We were on the way to see Sandy, Mom’s hairdresser, so Mom could get a new perm in time for Thanksgiving.  Because we live a mile south of the northwest car dealer corridor, we drive past several lots on our way.  Mom always enjoys the trip to and from Sandy’s shop because she has a fascination with the gigantic blow-up figures used by car dealers everywhere and especially here in Sun City.  She has this in common with most children under the age of 5.  She laughs out loud at the dancing stick figures that pepper the Chevrolet and Hyundai dealers’ car lots.  She delights in the enormous gorilla that is favored by the Nissan dealer and the humongous bull employed by the Ford dealer.

As we pulled up to the stop light at Bell Road and 91st Avenue, she commented with a grin, “Oh, look at the big cow.”

“Do you mean the bull at the Ford dealer?” I asked.

“Yes, that one,” she replied.  “I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before.  It has a cute face.”

“It’s as cute as it’s always been, Mom,” I said with a sigh.

“And there’s a big monkey over there,” she exclaimed, looking to the left at the Nissan lot.

“I think it’s a gorilla, Mom.”

“Well it’s not as cute as the cow, but it’s just as big,” she responded with a smile.

The light finally changed and we proceeded north towards the beauty parlor.  An eighth of a mile into this last one mile leg, we were approaching the Kia dealer where there appeared to be a new blow-up character gracing the entrance – a big, fat hamster.  I commented on it was we approached.

“Look, Mom, a new one.”

“New one what?” she asked.

“Balloon animal,” I said.  “Right there by the Kia driveway.”

“What is it?” she asked, squinting as we drove past.  “It looks like a rat.”

“I think it’s a hamster.”

“Oh?  Why would it be a hamster?  That doesn’t make any sense.  Who’d use a hamster to sell cars?”

“Kia would.  They have hamsters in some of their ads.  I think for the Kia Soul,” I responded.

“Why would they use hamsters?”

“I don’t know.  In the ad they dance around and drive the car and listen to rock music.”

“Well is it coming up soon?” she asked.

“Is what coming up soon?”

“The hamster ad.”

“No, Mom, it’s a commercial.  You know, on TV,” I said, turning into the driveway to the hair salon.

“Oh, I thought it was on a poster by the street,” she replied, sounding somewhat disappointed.

“Do you mean billboard?”

“I suppose.  I still think using a hamster is a stupid way to sell a car.  Who’d want to buy a car because a rodent tells you too?”

“Good point, Mom.  I’ll send an email to Kia.  Maybe they can start using gigantic cows instead,” I replied as I pulled into a parking slot in front of Sandy’s shop.

“Good.  In my opinion, that makes more sense,” she called after me as I got out of the car.

“Well, I’m sure that’s what’s really important to car manufacturers everywhere,” I mumbled as I wrestled her wheelchair out of the back of my Rav4.  “The opinion of an 88 year old woman who doesn’t own a car or even have a driver’s license!”



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