Santa Maria Sun / Humor
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 47
To Corvette or not to Corvette?Krider waxes poetic about his favorite sports car
BY ROB KRIDER
My whole life, I’ve wanted to own a genuine Chevrolet Corvette. Well, I guess I should clarify that: I don’t actually feel the need to own a Corvette. I just feel the need to drive one every day, really, really fast. If someone else wanted to make the car payment, I would certainly be available to drive the car for him. Maybe somebody needs to make a little room in his garage for a new pool table, and a Corvette is taking up too much space. Well, I’m here to solve your storage problems. Just give me the car.
Hey, I’m a reasonable guy; in fact, I’m even willing to cough up some gas money. And that is no small token since a Corvette is a premium machine, which means it runs on premium gasoline, which costs premium dollars. Long story short, Corvettes are fast and they require fast dollars to keep them moving. This is one of the things that make them so cool. They aren’t attainable by the masses.
That’s not to say that Corvettes are completely unattainable. They are actually reasonably priced for the performance you get, but the latest Z06 version (Z06 is the Chevrolet building code for “badass, blow your mind, ludicrous speed”) costs around $90,000. People live in houses that cost less (well, people in Fresno, anyway). What I’m trying to say is that the young man who just made your Big Mac at McDonald’s did not drive to work in his Corvette Z06. Trust me: look in the McDonald’s parking lot. You won’t see any Corvette Z06s. What you will see is a Huffy bicycle chained to a tree.
A Corvette ain’t no Huffy. Corvettes are awesome. They are insanely fast, built to perform, and not everybody in the world has one (think Camry). These are some of the reasons I want one, and why I think Corvettes are so cool. However, my wife, whom I love, doesn’t think they are cool. In fact, she thinks Corvettes make absolutely no sense. She has her reasons based on something called “rationality” (the car only has two seats, there’s no room for luggage filled with hair products, and they get poor gas mileage when the right foot gets really heavy—which it always does in a Corvette). She doesn’t understand that Chevrolet didn’t build the car based on rational thinking. They designed the car to do things like beat Porsches and scare the police. What would my wife know about the passion of owning a Corvette? She has a uterus and drives a Hyundai.
When I talk, beg, and plead about wanting a Corvette, my wife tells me Corvettes are for bald elderly men, who have a prescription for Cialis. Statistically, this is actually sound factual data. I, however, am not one of those guys. I’m not elderly, I have all my hair, and who can afford Cialis? Oh, that’s right—guys who can afford Corvettes. OK, it all makes sense now.
Regardless of what my wife thinks, or the statistics involving most 50-year-old men driving Corvettes, I still want a Z06. I’m jonesing for one of these cars. It’s all I think about, other than sex, of course. You could even say that I’m obsessed with the idea of the iconic, sexy, two-seated, V-8-powered, dominant, American sports car. Why shouldn’t I be obsessed? The car looks like it’s going 100 miles per hour even when it’s parked at the library. I’ve been crazy for Corvettes ever since I was a wee lad playing on the garage floor with my Hot Wheels. Even in the 1:64-scale, die-cast metallic version, the Corvette was the still the King. But in 1978, there was one thing that solidified my lust for the Vette: It was a little film called Corvette Summer, starring none other than Mark Hamill, and it changed my life forever.
You see, in 1978, Mark Hamill wasn’t Mark Hamill to anyone. He was Luke Skywalker from Star Wars. The next time everyone had the chance to see the boy-turned-Jedi-Knight on screen, he was customizing a Corvette and getting chased by car thieves. It was AWESOME. (Let me clarify: It was awesome by 1978 standards, as viewed by a 5-year-old boy. The movie is actually pretty bad.) The Corvette in the film was a cool, customized, candy-apple-red beauty. (Let me clarify again: The Corvette was cool by 1978 standards as viewed by a 5-year-old boy. The Corvette was actually horrendous looking). But don’t let the facts change the story: When I was 5 years old, I saw a movie in which Luke Skywalker drove a Corvette, and I decided then and there that I would drive a Corvette. It is as simple as that.
So what has stopped me from my Corvette summer? Well, when I was 5 years old, I couldn’t afford one, and I didn’t have a license. When I was 16, my parents didn’t want me in a fast car, so they gave me an El Camino—the Corvette of pickup trucks. When I went to college, I still couldn’t afford one. When I finally made Corvette money, I had two kids and a wife, and the Corvette only has two seats (Mrs. Krider refused to ride on the roof). Now my kids have their own cars, but I wouldn’t let them have Corvettes because … my parents wouldn’t let me have one. There’s really nothing stopping me from owning a Corvette, but for some reason, I don’t have one in my garage. Maybe I’m afraid that as soon as the ’Vette keys fall into my front pocket, penile dysfunction is imminent. I guess I have a hard decision to make.
If Rob finally makes the plunge and buys himself a Corvette, he wants to keep a lightsaber in the glove box. Send him comments through the managing editor at aasman@santamaria sun.com.