Win this Spacemobaby - 4/25/04
I received this in the mail the other day.


Obviously, it was some kind of marketing scam. You’d go to dealership, and they'd make you listen to some two-hour sales pitch on buying a new Volkswagen. The chances of actually winning the free car would be 1 in 10 million, and they'd be fresh out of the free vacations, except for a $20-per-night room at the Travelodge Las Vegas on a Monday night, airfare-not-included. There was also a note on the brochure that said they were buying back used VW's for top prices because of some "rigorous pre-owned stock quotas" they needed to fill. But that of course would only apply to Volkswagens that weren't from 1993 with rusted aqua paint and missing bumpers.

So of course I went. A scam is a scam, but I figured with a remote chance of winning a car, a slightly-less-remote chance of winning a free trip somewhere, and a good probability of learning something about the eventual resale of the Mobile... well, it would at least be worth a story. The main reason I went, though, was because of the hilarious possibility of owning the only other car in the world uglier than the Spacemobile. Don't get me wrong, plenty of people out there have ugly cars. But most of them can attribute their ugliness to something understandable like damage, or age, or old Camaros going out of style. However, a car like this... it’s not just a VW bug, but a VW bug convertible. This car's just ass-ugly right out of the gate. Now the Spacemobile's no prize ham, but at least it's a van so it has an excuse. Yet replace "aqua-blue" with "puke-green", and "tall and blocky" with "short and awkwardly plump"... my roommates and I have developed a rating terminology system for how ugly something is, and nothing short of "Pug-Fuggle-Beast" would do this car justice. Or as my brothers would put it, "Double Moogley-Pies".

What if I owned both these cars, plus the 1985 Buick LaSabre my Grandma gave me? That would be so awesome. I'd have a whole fleet of ugly fucking cars, each more hideous than the last. I could start rental-car company for heinous automobiles, to rent out for tacky balls and practical jokes. I could call it "So Ugly It Hertz."

But more likely I could finally realize my dream of having two cars that fit inside each other. If there's one thing Germans are good at (besides making offensively ugly cars) it’s making things compatible – so why not a VW convertiBeetle that can drive right up into the back of a Eurovan? It would be like an aircraft carrier and a jet. Like a mother ship and an escape pod. It would be like a mother Kangaroo and her pouch-riding offspring; a great big Mama-Mobile and its tiny Spacemobaby. I could put maybe a Scootskate inside the Mobaby and thus have the wheels on me at all times to take on any length trip, and time, anywhere.

But I didn’t win. It was, or course, a scam, although the chances of winning were a meager 10 thousand to 1 instead of 10 million. Someone else will get the hilarious pleasure of driving home that lime-green cruel joke of a car. I didn’t win the trip either – they said they were “all out” and would “have more” in the morning. I told them to “go stick it.” And don’t worry, I wasn’t too serious about selling the Spacemobile. Mostly it was just for educational purposes, unless they were going to offer me a ridiculous amount of money or something… like I said, most just for educational purposes. It was a good trip anyway – I needed to get out of the house, and traffic getting there on a Friday wasn’t too bad. On the way back it was a slaughterhouse of course, but that was mostly because an SUV had jackknifed and flipped over three or four times and was now laying upside-down across three lanes of the 405. For once I wasn’t disappointed by an accident once I finally got there.

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