Friday, December 29, 2006


It's about friggin' time, neighbors think, but are too polite to come right out and say

BELLINGHAM, WA (AP)--Jen, Mike, and Baker McQuaide this week announced the signing of a 2007 Nissan Versa to handle their transportation duties for at least the next five years. The move comes one week after their 1985 Toyota Camry--it of the 167,000-plus miles and the "power" windows that haven't opened in five years--broke its hood-release cable thus refusing to allow the McQuaides to add power steering fluid and motor oil, both of which the Camry guzzled like a frat boy under a beer bong on spring break.

"That's it," Jen said scraping her knuckles for the 14th time while using vice grips, a crescent wrench, and some dogged determination attempting to open the hood. "We've got to get a new car."

"Dang straight," Mike said while drinking a glass of chocolate milk and watching Jen hard at work.

The McQuaides made repeated trips to a Bellingham auto dealer where they figure they were lied to about one thing or another on average of once every 3.7 minutes.("We get the car from the manufacturer for MSRP and unless we get the $1,995 markup, none of us can put food on our tables," "We get nothing if you do the financing through us; it's simply our courtesy to you," etc.)

Things looked bleak until a friend mentioned he'd bought two cars through Costco's auto program, which to Mike, sounded ridiculous.

"What, do they make you bag it up yourself?" Mike said, intending to sit back and just bask in wave upon wave of laughter which never came.

Surprisingly, the Costco program worked wonders. The McQuaides paid only $500 above invoice (a couple hundred less than MSRP) and were lied to far less frequently in subsequent visits. There was no more haggling and experts estimate that the McQuaides saved a couple thousand dollars. On December 26, they drove home the Blue Onyx beauty, smiles on all their faces.

"Isn't that perfect, we got it through Costco on Boxing Day," Mike said, again trying unsuccessfully to humorously tie Costco and its propensity for making shoppers bag or box their own groceries with the day after Christmas, also known as Boxing Day.

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