A fun afternoon today…lunch with the Geezers, a chance to look at both new and vintage motorcycles, a stop at a gun store, and a look at the latest bit of American iron at our local Chevy dealer.
Lunch with the Geezers, as you know from reading the blog, is kind of a Saturday ritual, and today was a classic. After a cup of coffee and some conversation at Bob’s (as you know from a recent blog, Bob has a very impressive collection of vintage bikes), it was a hop in the car over to Applebee’s for lunch with all of my moto buddies. I’m the youngest, and I haven’t been described as a spring chicken in decades. Hence the name of this informal group – the Geezers.
The same nice young lady at Applebee’s waits on us every time and she always makes a big fuss. I always wonder what she and the other Applebee folks chat about after we leave…a bunch of old graybeards in motorcycle gear telling tall tales.
Today was better than usual. When the bill arrived, my good buddy Joseph did the computations (you know, the total plus the tip, divided by however many Geezers showed up that day, and we all kick in the same amount). Marty wanted to have some fun, so after Joseph did all the above and our waitress collected the money, Marty looked at the receipt and told Joseph she forgot to include the Senior Discount (she had included it, but hey, Marty was on a roll). Joseph took off after the waitress. Marty got the grin. It was fun.
On the way back it was raining. Too cold and wet to ride or shoot, so Marty and I rolled over to a large gun store in our area…Ammo Brothers. Folks, I don’t like big chain stores, especially when they’re selling guns and ammo. Part of the fun is buying stuff from mom and pop shops…and we’ve got a good one in our area, Bullet Barn Guns (http://www.bulletbarnguns.net), but today for whatever reason we decided to go to Ammo Brothers.
Let me tell you what these Ammo Brothers dudes are doing now…if you want to get help, you have to take a number. Literally. Like in a bakery. From a little number-dispensing machine. Then you wait until they call your number. It’s ridiculous. It de-personalizes the sales experience, and buying guns is like buying a motorcycle…it should be an experience that establishes a relationship. It’s not like buying, say, a loaf of bread.
Being the compliant moron that I am, though, I took a number. They were on No. 5. I was No. 10. After 20 minutes, they were up to No. 7. I’m not even sure why I took a number…I didn’t want to buy anything and if I did, I would buy it from Bullet Barn Guns. We bailed.
This morning I had read an article in the LA Times about Chevy’s newest performance sedan…the SS. The LA Times was quite complimentary…they said the car was awesome. I suggested to Marty when we were leaving the bakery…oops, I meant to say the Ammo Brothers store…that we stop at the local Chevy dealer to check out the new SS. Marty was good with that and a few minutes later we were there.
I don’t like car dealers too much, either, and our local Chevy dealer is no exception. The wolves were predictably lined up at the entrance, offering to help us.
“Don’t waste your time, boys,” I said, “we’re two old looky-lou geezers on Social Security…we just want to see the new SS.”
I think those guys appreciated that we didn’t waste their time. They didn’t say anything and they didn’t smile. It must be a terrible way to make a living.
So, on to the point of this blog…we saw the SS, it was indeed awesome, and I had my iPhone…
I like the color. A lot. I reminds me of the Baja Blaster, and as you know, I think any vehicle in cite-me-for-a-moving-violation red just flat works…as seen in this photo up on Glendora Ridge Road with my good buddy Carlos…
The new Chevy, while an American car, is actually mostly Australian. The body and frame are made by Holden (a GM subsidiary) and the engine (the classic small block Chevy….last year’s Corvette engine) is made in Mexico. I know this because it’s all spelled out on the new car sticker.
And speaking of new car stickers, the new Chevy SS is pretty nice, but this thing’s price was up there in Corvette territory. The MSRP was just north of $47K, and the dealer had added a $2,500 “market adjustment.”
“Market adjustment” is a high-falutin’ dealership term for “stick it to ya.” I don’t know if in the history of the world anyone has ever actually paid a “market adjustment.” It’s just a way to temporarily shift the negotiation start point. I don’t like it, though. The manufacturer has suggested a retail price and asking more than that somehow just seems inappropriate. We’d never do that at California Scooter. It’s one of many reasons why a lot of people distrust dealers.
Not that any of the above bothered me at all. I actually was just a looky-lou today, and I’ve been “market adjusted” to new car dealer pricing practices for decades now. Still, it was grand entertainment and a great way to spend the day.
I think I’m going to wipe down the Baja Blaster, and if it warms up a bit tomorrow, I’ll fire her up and grab a little video.
Ride safe, folks. ATGATT, and all that…