Not simple, Civic

I KNEW this would happen, in fact I should’ve publically predicted it and made it look like I had this planned all along.

Hey, wait a minute… you don’t KNOW that I didn’t have it planned. Shoot. Oh well…

Yesterday I was prattling on about how I was increasingly favouring simple, functional things and slowly weaning myself off my techno-lust. I guess it can be best summarised by the phrase “simplicity loves company”. Of course, no sooner had I posted that than I go an shoot myself in the foot. Not really of course, as I don’t have a gun (Americans may note that this is an entirely agreeable way to live your life (he said, succumbing to stereotype)). Figuratively my entire left foot is just a bloody stump.

Hmmm, from the bewildered faces in the audience I guess I’d better explain.

[wibbly wobbly back in time sequence follows]

All in all we had a quiet weekend, with some gardening on Saturday, interrupted only by a haircut and the Scotland game, and we had similar planned for Sunday. So, after an early morning run (look, 10am IS early for a Sunday!) we headed home and started pottering. A little weeding, some tidying up in the house, and doing our best to avoid the “Everyone Loves Raymond” marathon on TV as we’d already lost an hour to it over lunch.

My parents had phoned to say that they were heading to IKEA so probably wouldn’t come over (although they did in the end and we all stuffed ourselves on Chinese food), and after a while we found ourselves sitting having a coffee, discussing the back garden and generally pondering what to do next. I’d picked up a copy of AutoExpress the day before, as we will be changing the car soon, and was leafing through it when Louise suggested why not just go and have a browse round the showrooms.

Some of you can probably guess where this is heading already. Don’t spoil it for the others though..

We’d already talked over a couple of different car options, both similarly priced and spec’d, both a ‘size’ up from our current Peugeot 206, and we’d narrowed it down to either the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, or Honda Civic. Neither of us are that keen on the Focus, and as there isn’t a local Vauxhall garage we decided to head to the local Honda dealership. 15 minutes later I’m sitting in the showroom in the new Honda Civic. This, it seems, was a mistake.

I do like the look of the car, although I guess it’s very much one of those ‘love/hate’ type designs, and have to admit it’s even better inside. Admittedly our current car was pretty cheap and is very low spec so the competition isn’t very high. I’ve been in the new Astra that our friends bought and it’s nice but as soon as I saw the inside of the Civic it didn’t take too long for me to revert to type. Less than 2 seconds after sticking my head inside the car I was smitten and all that “simplicity” nonsense I was talking about yesterday was out the (electric, tinted) window. It was a very quick process —Ohh no look at all those lovely buttons… shiny lights… digital displays… shiny… buttons… ME WANTS — and soon I had that all too familiar techno-lust glaze.

And Louise knew. I had no sooner gotten my bum on the drivers seat than she’d wandered to the front of the car to, you know, check the price and stuff, when she pointedly glared at me and made a strange upward movement with her thumb. A bit like if you were hitch-hiking to the moon.

I ignored her and continued to stroke and caress the beautiful, gadget-laden dashboard laid out before me. Murmuring softly, lulled into a somborific, lust-driven haze… which Louise smashed into, by yanking the drivers door open and suggesting that, unless I had £18k to spend on the car I should maybe get out of it. I don’t. So it was with a slow sweep of the curved dash that I slowly eased myself from the seat.

And I hadn’t even had a chance to make driving noises. I wasn’t happy.

“I didn’t even get a chance to make driving noises”, I sulked.

“Ohh good grief. Look. That one out there is a bit cheaper and looks the same”, was the suggestion.

Following her gaze I had to admit she was right, there must be a catch though. Still it would be petulant NOT to…

I harrumphed outside to the car and not only was it ‘the same’ (as in ‘the same colour’) it was a higher spec AND it was cheaper. Sure it had 3000-odd miles on the clock but that just means it’s nicely run in, right?

AND I was allowed to sit in this one, AND I was allowed to turn it on, bathing in the LED glow of the dashboard, AND it has lots of buttons with strange acronyms AND I was allowed to make driving noises!! Well, maybe ‘allowed’ isn’t the right word but hey, the salesmen must’ve heard that before, right??

Suffice to say that it’s a lovely lovely car and within our price range (just) and… I WANT!! I want all the gadgets, I want a nice big powerful diesel engine, I want, I want, I want.

I just wish it didn’t come in shitty grey, sorry.. galaxy grey (like the chocolate, but not). So, I’m currently stuck. Underneath the horrible paint job is a lovely lovely car that I really want and, for a change, can afford! But… but… the colour is ick!!

Of course it’s not really the colour that’s the problem here, it’s more the fact that it’s the colour that is the problem, that is the problem. Obviously. So I’m hunting for the same spec car (2.2 i-CTDi ES) but not in shitty brown/grey/metallic poo. It low emission, so my ‘green’ side is placated as much as it can be as I’m starting with the fact I need a car, it’s pretty cheap to run and in complete contrast to my increasing preference for simplicity/functionality it has gadgets up the wazoo! Individual climate control, cruise control, MP3/WMA cd player, trip computer, VSA, ABS, EBD, and much more.

I just wish it was easier quicker to buy, I want it now!

P.S. Yes, there will be other car related posts in the coming week, I’ll try and not gush too much…