I just took my new car for a spin and it's a dandy. By "new," of course, I mean "slightly less old that the car it replaced." We haven't actually bought a brand-new car since 1995. My "new" car is a 1994 Nissan Sentra with only 85,000 miles on it, and we got it for nothing.
Well, almost nothing: my brother-in-law the mechanic found this car for us and did some repairs and body work and a quick paint job (an unusual color I'm calling Mermaid Blue), and in exchange we gave him my husband's '91 Honda, an actively malevolent car that has devoted its life to trying to kill me.
The astounding thing is that my brother-in-law found a buyer for our old Honda within 24 hours and that the price paid for my new mermaid-blue baby. I can't believe that anyone would want to buy the Honda at all, considering that it has 190,000 miles on it and needs a new transmission, not to mention that water leaks in every time it rains so it always smells like dirty sweatsocks, and also it suffers from Car Leprosy, a non-fatal condition in which everything not essential to keep the engine running simply falls off, and the air conditioning hasn't worked for a decade, and have I mentioned that the Honda has been trying to kill me?
But it's gone now and I have a car I can drive to work without fearing for my life. Now the van will pass into the hands of the husband, who needs it more and more for his Farmers' Market business, but I'll be tootling around town with the Little Mermaid. Be sure to wave when you see me. You could call out a cheery greeting, but I won't hear you because my new car has functioning air conditioning, something I haven't had in a car for three or four years. I'll have to get back in the habit of driving with the windows up.
My "new" car lacks that new-car smell, but I put a vanilla lime air freshener in it just to spiff it up. Now if I can just figure out how to change the radio station, I'll be ready to roll.