Let's Digress

Ray Skillman Hoosier Ford Jeep Review

I recently purchased a 2014 Jeep Patriot and was asked to write a review about it. I finally wrote one, this one, and when I went to post it, the “maximum character limit” was exceeded or something. So, here is my review. It’s pretty…epic? Do kids still use that word? 

Remember, if it’s worth stating, it’s worth over-stating. 

It was a very warm Saturday afternoon in July… My baby Camaro was finally dying. Okay, it was a 2003 Cavalier with a lot of miles. I called it a “baby Camaro” because when I bought it, it had significantly less miles and the salesman said that it would magically turn into a Camaro when it “grew up.”

Lemme tell you, that was a crockpot full of horse malarkey. When it finally hit 150,000 miles and there wasn’t a “bippity boppity boo” moment, I started to realize the salesman had pulled the wool over my eyes and violated the fragile and magnificent trust that exists between salesman and buyer. I had been duped. Befuddled, misled, lied to, ripped off, deceived, swindled, conned, and hoodwinked. Honestly, I was wounded quite deeply by the deception. I didn’t think I could ever walk into a dealership again, let alone purchase a vehicle from an oversized-polo-shirt-wearing-khaki-pants-clad salesman.


Until my car started to die. After going through the initial stages of the grieving process, I decided that I had to man up, suit up, suck it up, and walk into a car dealership to purchase a more reliable means of transportation.

I chose Ray Skillman Hoosier Ford for a few reasons, but mainly because they had a 2014 Jeep Patriot for a shockingly good price. So, I put on my car-buying clothes, which were basically the same as my every day clothes (a fitted button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up, jeans, and blue Puma shoes), and I headed over to the dealership.

When I arrived, incredibly helpful salespeople instantly surrounded me. It’s almost like they could smell my desperation for reliable transportation. Actually, they probably did smell me coming; that Cavalier had a lot of miles and a lot of issues.

Anyway, I parked and started to walk into the building. I had been forewarned that I would be surrounded upon arrival and that I need not panic. My instructions were simple: Walk inside and demand/request to see Alex Buker in a respectful-yet-confident way.

When Big Al started to approach me, it was almost as if the heavens opened up. I occasionally wonder what the whole Christian Rapture Thing will be like, with the clouds opening up and light streams and horses and Jesus holding a machete while on the back of a three-headed rhino, riding neck and neck with Gandalf and Doctor Who (David Tennant Doctor Who, not the other ones)…this was nothing like that at all. Except for the light streams. But I think that was more due to the large windows and morning sun, not the rapture. Hopefully.

So, Big Al was walking my way, light streaming in behind him, making him a very tall and triumphant looking  silhouette. It was über dramatic. When he was about four feet away, I could finally see what he looked like. Then the mystery and theatricality slightly faded away and I noticed that his khakis and polo were appropriately sized, which I found to be quite reassuring.

We shook hands and started to talk about car stuff. He started to say something about horses having power and torque levels and cylinder displacement and turn radiuses and piston combustion. As soon as he said “horsepower,” I knew I was out of my element.

I’m not a car guy by any means, no matter how loose the definition is. Thankfully, he picked up on it. It was almost like he had a sixth sense or something… Then he explained everything in plain English, more specifically, in a the-wheels-on-the-jeep-go-round-and-round kind of way, which was just what I needed. It was awesome.

We went on a drive and it was basically “I can show you the world” magical. I drove this fancy Jeep while he explained stuff about it and talked about boats and trolling motors and milkshakes and fitness and exercise and fishing and Netflix. It was like Christmas at the extended family’s house, but with more impending debt and less pressure about having to impress a dictator-esk mother-in-law. Not that I know from experience or anything, because I’m single and don’t have a mother-in-law. But if it’s anything like what I learned from Meet the Fockers, it’s usually a pretty stressful event. This was totally the opposite.

After our ride was over, we went back to fill out paperwork and whatnot. In hindsight, I probably should’ve limbered up my hand and wrist first. It was a lot of paperwork to fill out. My wrist may have cramped up at one point and now I’m pretty sure that adoption paperwork for a small child would require less signatures. Really, now that I think about it, this paperwork-signing marathon could just be a practice run from the universe for future adoption paperwork.

Okay, probably not.

That took about 30 minutes in total. Big Al was very kind and explained everything incredibly well as we went. It wasn’t daunting at all.

Finally, several dozen signatures later, I had the keys in my hand…then Big Al took them away, because at Ray Skillman Hoosier Ford, they fill the gas tank up and detail the entire vehicle before you leave.

When I had the keys in my hand the second time, I suavely showed them to a stunningly attractive female bystander near the sales desk and she said, “Why hello there, you suave suave man. Which vehicle do those go to?” I proudly smirked and pointed to my brand-new-to-me 2014 Jeep Patriot parked by the main doors.

Naturally, she started to swoon. Fun fact: Jeep Patriots are like catnip to womenfolk, they’re essentially one step below Dodge Vipers and small animals wearing clothing. They’re about equal to the BBC or Lord of the Rings, actually.

Needless to say, in that moment her heart started to melt and the wooing process began. Then we dramatically peeled out of the parking lot and drove off into the sunset to live a beautifully clichéd happily ever after life.

Thanks, Alex “Big Al” Buker and the rest of the Ray Skillman Hoosier Ford team. We made delightful memories that day and you mended the tear in my soul, so now I can trust car salesmen again.

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