I was watching TV the other night and a commercial came on for a luxury vehicle that retails for nearly $100,000.
Not a bad price.
For a house. (Rimshot!)
But seriously, folks (as the audience laughter dies down) . . . if you spring for $100,000 for a vehicle, shouldn’t you get a lot of great stuff? With this car, paying $100,000 still leaves you without some of the awesome optional equipment. Let me tell you, there are some awesome options – because that’s what the commercial focused on.
As I watched it, I laughed. Then I thought about it. Then I lusted for the extras. Then I realized it was ridiculous and went to the garage to reassure my 20-year-old Toyota that it was more than enough for me.
Among the items for this particular luxury car were a “hot stone massage” system in the seat and an aromatherapy system – which allows you to infuse the cab with the smells “Nightlife,” “Downtown,” “Fireside” or “Sport.” The names remind me of looking for a deodorant at the store . . . when I end up choosing between “Midnight Passion” and “Workout Glory,” when all I really want is a basic deodorant.
But the luxury-car folks assure us that we can get our own scents, too. We aren’t limited to their choices – and I suspect we may see a successful aftermarket business, selling “Mom’s pot roast” or “Fresh Bubble Gum.” Or maybe even “Car.”
While the aromatherapy seems silly, the “hot stone massage” could be dangerous. Once it goes bad – and let’s face it, even on a $100,000 car, there’s bound to be electrical problems – your back may be pummeled by a deranged massage system, resulting in bruises, burns and some erratic driving as you careen along Interstate 80.
There’s more: This car (and others like it) have large information screens, Wi-Fi hotspots and even colors for the audio system (colors for an audio system? What’s next, aromatherapy? Never mind.). There’s a heated steering wheel. And more.
Which leads to the question: What do you really need in a car?
My standards are low – after all, I’ve had three in-my-garage car accidents, so spending big money would be a waste for me.
But here’s my list: Steering wheel. Windows that can roll up and down (electric is nice, but not mandatory). Radio. Seatbelts. Defroster. Exterior lights. Windshield wipers. Locks. Heater.
That’s about it.
Come to think of it, my 1988 Hyundai went without locks for the final few years I owned it. (No one broke into it – one of the advantages of driving a car that looks like it was stolen from a junkyard.)
My current car lacks a heater – which seemed unnecessary until last week, when the freezing weather chilled me. Had my car caught fire, I would have stayed inside to get warm.
Maybe a hot stone massage would have kept me from shivering so much. Adding a campfire scent would have made it seem cozy.
Maybe the luxury-car folks are on to something after all.
Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.