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Kelly's Korner: My new (complicated) car

Joe Kelly
Sentinel columnist
Posted 6/5/22

We just bought a new car.  The car is white. I’m hoping getting that color isn’t a mistake.

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Kelly's Korner: My new (complicated) car


We just bought a new car. 

The car is white. I’m hoping getting that color isn’t a mistake. I’ve never owned a white car before and don’t want to spend all my free time at the car wash.

Since driving away from the car dealer I’ve been holding my breath. I know it is only a matter of time until I get that first ding. I know the ding will come. The only question is when.  

The ding will more than likely appear on the driver’s door, which means I will have to look at it each time I approach the car. From past experience I know my eyes will focus on that ding and irritate me. 

I’m doing my best to prevent that ding. In parking lots I never park between two old cars. They don’t care about opening their doors into the side of mine.

Sometimes I even park in the back of the lot where there are no cars, which prevent dings and gives me some exercise.

Another thing is that my car still has that new car smell. I love that smell. If someone would invent a deodorizer that smelled exactly like that new car smell, they would make a fortune.

I got my private pilots license in 1969. I learned how to fly in a Cessna 150 and a Piper Cherokee. The electronics in our new car are more advanced than those airplanes and there are more switches and readouts. I’m serious.  

The new car came with a thick owners manual. Driving home from the car dealer I promised myself I would read the manual from cover to cover, a job. 

I still remember the first new car I ever bought. It was a 1965 Ford Mustang, light blue, bucket seats, three speed on the floor.

The Mustang salesman handed me the keys and said, “Good luck. Have fun,” which I did.

The salesman for this most recent new car spent more than an hour setting up things and showing us how to operate stuff. “If you need any help,” he said, “feel free to come back and let me help,” which I’m going to do. I have a list.

I can start my car or lock or unlock my car even if I’m in one city and the car is in another. I think the sales guy said the car could even be in another country. It has something to do with satellites. I think I can also track the car’s location. 

If a car is passing in my blind spot, my car warns me.

If my car is drifting out of my lane, the car warns me. 

If I get below 50 miles of gas remaining, the car warns me. I get another warning at 25 miles to go. With the price of gas, I’ll probably be happy to have those warnings. 

Our new car is a middle of the road make and model. I’d be embarrassed to tell you how much we paid. I’ve seen houses priced for less. 

It makes me think back to my first car. It was a 1954 Chevy Bel Air, three speed on the column. The car was old when I bought it, but there was no rust, good tires and it ran great. I paid $50 for that car and wish I still had it.

The Chevy was owned by the grandmother of a friend of mine. She only drove to the grocery store and church, and only in good weather.  

By the way, my goal is to read a book a week in 2022. When I finish reading the owners manual, which will take at least a week, I’m counting it as one of my 2022 books. 


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