We went for the Kia Sedona. USAA negotiated the price to about $800 over dealer invoice. The dealer had one equipped as we wanted, in the showroom. About 45 minutes after USAA told me about it, I called, brought over the paperwork, and offered the GMC for trade. They offered about what I expected. An hour or so after that, I drove the Kia home.

Mama-san very pleased. Very pleased.

Could I have done better? Probably, but I'm not terribly interested in knowing exactly how much better I could have done by dickering, haggling, and feigning attempts to leave the lot in disgust. During the testdrive a few weeks ago, the grizzled cowboy salesperson answered what questions he could, then just handed me the keys. "The gas gauge is near E," I said to him as I headed for Nationway. "You've got about 35 miles," he said. Them's balls. He let the car sell itself.

Well, sort of. He ticked off the warranty, the Michelins, the side curtains, the improvements over the 2005 model (thanks, Chaz, you were exactly right). But he was low-pressure like I've never seen. "We aren't going anywhere. Just give us a fair chance at your business."

Gawdddayahmm it's a 3.8L DOHC V6.

The hardest part about this car will be explaining to my UAW brother-in-law that I didn't buy (a) GM, (b) 'Murcan. That boy needs an exit strategy.

Damning with faint praise?

I was paid a compliment today, I think.

The lot of us were being bitched out, with some justification, and I sat and took it. I took responsibility for it. I was not leading, scarcely following.

Another of us later approached me and said she admired my ability to absorb the abuse.

Is that a compliment?