Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dodge makes Hyundai look honest with this ad

The man with the Deep Sincere Voice tells me that a handshake is all I need to drive off with a Dodge Ram for two months- "and if it doesn't do everything you want it to do, bring it back."

It's a sacred bond, that handshake. It's all about trust and being men and wearing filthy gloves and throwing heavy dirty things into the backs of trucks with such force that it causes the bed to bounce on the shocks- you know, stuff Us Guys Do pretty much every weekend. I just finished loading a truck myself, of course. I mean, it is Sunday after all.

Yes, that handshake sure means a lot. According to Dodge, it means I get to kick the living shit out of one of their trucks for sixty days, and then bring it right back to the dealer if "it doesn't do everything I want it to do." That would be absurd enough if I wanted it do do just the things I see in this commercial. But I'd have much more inventive ideas for the truck I borrowed on "just a handshake." I'd do ALL the things I've seen in EVERY truck commercial. I'd take sharp turns in puddles. I'd haul nuclear submarine parts attached to massive iron chains through the desert. I'd ford rivers and see if this thing could get me through the Appalachians.

And when I returned what was left of this truck, I'd remind the dealer that hey, we had a handshake deal, and I no longer want what is left of what is now HIS truck again. If he gave me any problems (what are the odds?) I'd remind him of the sacredness of that five-fingered Bond of Honor we shared two months earlier. I'd be doing this as I tossed him the keys and walked away, obligation-free, of course.

Who are we kidding here? The fine print on this "Just a Handshake" deal must be fifty pages long. Anyone out there really believe that if you don't return your truck in absolutely showroom-quality condition, you aren't going to be given some version of "you broke it, you own it, pal?" Anyone out there really that stupid? Really?

I'm not a big fan of Dave Ramsey, but I do think he is right on the money with one of his witticisms- "an oral contract is worth the paper it's written on." If you believe in this "Just a Handshake" crap, you probably think that the people in Hyundai Uncensored commercials are, well, Uncensored.

Hey, Dodge- if you want to call me on this, I'd be happy to drive around in one of your Bailout Mobiles for a couple of months. I might even bring it through the car wash once or twice before my time is up. But until I see it for myself, I don't believe for one damn minute that I'm going to be able to return it if there is so much as a SCRATCH on the bumper. Handshake or no Handshake.


  1. I'd almost believe it because the Deep Sincere Voice belongs to Sam Elliot who was "the Stranger" in "The Big Lebowski." I said almost...


    Whenever I see this ad, I'm reminded of the Simpsons episode about the Monorail. There's a TV advertisement for the institute students can attend to become trained as Monorail conductors. At the end of the ad, the quick talking voice over is "actual institute may not match photo."

  3. I've also heard this commercial on the radio, where they have to actually stay stuff instead of flashing it in two-point type at the bottom of the screen for a second.

    Turns out that yes, you can return the truck between 31 and 60 days of ownership. You can also pay the dealer 40 cents PER MILE for your use of said truck. So it's not so much "If you don't like it, bring it back." as "If you don't like it, we'll treat it as an outrageously expensive rental.".

  4. Forty cents per mile?? Are you serious?

    In other words, you can't afford to bring it back after sixty days even if you want to- handshake or no handshake. That is some SERIOUS small print, thanks for the info.