New Cars and the Failure of Public Education

So the girlfriend has moved to Houston, and we like this a lot. We’ve found her an apartment, and she just bought a car — coming as she did from DC where they have wild things like subways, she didn’t need one before. Wacky.

The vehicle of choice turned out to be a Hyundai Elantra, brand spankin’ new — it had like 12 miles on it when we rode away from the lot. In the past, I might have cast aspersions on Hyundai, but after driving the Elantra against the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, I’d say Japan Inc. needs to seriously re-evaluate their low end. The Elantra is nicer, better equipped, more powerful, and has a better warranty than either of the other two cars, and does so for thousands less. Also, at least with the dealers we spoke to, the Hyundai folks are decidedly less weasely, and that’s always a plus.

Anyway, it was during this process that I overheard the most amazing conversation. Erin needed insurance before we could leave — Texas state law and her lienholder agreed on that — so she phoned the Allstate agent known to the salesman. As best I recall, this is how the side I heard went:

Erin: “Yes, I’d like to get a quote for some car insurance.” “A new Hyundai Elantra.” “No, I didn’t have a car before this, so I don’t have any insurance.” “Because I just moved here last week from Washington, DC.” “No, not Washington state; Washington, District of Columbia.” “No, it’s not a state, it’s the District of Columbia, but it’s like a state.” “It’s not another country. It’s part of the US. It’s the capital. Congress meets there.” “Just put DC in the state blank, okay?”

By this point, the car dealer and I were in stitches; Erin would have been, too, if she hadn’t been so horrified. Sigh.|*|

Yet Another Reason to Love Tivo

My Tivo captured “El Vaquero de la Ciudad” for me last night. I’m not sure what algorithm is at work there, but it certain believes I’m game for watching 20-year-old Spanish-dubbed Travolta vehicles. I guess it would help if I’d do some thumb-voting, but it’s more fun to see what random stuff it’ll capture.