You are on page 1of 4

This is a story about a boy and his car.

If you are looking for a happy story, with images of driving with
the roof down and the wind blowing through your hair - this is not that story. Mostly, because I don't
have any hair. No, this is a story about love at sixth sight, bargaining, pleading and frustration. It is a
story about being naive, about being honest but mostly about being me. At the end, I will find a little
redemption. Mostly, though, I will go a long way to proving that I may be borderline functionally
retarded...

After living in Dubai for a couple of months, I decided I needed a car. Actually, the decision was made for
me by the city itself. If there is a less pedestrian city in the world, Dubai would buy it an destroy it just to
maintain the title. Dubai does has sidewalks, but they are built in the middle of the roads with no railings,
while points are given out if you are run over by luxury models. The public transportation system (photo
included) is a bit archaic and slow, while cars and gas are cheap. Everything is built in a sprawling line
along the coast, so no car means no where - unless you wish to take your life in the back of a taxi.

I rented a car from a small shop owned by the brother-of-the-guy-who-was-dating-my-restaurant-
hostess (hereafter referred to BOTG). That's how things work over here. The boyfriend is Syrian, so we
got to play the Arab Game. You want to rent a car? Go online an find one - at $200/day. Oh, your the
boss of my brother's girlfriend? I meant $20/day, with an upgrade. Eventually, though, you want to buy
your own machine - something that reflects your personality and sense of adventure. I started looking for
used cars online and was amazed at how low the prices were. My company, as part of my employment,
was offering an interest free loan of up to AED 70,000 (CAD $20,000) with no questions asked. That gave
me a pretty wide range.

A two-year old BMW 320 with 35,000kms was the equivalent of $18,000 CAD. A Mercedes 200 series was
a little less. Did I feel like driving a big sedan, like a Hyundai Azera? Maybe a Puegot sports convertable?
All of it fell within my budget. But the BOTG had a car of his own that he was looking to sell. He kept
talking about it. It's a nice Mitsubishi and they make great sedans. You, I give a special price. Really nice
car. You should have a look. Beautiful, custom-made leather interior After about three months of
renting, I decided to take a shot.

In early May I called the BOTG and asked if I could take a look at the car.

"For you, Mr. Peter, I will drive it to your hotel. Keep it for the weekend and let me know what you think."

"Sounds great," I replied. "Give me a call when you are out front."

A got a call about 30 minutes later that he was outside waiting for me. I went out the lobby, stepped
down to the sidewalk, but there was no car. I looked right, but couldn't see a blue sedan. I looke right
and couldn't see a blude sedan. Then someone honked at me and I turned around. Sitting behind me
was "the car", hereafter referred to as the "Pimpmobile" - a blue Lancer EX-GT 2.0 litre with yellow racing
stripes. Have a look at the photos attached. Now picture it with two yellow racing stripes down the
middle. Big Daddy come pimp my ride...

Notice the sleek, blue racing appearance (with the imagined racing stripes). Can you appreciate the 18"
rims? The custom-made interior was definitely leather. It was also yellow. Yellow leather. I am assuming
bright yellow leather because lime green would not be visible from space and pink was, well, gay. The
manufacturer's stereo had been removed. In its place was CD-changer with a 40-band equalizer. Of
these 40 bands, 39 of them were dedicated to base and one to vocals. There was Bass, Bass Booster,
Custom Bass, Panty-exploding Base, and Bowel Moving Base. In addition were sport shifting paddles on
the steering wheel, laser guided fog lights and dark, extremely tinted windows so people wouldn't be able
to detect me doing lines of coke of Barb's stomach while driving down the freeway. Beside it, like a proud
Dr. Frakenstein, was the BOTG with a big smile.

"What do you thing, Mr. Peter," he spread his arms wide to encompass the pimpmobile. What do I think?
AWESOME!!

Well, not really. I thought I was going to laugh in his face, but that would have been extremely rude. So, I
took the keys off him and promised I would drive it a couple of days. Give it a thorough test. Mostly, I
wanted to get it out of sight before anyone saw me near it.

Now, I know most of you would do the sensible thing. Put the car in the garage, pretend to drive it, then
give it back and say it is out of your price range. But, what would be the fun in that. I tried a different
tack. First, I went upstairs and burned a CD of every dance song I had from the 90's. Then, I forced my
lovely wife to go for a drive around town, just to get her opinion. The look on her face when I showed her
the car was a thing of beauty. She managed to convey utter dismay and curiousity in equal measure.
Face it, every girl likes a bad-ass car. I could see the equal measures of concern that I was having a midlife
crisis combined with the hope that maybe, just maybe, I would tap her in the back seat. Let's drive, baby!

Down the roads we went, in and out of traffic. It was incredible how aggressive people were in driving
around me. They would pull up behind me and honk their horns. If I tried to pass them, they sped up.
The sight of watching a Toyota Yaris bag it at 140km/h just to save some pride was hilarious. There I was,
pulling up to a red light, sunroof open, windows down, and "Mr. Vain" blaring on the stereo (setting: Ball
Jiggling Base). Cars would pull up beside me and starting jumping the line for a race. The light would go
green and everyone at the front just slammed it. Except for me. I am a sensible car driver.

I returned to the hotel (we were living where I worked) an parked the car in the hotel's parkade. The next
day I went to work for the 9am briefing. Each day, we started with the department heads meeting in the
boardroom to talk about the day, catch up on old business and do a bit of strategizing. The GM finished
up aroung 9:30 with a little question.

"Okay, that ends the business. I have a general question, though: has anyone seen that race car in the
parkade?" he asked.

The table starts buzzing - everyone's seen it. They start tossing out suggestions.

"Is it a guests? Did anyone see who checked in," from the Front Office Manager.

"I think it belongs to one of the Moroccan dishwashers," suggested the chef.

Around and around the table, with me holding my head down, Finally I raised my hand.

"Ah...it's mine," I whispered.

Bedlam. They started to kill themselves laughing and asking the story. When that wasn't enough, they
wanted to see it. Out went the management team to look at the car. On went the stereo (bass setting:
Mildly Unnerving), opened the doors. The HR director, a beautiful girl, started posing on the hood of the
car. Many mobile pictures were taken.

"Does Baraba know about this?"

"Is everything okay? You're not dying, are you?"

On and on. Ha, ha - shut it! For the next couple of days that was my life. People would approach me
humming porno music. the worst came from the Director of Engineering, a Frenchman, who stopped me
in the stairwell.

"Hey Peter - does your wife know you have a Filipina mistress?? She is going to kill you!!" he shouted.

"Hey, its not that bad!" I replied. It was time for a little defense.

"Its only got 9,000kms and it is a really great price!"

However, just at that moment, one of my Egyptian waiters was walking past an heard the conversation.

"Is that your car, Mr. Peter," he asked.

"Yes."

"It is the most beautiful thing in the world!!" he gushed, eyes rolling back in his head. I turned to the
Frenchman.

"Fuck you,"

The piece de resistance came on the Emirates Highway 311, a six-lane monstrosity north of the city that
has large sectors without photo radar. With a bit of space in front of me, I floored it just to see what
would happen. 80km/h to 140km/h took about 6 seconds. At 150km/h I took a corner. At 165km/h, it
was running at 3,000rpm. Call me Mr. Vain indeed. While taking this little jaunt, I looked at Barb and
asked her what she really thought.

"This is a ridiculous car," she replied. I couldn't agree more. "Tell me more."

"It is a 2008 (one year old at the time) with only 9,000kms. He's asking CAD $14,500. They are CAD
$25,000 new," I answered. "I could probably sell it at a profit a year from now."

She thought quietly for a few moments, or as quietly as you can think with Black Box screaming in your
ear. "I think we should go for it. It's a good buy. It also seems to match the city."

And there you have it. A quick week of arranging the paper work with my company and I was the proud
owner of the Pimpmobile. I paid AED 52,000 for it (divide by 3.5) and then rarely used it. I lived where I
worked, so the commute was easy. Mostly, it was used to take liquor runs to neighbouring Emirates.
Everyone seemed to like it and at least it came out as a good story. My only saving grace was that I could
flip it in the future and break even. Nice way to go out of town.

If you've been reading my work updates, you'll know that the car eventually became a giant weight
around my neck. First, when Marriott took over, it stopped me from taking the buy out from Emirates. I
was offered the equivalent of four months salary free-an-clear - I would just have to leave within the
week. However, it wasn't enough time to sell the car so Marriott became more attractive. Later, when
Marriott redundated my ass, they froze my salary due to the outstaning loan. All in all, the car became a
major issue. I decided enough was enough. It was time for it to go. On March 1st, I put it up for sale.