Spending dysfunction and the cure

We have a Pathfinder.  1996.  Almost 200,000 kms.  It starts.  It goes.  It carries.  In fact, except for the usual suspects (brakes, exhaust, bulbs, belts and tires) it seems to be pretty much all one could ever need in a vehicle (‘cept for the odd rodent).

It ain’t shiny. It ain’t pretty.  It’s got more than few wrinkles and bumps to mark it’s life here on earth but, all in all, it wears a coating of dirt as well as any other vehicle.  I like it.  Sal likes it.  Fid knows ‘his’ car in a parking lot.  The old Pathfinder seems good for another 100,000 kms.  Except…..well……

Landcruiser sounds better…….G-wagen sounds good, too.  So does crew cab.  I’d love to find a slightly larger, maybe more macho SUV.  Black.  Ya know?  (on Natural gas, of course).  I keep filling the old PF to the rafters and then spilling on up to the roof rack. Sometimes we have even filled the old utility trailer past the maximum rating by scary amounts, too.  And then pulled it behind the stuffed PF. There have been times when you couldn’t have squeezed a loaf of Wonder bread into the vehicle it was soooooooo loaded up.

So….do I need a new vehicle?

I don’t think so.  I really don’t.  I only need to get from A to B now and then and to carry a whole lotta crap while doing so.  And I am doing that quite well, thank you very much.

Sooooo…….why am I feeling as if I need to buy?

I don’t think it is peer group pressure.  If PGP had any effect on me, I’d be slimmer and more polite, at the very least.  I’d dress better, for sure.  It ain’t status.  I can assure you of that.  Mostly because I equate more status to an old vehicle in good nick than what a tub full of cash can buy off a showroom floor.

It just MIGHT be the moving cornucopia of ‘sexy’ cars and trucks out there, tho.  They do look good compared to Ol’ Poofy, I’ll give you that.  But, seriously…….

I had an hour to kill and went to a Chinese foot massage place (always a treat) and got mildly tortured by a nice monolingual Asian woman just a smidge too keen on upgrading me to a full body massage.  I resisted her fetching smile with remarkably little difficulty, actually.  But I got to talking to the guy massaging the person next to me.  He is a recent Chinese (mainland) immigrant.  He works 7 days a week starting at 10:00 am and not quitting until 11:00 pm!  “Why the hell, William, do you do that?  That’s no life!”

“Aaaaahh……I know!  Car payments!  Gas!  Bills.  Gotta pay the bills, eh?”

“You buying a house?  In this market!  You can’t rub enough feet to buy a house in Vancouver, man!”

“No!  No house! (recent immigrants often speak with exclamation marks at the end of their sentences for no real reason that I can discern). I just buy ‘spensive new car!  Car cost money. Lots of money!  I pay for car!”

“Shoot!  What kinda car you driving, dude?”

“Lessus!  Leck sas?  Luk sis?”

Lex-us, William.  Lex-us.  You better keep rubbing, William, old boy.  And welcome to the wonderful world of consumerism.  You’ve got a lot of feet in your future and a long, long way to go.”

I walked out of there with nice feet and no desire for a shiny car.  What a deal!


10 thoughts on “Spending dysfunction and the cure

  1. Those sirens of consumption are singing best fill your ears with wax but no need now that you have resisted. Once in awhile I get the yen to drop some dough but it passes. I drive a fourteen year old Japanese van and it just will not quit. Keep the Pathfinder and save the bread.


    • I know! The little beastie just keeps on ticking. Do I need in-dash GPS and built-in phones and TVs? Not really. I am driving, not entertaining. Still, a big new Tundra crew cab has such sex appeal…..how do they do that?


      • Ya got that right. I owned Tundra but a teenaged driver wrecked it. I must confess to Tundra envy also and would buy once if I were flush. First car a 1970 VW.


  2. Excellent topic.
    I pruchased a new Toyota truck in 1986. I owned it for 20 years. It NEVER let me down. ( I drove across canada with it in 2004 ….in less than 4 days) .
    After THAT vehicle I owned a brown 1984 Honda Civic that I affectionately named “Spot” because everywhere I parked. It left a drop of oil.
    I sold that car and purchased a white 1994 Honda civic that was pristine. I named it “Spotless”. I sold it to a friend that needed a maintenance free “commuter” I then bought a gray 1995 Honda Civic that I named “G” Spot ( gray color natch). Another mechanically flawless beast. Drove that for a few years and sold it to a kid who was buying her first car. She’s driven it for two years..no probs.
    Then I bought my brothers mazda Protege. Nice car. No probs BUT it started to “nickle and dime ” me sooooooo.
    I spent over a year haggling with dealers.
    Bought a new Toyota tacoma about 6 months ago. Paid half cash and finaced the rest at 0.9% interest. Over the next 4 years my total interest payments will be $400.00.
    I plan on owning this truck for at least 20 years and then I’ll buy a Nuclear powered “Jetson” Hovercraft….


    • My first car was a metallic blue 1950 Morris Minor that cost $150.00. The insurance for a 16-year old back in the 60’s was $325.00. The ‘cool’ factor: priceless.


      • Well, if we’re talking “1st cars”. ( Why is it men seem to have a “special place” for their 1st car and the 1st girl they ever “slept” with? And it the aforementioned schlepping occured in the 1st car…..BONUS!).
        My 1st car was a 1974 Volvo142. paid $500 for it in 1979 and I drove it out to Calgary to seek fortune and fame. It died an ignomious death lest than a year later. Havent owned a Volvo since.


  3. First car: 1930 Model A Roadster. Cost:$50
    Current ride : “76 Chev P/U. Single cab, short box 4×4. Can’t haul enough? Make two trips. Keep your Pathfinder another 20 years and it’ll get you the same status as a new car!
    Twenty years? Maybe not. You may be the only gas guzzler on the road.


    • After investing $500 in new wiring (from the rat-feasting), I am committed to the Poofter. And you are right..it could easily last twenty years more. They are reputed to go 400kms pretty easily and I have yet (by just a few) hit the half-way mark. And here’s the ‘rub’….the car is dirty and we have no hoses and crap so I was gonna go to a car wash. They don’t have ’em anymore! Not NOW – out this way, anyway – I can either get it detailed or not. NOT just washed but ‘detailed’ for $100 or more. The world has gone mad.


  4. Our 16 year old Honda van is still going. And that is 16 years of Ontario winters with lots of salt. Beginning to look a little worse for wear but still going. Keep the Pathfinder. With a coat of Quadra dust you can’t tell what it is anyway.


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