Monday, June 29, 2009

Why, my MOTHER'S name was Prizm!

If you want to feel like Scarlett at the barbecue, walk into a GM dealership on June 28 and tell them you have cash.

The fellas at my Chevy (where I have my own office and coffee machine), the sales-joes were pacing. Eagle-eyed, sales-psyched, trying not to look desperate. Hot horns played as I walked in out of the rain.

GM TIP: Your dealer is open.
well, maybe not yours. But mine.

In a showroom of Corvettes, Camaros, and Caddies standing behind the gym cupping cigarettes in their hands, the Cobalt is the square plain girl who hangs back, not even wise-cracking to fit in. That might be the Malibu, or her less-cute sidekick the Impala. The Cobalt can't even bother to come in a color.

I had dropped by on the day before and driven an 08 with 600 miles on it, then left them wanting more in a "I gotta be somewhere, but I'll call you Monday" slam-bam.

Now my Sales-Joe is with other customers -- sputter! what?! Big cool senior sales guys are calling him the Cobalt King, and swarm me to see what on earth they can do to make my stay here more comfortable. We did a musical number.

My man is with a mother- teen daughter combination. You can see she wants the Camaro by the way she runs her chain across her bottom lip. She probably really wants aMustang, but there are silver Cobalts lined up like Rats at Ring Figure. And that's what she'll take.

I drove them all. Another 08 with 25K that had been a rental and smelled like it. An 09 with spoiler. I didn't like it immediately, though there was no difference between the 2 except the spoiler and the weird OnStar mirror that I found distracting.

GM Tip: OnStar is still in business

Here comes another alarm system I will never properly use. I think if OnStar calls me when I have had a rollover, it had better be to sing "Softly and Tenderly."

I was about to go with the 08 just because that crazy mirror was so irritating. Tammy says she can't wear glasses because she can't stop looking at the frames. This is not a problem I have ever had, but I now understand it completely. Joe is worried: I am flaking, and the Big Boys are not keeping me entertained enough in spite of all their tricks.

Every one of them claimed to have owned a Prizm. This is like claiming you watch PBS: the ratings do not back up this data. They claimed to have loved (with wistful sighs from the more experienced) the Citation, both of which I had named as my previous Chevys. They claimed to know people at my company (SMALL WORLD!). To have relatives in my town (You don't say).

At his little round table, Sales-Joe is trying not to lose one deal for the other -- he is Cobalt KING after all. They send me out in another 09 with no spoiler. I drove the low-mileage 08 again. I pulled into parking lots, made crazy New England style lefts, hopped the highway, got cut off and turned on the console info instead of the horn.
GM Tip: XM radio has Canadian sports.
in French. Which in Vermont we just call...AM radio.

Joe and I sit side-by-side with the invoices from the 08 and 09. You got curtain airbags? Yep - you got traction control? Yep. Here's the thing though. GM will give me a slash on the 09 enough to make it less than the 08, which has the aforementioned spoiler AND a big crease in the front bumper.

I drove the 09 again.
If you think this is taking long for you, think how it feels in real time.

All right, here's the outcome. The 09 - no spoiler - silver. Looks like a Matchbox car. Or a line drawing of a prototype of a car. It is not sporty, or racy, or sexy. But then 60% of you surveyed compared me to a type of health cereal - a split vote on oatmeal vs granola. So you shouldn't be surprised. Here then, is my wallet fold-out:

I call them Snap, Crackle and Pop.

You know how to pop the hood, don't you Steve....?


  1. OMG--your opening line is still making me chuckle!

    Thank you for keeping the economy alive!


    PS. The captcha "word" makes zero sense: jiditer. Makes me ponder: is this German for baby girl got a deal on her Chevy?

  2. Can you please explain how (or perhaps why) a COBALT is silver? webb

  3. This has been a common question, so I looked into it. Element #27 (Co)is gray in its natural state. Cobalt aluminate is blue, and cobalt will turn other colors when mixed with other elements.
    One may also ask how the Mustang can be Red and what color Intrepid is.
    In any case - no new englander wants a black car. That's just a disaster.


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