I confess. I am an animist. Animism is simply a belief that all inanimate objects, such as rocks and plants, have souls, and therefore have feelings. This includes glass beads, drift wood and old soccer balls.

It’s not a religion. It’s more like obsessive compulsion disorder with spiritual overtones. We animists have no altars, Sunday services or collection baskets and we believe in same-sex marriage.

It’s not easy being an animist. Mitt Romney believes that corporations have souls. Animists think rocks do. It keeps one from throwing out a lot of collected junk that clutters up the house. It’s not easy. For example, before animists can replace a microwave for a new one, they have to explain to the object being replaced, even old glasses or paper weights that dead relatives left in their wills, desk calendars, and even, don’t laugh, favorite old socks, that it’s painful, but it’s simply time to move on. This brings me to our beloved black Prius.

She, who will one day throw me in the ground if cremations aren’t on sale or covered by Discover, has decided that we need to upgrade our car. We’ve had it for a bit of time and the Starbucks stains aren’t coming out of the floor mats any more. So we’ve been looking at the new generation of Prius.

This year they come in a variety of colors. We’ve always had black. We’ve had a black Highlander and two black Prius, so it’s time to change. We’ve decided to kick up our heels and change color. The banal shades are out of the question. I see old people driving them in shades of blue, green, pale blue, pale green, corporate gray and beige.

I don’t want to be old people. I want to be young and hip. So we have narrowed our choices to Barcelona Red and Blizzard Pearl White. Both have their pros and cons.


Red pro: It says “HELLOOOO. I’M HERE.” It says, “Good morning,” and “Get out my way, I’m hip and cool and you’re not.” It says, “Stay on the curb if you know what’s good for you.” Also, I think we should get a big dalmatian to sit in the back seat and a separate horn that sounds like a firetruck. I’m wondering if she has to go more blonde to drive this one, and where do you get those felt dice to hang on the rear view mirror?

Red con: They say red cars have more accidents and get pulled over by the police more often. I think that applies only to red Thunderbirds or a 1958 Corvette convertible. Toyota doesn’t carry them.

Pearl Blizzard White pros: It almost glows in the dark and can be seen blocks away at twilight. It doesn’t show scratches as much because it’s almost the same color as the undercoat. Cary Grant and Tony Curtis had white Cadillacs and Rolls Royces. This could work, as I have often been mistaken for both of these guys.

Pearl cons: They really look white, I mean ambulance white, ice cream truck white. I asked the salesman if they came with a big red cross to stick on the side. He wasn’t amused. But then there is a con that becomes a pro. In these terrible economic times, I could get myself a white uniform and cap, attach a music box and sell ice cream sandwiches out of the hatchback. Do you know how much they get for one of those now?

After much discussion, we’ve decided on Barcelona Red. She’s agreed to go more blonde if I will give up the felt dice thing. Agreed. Now, who’s gonna go break the news to the old black Prius?

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.

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