might be moving a bit too fast for your tastes (who does he think you are?!) but you can do this.

"Gee, I don't know," you say, coyly.

"Come on, I have the keys right here" he says, the dating equivalent of just sticking his tongue down your throat.

"Well, I guess it couldn't hurt," you reply.

Here's where the fun begins. Don't get in the car like some old fogey. Reach in and turn the car on, roll down the window, shut the door and take a running jump through the open window like you're one of the Dukes of Hazard brothers. Your companion may become weary, which is a good thing; because this car only has room for one studly renegade.

Once the keys are in your hand, it's time to get serious. The first thing I like to do is put on a pair of Italian leather racing gloves followed closely by running my hands lovingly around the steering wheel, calling the car "my bad girl." After you start the car, ask, "Who's your daddy?" Then stare at the salesman as if expecting an answer.

Then I pull out a CASSETTE TAPE out of a case, with the name "Jock Jams Vol. 3" written in pen and ask him where I can "stick this pig." When he says, "This car doesn't have a cassette deck" maintain eye contact while frowning and aggressively close the tape case like a criminal hoodlum closing a switchblade.

Pull out of the lot aggressively.

"Just checking the acceleration and suspension", you say.

If he's still fairly quiet, I suggest asking him a question to break the ice; for example, "Hey, have you ever watched any of the Fast and Furious movies?" Then ask him "how this bad girl drifts." Then watch him start to act like a nervous driver's education instructor, pounding down on the floorboards like there's an emergency brake over there. But there's not. Ha ha.

The fun continues because, while he can suggest a route, you're not required to follow his directions. So I stopped at a car wash, even though the car was spotless.

"I don't know where this car's been," I said, seriously, pulling up in front of the credit card machine. The recorded voice prompted me for payment I just looked at the guy, expectantly. Looking confused (men!) he paid.

We sat in silence as the car wash's conveyor belt took hold and began slowly inching us forward. After a moment he said,

"The car comes standard with anti-lock breaks and?"

"There you go again, always talking about WORK," I cried out, annoyed. "Can't we just sit here and enjoy each other's company?"

I don't know what happens after that because they usually make some comment about being uncomfortable and needing to go back. Sure, first they come on all hard and fast, but when you take control they can't handle it. Typical!

Other fun things to do while on a test drive:

- Ride in the car in absolute silence with the radio off. If asked why, say, "I want to hear how she sings on the open road."

- Go through Dairy Queen drive-thru and order a strawberry milkshake with two straws. After ordering, look at the guy and wink.

- Pick up a friend

- Ask the salesman to get in the truck so you can "simulate the cubic space" "for a project I'm working on."

- Stop at a drive-in movie

- Never go above 5 mph "for safety"

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Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative & marketing writer for Briscoe14 Communications (www.briscoe14.com). He can be reached at vandkel@hotmail.com or via Lamborghini. Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny, but not too closely because, you know, road rage and such.

 
 

 

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