Do you remember Jimmy Carter and 22% interest rates? Oh yeah...good times. Probably the only time in my life when it made sense to buy a house on a credit card. I seem to remember it was during Carter's term when gas was inching up toward $1.25 and everybody was in a panic and could NOT believe gas was over a dollar. At that time we were driving a full size van which drank gas like a good Southerner gulps sweet tea. Dave finally managed to convince me to at least consider trading in the van and look for a smaller car. Convince = dragging me kicking and screaming to the car dealership to GIVE AWAY my beloved PAID FOR van and look at deathtraps that were so small all three kids had to be sprayed with WD 40 to squeeze them into the tiny interior. We won't even discuss book bags, friends and Irish Setters. Have you picked up on the tone of this fun filled family excursion? I was not happy and the kids were not happy because they were spending Saturday afternoon at a car dealership with their parents and it finally dawned on them that if all five of us were in this circus clown car reject at the same time only three of us would have both butt cheeks on the seat. The other two occupants would be sitting on one cheek while the other cheek lopped over onto the lap of the person sitting next to them. Dave LOVED trading cars so he was in his element while the rest of us were shuffling along behind him in various stages of depression. One of the reasons Dave was so happy was because he had this GREAT van with low mileage and since he was trading this great vehicle for a tin can with a steering wheel I think he had visions of leaving the dealership with a new car and a very small payment book. Yeah right, gotta love a man with a dream. Every car we looked at was smaller than the one before. We finally found one that didn't make me cry and got great mileage. It was less than half the size of the van, didn't have the great sound system and no sun roof but it did get good mileage. SIGH...fine, let's get the numbers. So while the kids and I stood around our beloved van preparing to tell it goodbye we looked up just in time to see Dave stomping out of the dealership, purple face, veins popping and FURIOUS. I have never claimed to be a genius but I pretty much guessed the financial part didn't go as well as David had hoped. As we scrambled to get in the van the salesman came running out to the drivers side motioning for Dave to stop. The salesman said, "Mr. Connell...I am sorry you are upset but if you want economy YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT!" That was all it took...Dave and I looked at each other, burst out laughing AND I got to keep my van.