by Captain Morgan Evans
Old Barney Whitesnake and his magic midget, Chef, came roaring down the hill in their Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.
Barney had picked up the new ride because his truck was getting old and rusty and the gas mileage was killing his wallet. Barney also hated gas attendants. He blamed losing scratch tickets and overpriced chocolate on gas attendants as well as the rising cost of petrol itself! Gas attendants… they were the modern day mafia in Barney’s mind.
The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
The Outlander Sport with its slick 2.0 liter 4-cylinder MIVEC engine averaged 29 MPG on the highway and saved him about $1,500 in gas savings a year over comparable models. $1,500 buys a lot of nacho cheese dip, and nacho cheese dip made Barney happy. Really happy.
“Are we almost there, BW?” It was Chef, barking from the backseat.
Barney glanced in the rearview mirror. His friend the magic midget seemed especially small in the expansive backseat of the Outlander Sport. With leg, hip, and shoulder room of 36.3”, 51.6”, and 55.7” accordingly, there was plenty of room for three adults. His four-foot three friend was swimming in the expanse!
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Barney smiled. “We’ll be there shortly!” Barney’s curly salt-n-pepper beard dipped below the steering wheel but his fattened fingers still caught the frays of it. He fingered the Blue Tooth button on the left side of the steering wheel. “Call Momma Jean,” he said. The onboard computer connected with his cell phone and dialed the number labeled “Momma Jean.”
The stereo muted and the ringing of the connection came through the speakers. “Hello?” said a young female voice.
“Momma Jean? It’s Barney. We’re running late… ‘bout a half hour away.”
“Oh Barney I’m glad you called,” said the female voice through the speakers. “The driveway is washed-out due to snow. You might park at the base and walk up.”
Barney snorted. The adaptive All-Wheel-Drive and All-Wheel-Drive Lock options on the Outlander Sport would handle her driveway. One push of the black button just below the shift knob and Barney and Chef wouldn’t miss a beat getting up to Momma Jean’s place. “No worries,” he said. “See ya soon!”
There are certain things in life that you just can’t miss because Mother Nature wants to throw a curve ball or two your way, and one of them was the coming home of old Barney Whitesnake’s first grandchild, Puffer Mulligan. Barney knew that he would be doing quite a bit of babysitting as soon as Puffer grew a bit, and Barney was mighty happy with that idea. He would show his grandchild the Rocky Mountains and Downtown Denver. He’d run him up to Red Rocks, and maybe down to Colorado Springs as well. And he would take all of these trips in his Outlander Sport because it was a Top Safety Pick Plus for the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety for 3 years running now, and that’s safe enough for old Barney’s first grandchild.
Barney left the main avenue to start the climb up Momma Jean’s long driveway. She had been right: it was caked with a slush-mush of snow and dirt. He switched from the front-wheel drive mode that maximized his gas mileage into the All-Wheel Drive mode to begin the steady climb up to the house. His fat fingers clicked at the magnesium paddle shifters on the steering column allowing him to switch into a manual mode and downshift for more front-end torque. The Mitsubishi scaled the small hill effortlessly while Chef smiled from the backseat. “Can’t wait to see the new kiddo!” the magic midget said.
“Be there in sixty seconds, Chef!” Barney smiled back.
And that is how Old Barney Whitesnake’s day began.