Cars, Humor
Comments 15

Car Fever Part 2: Rapid Onset

The Spouse heard an ad on the radio for Mike Barney Nissan at approximately 7:35am last Thursday. We were in a period of remission with the Car Fever, having administered the aggressive treatment of switching cars so we both felt like we had New Cars. It seemed to be working. But then that ad came on the radio and in the 15 seconds it ran, the Spouse’s fever raged anew. His hands quivered, his heart palpitated, his eyes glazed – no I wasn’t there but I’ve seen the Fever strike.

I received his email at approximately 10am. Nissan is offloading the 2012 Pathfinders, it said. Emails from the Spouse often include Cars For Sale topics: the 1971  Lincoln Continental, the 1974 Mercedes Benz 280, the 2002 BMW 740iL, the 1969 Triumph GT6+, the 1978 Mercedes Benz 450SEL and that is just in one month – all advertised on Craig’s list, Hemming’s classifieds, a taped up handwritten sign at work. There’s always a car out there.

The Spouse’s email also pointed out that we would have less trouble hauling the gear and pets on vacation if we had a Pathfinder. He casually mentioned that probably Buffalo would actually have snow this winter, and the Pathfinder is a 4×4. These are Justification No. 3 for getting a new car (Car Fever Part 1) -well established new car irrationalizations.

I sighed, saved my grant proposal draft and headed online to read Pathfinder reviews.

I learned that this model Pathfinder will be the last of the truck-based Pathfinders. The 2013s will be crossovers, based on a car platform. Eww, I thought. I read reviews critiquing the Pathfinder for lacking entertainment: no little movie screens, no on-board GPS, no useless stuff I don’t care much about. I learned that the Pathfinder drives like a truck, not a car. That a person can pop this giant, beautiful vehicle into 4×4 low and head off road. After all, it’s called a Pathfinder, a Path Finder, paths are off-road…trucks go offroad. I was not offended by any of the reviews which seemed to miss the trucky point of the Path Finder.

My reply email to the Spouse simply asked, do you want to test drive one? His answer came before my finger lifted from depressing the mouse button on SEND. Okay, he said – I could feel the raging inferno of his Car Fever through the email connection. It coursed through the ten miles separating us. Its virulence infected me, and all I could think about was getting my Mini Cooper S back (the Spouse took it in our Car Trade) because we would surely sell the Rabbit.

We headed over to the dealer armed with an insurance estimate and the happy knowledge that Nissan was probably desperate to get rid of the old, trucky Pathfinders before the new sleek, car-like versions came out.

There were several dozen Pathfinders on the lot. We met Charlie the salesman. We drove an S. Boring. I felt nothing. The Spouse felt disappointed. We got in an SV, which has a good bit of kit as the Fifth Gear guy says. Even has a backup camera that gives an insect like eyes-in-the-back-of-your-head view. Yes, we said, we want this. But we don’t Need it. Charlie, the Spouse and I spoke plainly, even abruptly, moved through hours of negotiating in about 15 minutes. Yes, no, yes, no, lower, it’s already at cost, lower, will you commit to a buy? If it’s lower.

At approximately 7:35pm, we had a 2012 Nissan Pathfinder. Car Fever was broken. The Spouse claims that he can enjoy life again. He claims that he can stop searching the internet for cool cars. He claims that he is done with the Car Fever. This time, he says, he got a vehicle that he can keep for good.

I mean really, he’s only said that 13 times before. You know what they say, 14th time’s the charm.

The Spouse in Pathfinder: Self Portrait. Doodle in Pen on Acid Free Laser Printer Paper (8/30/2012).


  1. WideEyedSpouse and Car Fever Sufferer says

    Thank you WideEyedFunk for participating once again in my irrational car fever. I love the Pathfinder. I will say as well that it does not in fact drive like a truck. It has a very nice ride and it has a lot of nice features. I don’t know what the reviewers are talking about really. So, we will put car fever to rest for another 3 years…of course we have had the Mini for 2 years now…Hmmmmm.

  2. Aunt Betty says

    We just traded in a perfectly good Nissan Altima for a Subaru Forrester so that Uncle Jim can get into our vehicle. I’m assuming we will never be too old to look at more cars.
    Aunt Betty

  3. momtowideeyedspouse says

    Been present for one of these new car purchases and lived the legend so
    to speak. The glazed look, trembling, sheer delight, stops, starts, accelerations, hairpin turns at 50 miles an hour, cleaning tools ex: Q-tips, paper towels sprouting up in the driveway like dandelions.
    No! to the fever subsiding and robbing us bystanders of the chase….

    • So true – but this time the Pathfinder had 9 miles on it. No detailing necessary. And the Spouse drives like an old church lady in it!

  4. Dwain says

    Sold my ’03 Chevy 4WD 1500 pick up truck to a pal “Dean” in Nebraska in ’09 for half of the sticker price when it was new. He agreed to sell it back to me in February when he visits Florida if I fly him back home for half of what he paid me for it four years ago. She only has 55k on ‘er and still looks new as he only drives to Home Depot on Saturdays. It was a tough concession on his part because as he put it “no man should be without a truck for very long”. He’s getting a new one. So I too have the fever of sorts, however mine is a little more romantic, like being reunited with an old lover. If we continue to sell it back and forth every four years for half of of what the previous owner paid for it, in 2051, 3 years before my 100th birthday, it will go back to Dean for $5.37 and should have a mere 209,000 miles on her. I expect the state will have taken my drivers license by then anyway. In February the Boss’s fever over the new car may subside a bit, but mine will be raging. Enjoy you new Pathfinder while I drive the beaten path.

    • Dwain, that’s just beautiful – your long, quiet fever for the same vehicle. And I think the Spouse would agree – no man should be without a truck for too long. It’s been three years for him and I should have known this was coming.

  5. Pingback: Too many socks. | wideeyedfunk

  6. Reprise on the Car Fever half a year later. I’m now having mild symptoms regarding a (used) Suburban (or the GM version). Hopefully this will pass

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