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Friday, October 10, 2008

Papa's Got A Brand New Sled

I never was in love with the look of the Toyota Prius, but when I heard about the great things it does I was pretty intrigued. Since my current car was on its last legs and my work offered a discount on hybrid cars it was time to take this bug-shaped apparition seriously.

The nearest car dealership that would honor my work discount (20%) was in El Monte. As I drove up to the car lot I saw seven Toyota Prius cars of varying colors parked below a blow-up Michelin Tire Boy six stories high. I picked the one with a GPS system, bluetooth, six-disc changer, mp3 player, and a leather interior.

Learning how to drive the Toyota Prius is like learning how to drive all over again: the system is so different than anything you've ever experienced before. The transmission is on the dashboard, just like a 1962 Imperial! I liked the fact that my key was a Smartkey. It doesn't warrant plugging into the ignition because the engine picks up the signal from the key hanging from your belt!

The first thing you do after you turn on the power (push button) is put your left foot to release the Emergency Brake and your right foot on the normal brake, just like an old Model T Ford. After you release the Emergency Brake you're ready to drive. Your odometer is an LED screen set all the way in the back of the dashboard.

As I pulled out of the lot I decided to phone Rebecca from the bluetooth, so I pushed the phone button from the steering wheel and called her, talking into the stereo speaker and her responding to me. A soon as the phone call was over the music resumed, but I didn't want to listen to jazz anymore, so I switched to disc 4 (Punk, baby!) by pushing the Next Disc button on my steering wheel, which also has Air Conditioning controls, too. There's no more leaning over to push buttons. Everything's done on the steering wheel now!

Since the 2007 Toyota Prius is a hatchback I can fold the back seats into extra cargo space so if I go on a big trip to Palm Springs I can load it up with tons of luggage, my portable DVD player, my laptop, guitars, amplifiers, videocams, beer chest and stuff.

I was going to post a pic of my real Prius but since my enemies have attacked my last car so much I'm keeping this baby under wraps for awhile. You're just going to have to take my word for it: the Toyota Prius is the future, and all other cars are as outdated as Herman's Hermits.

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