Autopia

>>Autopia

Wanna see my brand new car? It’s that modest little royal blue number on the right. Yeah, right.

I drive all over Glassland now; Tyrone-the-Spiffy Wheelchair breaks down so I can pull him into the passenger seat all by myself. The wheels come off, the back folds down, the anti-tip wheels pop off, and then I drag him over my body into the car.

Unfortunately, in winter Tyrone has a tendency to get caught in my coat when I’m loading him, which breaks the smooth passenger-seat momentum. He’ll come DOWN on some part of my anatomy; this week alone I’ve got seven new bruises and a fat lip.

“Uhm…are you and the Resident Carpenter not getting along?” a friend asked last week. I’m getting a wee bit tired of telling people, no, I did NOT walk into a door, I’m just whacking myself with a wheelchair.

So I’ve been thinking that maybe CherryBaby and I should part. I love her hybrid nature, and she’s a faithful (fully paid for) companion…but she’s not intended for single-handed wheelchair portage. And who knows how long I’ll need a wheelchair or walker? I’ve been truly converted as far as keeping things accessible is concerned and, frankly, I need more trunk space.

The auto show seemed like a perfect opportunity to test that idea, and the sneak peek reception meant I could have dinner AND a show, maybe with lighter crowds so I could talk accessibility with knowledgeable folk. (And provide some charity for a couple of my favorite worthy causes, Dougy Center and Meals on Wheels)

Besides, they were giving away an Audi SUV at the show, and I had a hankering to win it. The Resident Carpenter’s hands-down favorite cars are Audis, so one mention of an Audi giveaway and he enthusiastically offered to guide me through the show. Anything with an internal combustion engine seems to float his boat, so I didn’t feel guilty about selfishly grabbing his evening. He was indeed a knowledgeable guide…

The Resident Carpenter, down the hall examining campers

…for the first five minutes. I heard him say, “Oh, there are the Jeeps!” and that was the last I saw of him for quite awhile. Audis notwithstanding, trucks, campers, and Jeeps are his natural habitat.

Roughing it for the Resident Carpenter means living off the wilderness in some place without WiFi or cell coverage. Catching his own food, probably with his bare teeth, and cooking it on a rock. Bathing at least once per month. Sleeping under the stars, covered with bugs.

Roughing it for me means room service takes more than 30 minutes and they only have one choice for bubble bath. I think the word “camper,” is suckerspeak for “easy-open can for bears.”

That’s what you call a basic incompatibility. Didn’t bother me much; I hit up the sportscars, MY normal environment.

Started with the muscle cars, McLarens, Maseratis, and such. Saw a sweet little Bullseye Cobalt Blue (0114, for those of you keeping up with such things) McLaren Bellevue just a-sittin’ there, all lonely-like, with my name plastered ALL OVER THE WINDSHIELD.

(OK, not really)

I got to sit in a McLaren. Once. My cousins, who make sportscars for a living,sometimes also restore sportscars (wanna see? Visit kirkhammotorsports.com and don’t miss the roadsters made out of copper) .

Clearly, this is a business I should be in, except for the fact that I’m not entirely sure what’s under the hood except for the loud growly noises it makes when you floor it. My cousins, knowing this, smile politely and change the subject whenever I bring it up.

Turns out the McLaren was a wee bit out of my price range; I knew this because the salesguy mentioned a $100,000 DISCOUNT. Googled the price. I’m not sure my HOUSE is worth that much.

I–and about about 20 men–watched an enthusiastic lady wearing a very large belt for a dress, gyrating to “Play that Funky Music,” by the tribute band next to the boozebar. A guy tapped me on the shoulder, about four sheets and a bedpost to the wind: “My phone’shout in the car. Don’ ‘spose you could shend me pictures of that?” he asked, gesturing at the lady’s, er, outfit.

Uhm…no. Time to move to sensible land, questing for hybrid vehicles that hold more than a thimble and don’t require your firstborn male child as a partial payment.

They’re surprisingly hard to find. BMW has a nice one (although the pink and black interior will give me nightmares for weeks to come). Porsche has a REALLY nice one that goes like a scalded wildcat, apparently, but it’s heading back into stratospheric territory.

Ford’s is a bit small, Toyota’s is OK but a little lacking in performance. Hyundai and Kia were smallish. Audi etron is beautiful, but storage is a joke. Couldn’t find many others.

“Where RU?” messaged the RC, who’d apparently run out of mobile bear snackpacks to view.

“Leaving the Ford Fusion Electric, heading past the Nissan GRC, and crossing the Rubicons,” I deadpanned.

I was standing near a nice little red one when he caught up with me. I was thinking OK, I’d like that if they made a hybrid version (they don’t), when it occurred to me that being in a wheelchair makes me very hard to find in a crowd. “How did you find me in all this?” I asked, and the RC grinned.

“I just look for suspicious voids in the crowd, and your wheelchair is probably at the bottom of them,” he shrugged.

He wanted to drool on the Audis, so we went upstairs to “Luxury Loft,” where the eats are less substantial (crudites and dip), the wines are a tad better, and the band isn’t quite as 70s disco as down below.

Had a great talk with the Dougy Center folks (BTW, they’re having their big fundraiser in May. If you’re anybody you’ll want to attend. They’re auctioning off a Porsche, but make sure you don’t enter. That car is MINE .)

Oh, and we didn’t win the Audi. Drat.

2018-01-25T08:55:36+00:00

3 Comments

  1. Diana tillotson January 26, 2018 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Glad you went out.

  2. Bob Heath January 25, 2018 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    I’ve also been looking for another hybrid. The Prius Prime is great for when it’s just the two of us, but when we go on longer trips or need to haul large items, we’d like more storage room or the ability to pull a small trailer, so I’ve been looking for cross-over size hybrids. The pickin’s are still slim, but improving. I like the Toyota Rav 4, but it lacks sufficient headroom in the back seat for some of the taller members of my family (at least the hybrid version does because they raise the rear seat to make room for the battery). I recently sat in a Kia Niro (it’s a plug-in hybrid, which is what I’d really like) and was favorably impressed with it. There’s also the Ford C-Max hybrid (and it’s plug-in sibling), which we liked, but it has a dubious reliability record that kind of put us off. The Honda CRV isn’t currently available as a hybrid in this country, although they recently introduced a hybrid version in Europe and it’s rumored to be coming to America soon. I have high hopes that it may be what I’m looking for.

  3. Sandy January 25, 2018 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Congrats! I see you went out. Feeling a bit less restless? I hope so. Forward Ho! (I live in Texas)

Comments welcome! (thanks)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: