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Free Like A Puppy

April 23, 2014

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Rodney, I feel like we should give you a car.

Okay, that’s random. Any particular one?

Yeah. We’ve got a Lexus that someone gave to us and we’ve always felt like it really belonged to someone else. You’re the one we feel we should have it.

Any idea why?

Well, you said it’s 80 miles round trip to your new job. The Lexus is going to be much more economical than your Suburban.

Thanks. I appreciate it.

It does need a little work.


My Dad always said there are two kinds of free: free like a lunch or free like a puppy. This was the puppy. First we did the math. My suburban gets about 15 miles per gallon. If it’s 80 miles to work and back, that’s 5.3 gallons. At $3.30 per gallon it cost me about $17.60 to drive to work each day.

If the Lexus gets 20 MPG, that’s four gallons and $13.20 per day. Over the course of a month, that’s about a hundred bucks saved just on my commute. I’m currently averaging about 3000 total miles per month. Working thought the math, I’d save about $165 per month. Or about $2000 per year.

But, that new car has to be insured. That added $400 per year to my policy. So, now we’re down to $1600 savings. Registration pulls another $100 off that. But still $1500 savings per year is significant.

But remember that “little work”? The car has been sitting since 2009. Well, my neighbors of the “Smack It With A Hammer” story not only gave me the car, they did a bunch of the labor, but it still needed a new battery ($100) and a new antenna ($50). . .And new tires ($500.) My mechanic explained that the chrome wheels that came on the Lexus develop a problem when they got old.

The chrome started to flake off and it was almost impossible to keep a seal. So, add in new wheels as well ($700.)


I went to see a glass dealer about a new windshield.


What kind is it?

It’s a ’96 Lexus.

LOL. Probably $170. . . It’s a Toyota.

I also checked on the missing door panel.


Yeah, a new one would be $800 . . .its a Lexus!

Actually once the windshield guy got into it he realized the rubber gasket around the windshield would be about $100 extra, because. . .its a Lexus.

And we needed to repair some rust around the windshield. That’s another few hundred to a body shop.

As I made my way through the “little work,” I was reminded of a Jerry Reed song. Jerry Reed played the truck driver Cletus “Snowman” in the Smokey And The Bandit movies.

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He was also a singer/songwriter and has a song called, Lord’ Mr Ford. It includes the line

I added it up and over a period of time,
This four thousand dollar car of mine
Cost fourteen thousand dollars, and ninety-nine cents.

Thinking about the movie, he even owned a puppy.

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Still, it was an incredibly generous gesture on the part of my friend and neighbor. Once we are done, it will hopefully keep returning the yearly savings for many years to come.

Oh. . .and it’s a Lexus!

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife and thirteen children, and across the street from the nicest and most generous neighbors in the world!

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