February 20, 2007

So I Need Another Clippers Bumper Sticker

NOW WAIT A MINUTE, The Rant’s readers are exclaiming over their eggs and coffee. If Ben Kepple got rid of his precious Los Angeles Clippers bumper sticker – proudly affixed to his car since the late Nineties – that can only mean one thing: Kepple went out and bought himself a new car!

I’m pleased that I can confirm such speculation: I went out and bought myself a new car. Well, technically, I bought myself a slightly-used car, which is nine years younger and has 116,000 fewer miles on it than my previous vehicle. It’s a fourth-generation Ford Taurus, a less-stylish update from my previous car, a third-generation Ford Taurus. But this car has plenty of premium upgrade options, such as a compact-disc player, a working transmission and an interior which hasn’t been ruined through years of cigarette smoking. But perhaps the best thing of all about this car – aside from the fact I can again drive in the freeway’s passing lane – is how much it cost me. Dear readers, I can assure you I made out like a bandit financially. Well, maybe that’s a bit enthusiastic, but I do think I did as well as could be expected.

I suppose I’m pleased because I ended up paying about half of what the car would have cost new. That’s not bad for a one-year-old car with 15,000 miles on it. I’m also happy because I got twice what I had expected to get for my trade. The dealer will turn it around and auction it for several hundred dollars more, but it was a hell of a lot easier to let the dealer deal with the old truckster, particularly considering that it burned oil, had an iffy transaxle control, and had an interior that was falling apart, among other issues.

But anyway. The new car drives like a dream: everything works the way it is supposed to work. It even gets up to nin … er, a comfortable cruising speed, quickly and competently. It’s just slick and I am thrilled with it.

Also, as an added bonus, I was able to get ALL the paperwork done as of 3 p.m. today – including the registration, the license plate transfer, the parking sticker for my apartment complex, the little sticker thingies you put on the license plates, and the tax payments. Oh, yeah. The tax payments. Oooof. But now I’m good to go -- except for one little thing. Where the hell am I going to get a new Clippers bumper sticker?

I mean, I can’t have a car and not have a Clippers bumper sticker on it. That would go against decency and tradition. My former Taurus had been adorned with a Clippers bumper sticker ever since a fateful evening in 1999, when Simon From Jersey and I watched the Clippers lose miserably to a much better opponent during a Clippers “home game” in Anaheim, Calif. Putting a Clippers bumper sticker on my car wasn’t simply a sign of loyalty; after all, it was the best auto-theft deterrent in all of Los Angeles County. But it was also a sign of devotion and commitment. Amazingly, though, they don’t seem to have Clippers bumper stickers up here in New England.

I did manage to get a nice little Pittsburgh Steelers decal for the back window, which here in New England I believe will serve much the same purpose in terms of theft deterrence. After all, no self-respecting New England car thief would joy ride in a car proclaiming loyalty to the Steelers, as his fellow partners in crime would beat him about the head and neck for even suggesting such an idea. Plus, some people around here have Yankees bumper stickers (boo) and if there’s going to be trouble, they’ll get it first.

Still, it’s just not the same not having a Clippers bumper sticker. So I’m going to do some on-line searching to see if I can get these things shipped Back East, plus some other required mementos for the vehicle. Once I get those in my hands, this new car of mine will really and truly start to feel like my own.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at February 20, 2007 10:28 PM | TrackBack
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