I had few preconceived ideas as to what myself and 'her indoors' might choose as our new transport. (Though I had read many, many reviews\reports so I reckon I was pretty 'au fait' with what was available.) Not that that makes much difference when it comes to the crunch. the choice is mind bending. So we wandered the showrooms, read, listened and looked; and our search finally ended.
The showroom was bright, glitzy, modern, the cars on offer gleaming, the many (six) young salesmen scurrying hither and thither equally so. A young salesman, very presentable caught the eye. 'Jonathan', he introduced himself, 'Can I help you.' So began a very interesting, very informative discussion. Jonathan knew everything conceivable about cars; and a fair bit concerning customers, though not so much concerning geriatrics! His self assurance was amazing though not offensive. Mind you, if he'd been in my class when I was a teacher I'd have sat him in the front where I could keep my eye on him!
Very early in our 'chat' I remember Jonathan mentioned six things to put into order of preference: Performance, Safety. Reliability, Image, Comfort, Economy. Now I rated IMAGE as being highly relevant. Strange you might find this where 'geriatrics' are concerned. But not strange in my eyes. As George Burns once said, 'You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old.' Similarly John Greier put it; 'You're only young once, but you can be immature forever.' Gone are the days when old men chose rather staid Rovers and nothing else. So a car evolved which suggested fun and frivolity foremost. We left the showroom some time later having ordered the car of our dreams. The car, a SEAT, for we were indeed in the SEAT Derby showroom; the model, Ibiza; but not any old Ibiza.
We had considered a red car but decided black always looks smart and doesn't date. What was it Henry Ford used to say, you can have any colour you like as long as its black. Something like that anyway! The standard seats were ok, nothing more; I remembered bucket seats in my youth so bucket seats it has to be. Plus an automatic is a priority in our condition; its not exactly fun getting old! Tinted windows plus a stripe down the side, imagine an old man or his wife driving such a vehicle; so tinted windows and a stripe it also had to be! Not forgetting a spoiler, just the car to have a spoiler! Add mud flaps, reversing sensors, sports suspension, various paint treatments and and extra posh boot/trunk coverings (the boot is big enough to house a zimmer I trust) and you have hopefully one special, now unique motor. You couldn't of course put all this on any old model, so a top of the range FR model it also has to be. Good move, Mr Salesman, test drive them in a top of the range model. (Plus petrol engined after years of diesels; I suspect diesel engines are becoming unpopular with governments.) Jonathan completed the paperwork and we finally went home for a lie down, excited, and a little apprehensive; a truly busy, busy day at our age!
We were informed that our purchase had arrived in Derby and we waited, somewhat impatiently as the extra 'bits and pieces' were fitted to the car. Finally, just over two weeks later we were informed our new car was ready for collection. Like children at Christmas two excited old people arrived at the showrooms. Just inside the showroom entrance was a bright orange cover, obviously hiding a motorcar. Labelled 'Mr and Mrs Stevens' it was an unexpected but very much appreciated gesture. Well done Jonathan and Seat!
We had almost forgotten what we had purchased. Taking off the cover revealed a gleaming, sporting, individualistic vehicle that really looks the part. (The tinted windows reminds me of a gangsters car, brilliant.) We're thrilled to bits. And do you know what really sets it off? The number plate I purchased some years ago, ready for such an occasion. 0009 RAM. Correct, we belong to that ever optimistic band of people, Derby County Football Club supporters!
Jonathan efficiently completed the paperwork and patiently.instructed us in the complex matter of mastering all the knobs, dials, levers etc that are part and parcel of modern motoring. Most of which I promptly forgot, hence my wife drove our purchase home!
We have owned 'Rammy' for several days now
and the original excitement is still there. My oh my, the technicalities of modern vehicles is mind bending. Suffice to say I feel more like a pilot than a car driver. Out of curiosity I will 'post' later concerning our experiences. If anyone suggests senior citizens should adopt a more serious attitude in life, think on. I might be over the hill, but thats better than being under it. Whatever your age, whatever your aspirations, do it now, there are only so many tomorrows. As a wise man once said, 'Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.'