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Apr 03 2018

Goodbye Ford Focus

It was the most unloved of cars (every one of mine has a name, including the “$500 Mistake”) and outside of a handy backup camera and a sun roof it never got warm enough to try, it had little to recommend it. I drove a Nissan Altima that was superior in every way including comfort front and back and cargo space. It was even better off road as I found out when I mistakenly drove the median strip.

Among the Focus’ most offensive characteristics was an obtrusive and distracting GPS and a dial shifter along with doors that wouldn’t stay open on the least upward incline. It was intended as a replacement for the MX-6 I now call “Black Beauty” though there is little beautiful about it except 6 cylinders and a manual transmission. The roof lining is held up by double sided sticky tape, the seats are buried in 6 layers of covers, and the ignition coils need to be replaced every 200 miles or so.

The late and unlamented Focus met its demise in flat light glare and the kind of rear ender so common in Connecticut we call it a “Merritt Parkway” (people take their foot off the brake because they think they have enough room to accelerate to 65 MPH and you plow into them because you could fit 3 stinking cars in there but they change their minds, cowards). I knew it was a goner the moment the airbags went off.

We bought it for Emily who I had to drag out for test drives. She can’t hack the clutch any more and needed an automatic. We looked at an Altima (just as good as I remembered) and a CR-V and then she got tired and started to write me out of the will. She took Richard off to the dealership, fell in love with the color of the showroom model Focus (of course she didn’t look at any of the 5 page, single spaced list of essential characteristics I provided her) and because Richard said “It has Satellite Radio. I can listen to MSNBC (as if that makes him hip and lefty)”, bought it on the spot.

Then came the complaining. I found it hard to imagine just how much it was possible to fit in a five minute ride. Of course she blamed Richard and, silently, me for forcing her to accept this clearly unsuitable car but when directly asked why she just didn’t bring it back “Oh, it’s too late for that now.”

I’m pretty sure they have a policy for handling a car with less than 100 miles on it and 3 weeks of time.

So this time she has 4 (count ’em) 4 choices. A Nissan Altima (it really is a nice car) or a Honda CR-V, HR-V, or Accord.

I don’t care if it’s Purple, you can paint it (in fact dealers trade cars so you can usually get one that conforms to your exact specifications within a week). They all have sun roofs (that’s what you wanted, right ek?) and Satellite Radio so you can listen to Chris (ugh) Matthews as you drive. THAT IS NOT AN EXCUSE!

On the other hand she is an adult lady who knows her own mind and there is very little I can do to control her.