The Luxury of Luxury
I love the irony of living in a trailer park (okay, manufactured home) with two luxury cars on the driveway. That each vehicle is over ten years old so we could afford them is fine with me.
But when one of our 2004 computerized car key fobs broke, I had to visit a fancy shmancy car lot in Florida. When we pulled up in front of the local Lexus dealership I thought I was at the Dubai Hilton. The towering edifice covered more than a city block.
I looked for the Parts Department sign, envisioning the customary dark back room with a long formica counter, staffed by a guy in a greasy Eagles hat. Nope. I found an adjacent free-standing airplane hangar with a cadre of tablet-using young professionals poised to greet us. One chipper young man ushered us into the war room, with 26 computer stations, (seriously, I counted!) each easily equipped to control air traffic into Chicago O’Hare. Over every desk in the place were framed diplomas from Lexus College. It made me wonder if my combined SAT score would have been enough to matriculate.
As we glided across the Italian marble tile, our caseworker assessed the damaged key. He logged us into the system on his iPad, then sent a lackey to fetch our car and spirit it away. Our counselor told us to enjoy our time in the lounge—estimated wait, two hours. For a key???
We took the elevator to the second floor lounge, where we discovered a half dozen vibrating massage chairs in front of three massive flat-screen TVs. That they all were showing a bloviating Donald Trump had me shaking all over without a massage chair. There was also a beautiful boutique with logo clothing and expensive logo jewelry. Logo dog clothing, anyone? My favorite amenity was a lush putting green with complimentary clubs. I was tempted to grab one and smash at the Donald-occupied TV screens.
Oh, and there were aisles of greeting cards, which was good, as I suspected you could be there from one Easter to the next.
No decade old Time magazines and vending machines here. There was a deco-designed snack bar with ten-stool seating, offering a variety of burgers and beverages. It looked like a set from Happy Days.
Meanwhile, as if we were waiting in the surgical lounge at Beebe, you could follow a massive video screen showing whether the “patient” was in surgery, recovery, or waiting to be discharged. In this case, the last step was a complimentary bath (and nail trim?).
Curious about the new car showroom, we descended to Level One, walked across campus and entered the gallery of dreams. Not only did we find ten awesome new vehicles on display under a complex light show, but we ran into a second elaborate snack and coffee bar, plus an adjacent lounge with several people waiting.
“See that old woman with the walker?” I asked. “She’s been here since she broke her key fob when she was a teenager.”
Also on the showroom floor was a battery-operated, perfectly scaled plastic replica luxury car for toddlers. It cost $499.00. Yup, Five Hundred bucks for a kids’ toy. All I could do was cluck my tongue.
As for the new cars themselves, of course they were gorgeous, with amenities including dashboard computers I could use to write this column. Naturally, Bonnie checked out the engines and tires, while I ogled the lush interiors, and multiple cup holders.
I’m pretty sure the display models were equipped with wireless eyeball recognition software since the instant I gazed at a car, a roving pack of sales persons flowed our way. Sadly, the cars cost roughly the value of our manufactured home. Some, many thousands more.
Finally, we were notified that our newly washed jalopy was coming off the line, ready for delivery, along with our brand new key fob. The bill was $275.00. For a key???
Stunned, we leapt into the car and drove off. As we bid a fond farewell to Lexusland, Bonnie surprised me.
“I’d love to get you that shiny black Lexus for our anniversary.”
“Awww,” I responded.
“Yeah, but I don’t have the $499.00.”
Everybody’s a comedian.
Fay Jacobs is the author of As I Lay Frying—a Rehoboth Beach Memoir; Fried & True—Tales from Rehoboth Beach, For Frying Out Loud—Rehoboth Beach Diaries, and her newest book Time Fries—Aging Gracelessly in Rehoboth Beach.
Hey, everybody! It’s Women’s FEST April 7-10. Come see me at Proud Books on Friday 10-noon, at the Atlantic Sands Expo on Saturday 9-2, or at CAMP for my show Aging Gracelessly, Saturday at 5 p.m.. I’ll also be doing my last local performance of the show at 7 p.m. Sunday at CAMP. And, if you are wondering how you can make the most impact in the 2016 elections, come to the non-partisan League of Women Voters panel on Sunday afternoon April 10 at CAMP, a few hours prior to my show. The speakers are fascinating and it should be one of the most valuable couple of hours you can spend. (My own show not withstanding, lol!)