Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tell 'em a happy couple sent ya!

If you live within 150,000 miles of Baltimore and need a car, what you need is a Toyota, and how you get that Toyota is totally up to you.  Except that the only way to go is to get into whatever sad, tired, beat-up heap you are currently pushing around and drive to Jones Junction in Bel Air, MD - it's right there where Belair Rd and Harford Rd meet, by the new WaWa. And when you're there, ask for Steve Pagotto and tell him you need a Toyota.  You'll be driving home in style real soon!

This Jones place is like car paradise, I tell you. I'm not a car-crazy guy and I don't particularly enjoy car shopping, which is why I only do so every eleven years, or after someone puts the atomic whammy on the back of my old pick-'em-up and I need a new ride.
All day! All free!
So you go there, and it's not like the old-school car showroom, where the only entertainment is reading through the sales brochures about the all new Biscaynes, or running your hands over the carpet samples over by the water fountain.  Jones is a veritable wonderland, a panoply of fun and food. F'rinstance: you can get a manicure or a shoe shine. Peggy is going to take advantage of the manicure this weekend, and if I ever wore anything but Rockports -the favorite shoe of mallwalkers all across America - I would hop up into the shine chair.  They have hot dogs rolling around on one of those grillers all day every day, with a fixin's bar that even Roy Rogers would envy - and they are supposed to be getting a chili dispenser for the dogs! Saturdays at noon, they wheel out two giant charcoal grills, and they do cheeseburgers and hot dogs out there! All this chow is free!  You know that appeals to an old freeloader such as I.

Hot dog, burger and soda in hand, you set about the business of buying a car.  Unlike the average showroom, where they have 6 or 7 models sitting around and any car that you want has to be ordered from some dealer's lot in Pound, Kentucky, Jones has, at my estimate, 1,500,000 cars for sale right on their premises. (Figure subject to verification.)  For real, they have Chrysler, Hyundai, Subaru, Toyota, Scion, Nissan, Jeep, and Dodge cars, trucks and I don't know what-all else right there. 

But you want to stick with Toyota, a brand of machines known for always a) starting and b) stopping when you want them to, which is a claim that not a lot of other car lines can make. 

We had a great time down the ocean
After due consideration, which began right after someone's car smashed into mine a couple of weeks ago, I decided that my days of hauling around truckloads of mulch, topsoil and gorgeous beach-bound models are all over.  I mean, who am I, Kid Rock already? So we decided to go the SUV route this time, but with gas approaching the five-dollar mark, we figured we'd stay away from the behemoth land buffaloes like Range or Land Rovers and go with the good old RAV4, pictured here with the breathtaking mountain view from our backyard:
No, that's even our car, just a stock photo posed in front of scenic Mount Toyota.  But ours is just like it, and it's waiting for more fun and plenty of happy trails down the road with its happy new owner.

Up at Jones, Steve took care of everything in a flash, and there is really nothing those folks won't do for you.  And they have all sorts of aftercare stuff for free - Jones For Life, they call it.  I wouldn't go anywhere else to buy a car or have one maintained.  And I did get to have a few moments alone up in the back lot with my banged-up beauty, the 2000 Tacoma that drove me around for almost 80,000 miles of hassle-free driving.  As I removed my "Caution: I Brake for Elvis" sign and my "Bud and Sissy" fake license tags and my Stewie Griffin toy  and my tools, junk and memorabilia from the old truck, could anyone blame me for being nostalgic?

But, we move on, boats against the current. Right now, I'm Jonesing for another cheeseburger.  How long til Saturday, anyway?

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