As mentioned before, I had been suffering from the disease that commonly affects the retired FOG (Fat Old Guy). I wanted a classic car! I spent hours on the internet and visiting a collection of rusty, dusty car lots. I hankered for that Buick with the Queensland's plates, but--alas!--the paperwork would have been a nightmare. I did not fancy spending days, weeks, months dealing with hostile bureaucrats at the California DMV trying to register a car with Aussie papers and tags but which had been in California for some eleven years.
"What kind of papers and plates are these?"
"No, not the home of Adolf Hitler, the home of Geoffrey Rush."
And on and on. Sigh. Had to let the Buick go.
As so often happens in life, however, one door closes, another opens. I got a line on a beautiful blue 1966 Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible in Las Vegas. Phoned the dealer, got a good vibe from him and from the superb packet of pictures he sent, and grabbed the Diplowife (ret), and said "Vegas!" We strapped ourselves into the trusty Chevy Tahoe and headed off on the 310 mile trek across the California and Nevada deserts to tacky, crazy, wonderful Las Vegas. The Diplowife (ret) admitted, incidentally, that she was only going along to talk me out of this nutty purchase.
Well, we visited the dealership, which had dozens of stunning cars--more than appear on their website. I drove the Olds, fell in love with it, and turned loose the skeptical Diplowife (ret) on the dealer, Mike, a very nice and honest guy who did not deserve getting the Diplowife (ret) treatment . . . but I wanted that car! As noted before, the Diplowife (ret) has formidable powers of negotiation. She hit Mike with one of her classic barrages. The dealer was good, but no match. She got a very good price. Her negotiations might not have been helped, I confess, by my dancing around on the hot pavement, tugging on her blouse, and, like John Kerry at the Iran nuke talks, crying "Please! Please! I want it! I want it!"
As Mike and I sat in his office filling out the papers, the Diplowife (ret) took a stroll among the wonderful gleaming machines on display and--wham!--she spied a pristine 1976 Cadillac Coup DeVille with only 19,000 original miles, recently arrived from an estate sale in Arizona. Now the itch hit her! Ha! She had to have that Caddy! I insisted that she drive it. She loved steering that great beast around the back roads of Vegas. It is a magnificent piece of cutting-edge 1970s engineering and excess. I swear the thing still smelled new. Riding along, I felt like Robert De Niro in Casino. All we needed was a couple of dead mobsters in the cavernous trunk to make it a perfect day--our 37th wedding anniversary, by the way. A new round of negotiations and another car added to our growing fleet. The cars are to be delivered next week. I'll let you know how all that goes.
Here are the babies.
I have two concerns about the Caddy: It measures 18'11" and my garage space is 20'. No room for anything else in front or in back. A more serious worry is the Golden State of California, a nanny state if ever there was one. California has declared war on fun. Well, on any fun that is male-centric. Let's face it, of course, fun is a male invention. Women are more than welcome to come along, but fun is, at heart, a man thing. I am talking planes, trains, cars, guns, deep sea fishing, hunting, video games, bowling, archery, belching, etc. What women call "fun," is not. Not even they believe it; hence, women want to go on or control male fun excursions, whereas men rarely want to go on female "fun" excursions or care about them enough to ask the state to intervene. The feminists' greatest ally in the ever-more frenzied progressive war on fun is the power of the state. Deep blue California, of course, is more than willing to play along. In California, any car model 1976 or newer--note that date--must pass smog inspection. It is not a rolling date, say, declaring that any car under thirty years old, with the cut-off date moving forward every year, must pass inspection. No. It is an arbitrarily fixed date that cuts into the classic/collectible car market. Given that the Caddy is stock, only has 19,000 miles and runs great, I have high hopes that it passes, but the fear remains that the fun-killers will strike.
OK. Now that I am in deep trouble with the Diplowife (ret) I sign off before she and Megyn Kelly come gunning for me . . .