"I can knock $100 off that Trucoat"

Since we moved to Maine, we have been a two-Prius family. (Mine has an NPR sticker, so as to better verify my liberal bona fides.) The fuel efficiency was, of course, great. But in the snow? Not so great, the Prius. Since we live in a state not known for mild winters, and now live on a hill, the Better Half recently declared that we were getting a proper Maine car. We now we have a Suburu. (Suburus are quintessential Maine cars. Except for the whole "made on the other side of the world" thing.)

During the whole dealership kabuki, wherein the Better Half and the salesman discuss trade-in value, and the manager comes to chat with us, and I sit quietly and wonder whatever happened to Colin Farrell, I kept replaying that scene with Jerry Lundegaard and the Trucoat. (This is no reflection on the lovely people at the dealership, who treated us very well.) But I did find part of the conversation interesting.

The Better Half has been wanting to get a new car since last year, when we had some very unpleasant evenings trying to get up some (relatively small) snow-covered hills in the Prius. He looked into a trade-in over the summer, and got an offer for the car. Yesterday the offer was notably less than before. Why? The price of gas has fallen dramatically, and thus the demand for hybrids has fallen. The Better Half thought this was all gamesmanship, but I recall having read about this in recent weeks.

We were going to get another car, regardless of the price of gas. (For the record, I'm keeping my Prius. I can't have people thinking I might have voted for McCain.) But, as someone I know keeps mentioning, oil is in limited supply. Eventually the economy will recover, and with it the demand for oil will rise. And let's not fool ourselves that OPEC plans to take its lumps with the rest of us. I think not.

Still, it was nice to drive around various snow drifts while the Better Half declared, "See! I could never have done this in the old car!" So everyone's a winner. For now.


  1. Dan -- on a related note, an interesting article on peak coal in Wired Magazine today.

    Seems while we're all watching our oil consumption, most of the CO2 we're putting in the atmosphere comes from coal (a sensitive family topic for many of us, myself included).

    But not to worry, we can always descend into xenophobia (and sinophobia), a favorite pastime for one wing of the environmental movement -- environmentalism and romantic nationalism sharing some common origins. But that's a full blog entry for another time...

  2. Yes, a sensitive family topic indeed.