Monday, November 05, 2007

Catfish, Cotton and a Chevy Malibu

Scene: The Deep South. Fall colors graced the landscape as I crossed over the Tennessee line into Mississippi this weekend driving three versions of the new Chevy Malibu.

Wait! That doesn't sound right does it? I live in the DC Metro area. Why was I test driving cars in Graceland territory?

Because GM decided to get a little crazy and invite some bloggers (mom bloggers if you will) into their panel of reviewers for their all-new, redesigned Chevy Malibu. Oh yes, they did Internets. I don't think they quite knew what they were getting themselves into. At least Chris, who oversees GM's blogs (they have those?), didn't. I think he enjoyed the ride and realized that we bloggers are a little on the crazy side. We drivers enjoyed his extensive knowledge of 80s music as well.

So let's start from the beginning shall we?

Like Kristen, from Mommy Needs a Cocktail I kept waiting for the moment when I realized that GM wasn't honestly going to put me on a plane, take me to Memphis, put me up at the Westin, feed me scrumptious food and let me drive over state lines into Deliverance territory. No way! But they did. When the US Airways rep actually confirmed my ticket and I was taxing on the runway I was almost in shock. This is for reals y'all!

The fact that I almost hurled my snack mix on the descent into Charlotte was alright because the freedom to use the regular women's restroom and not the family restroom had me giddy. I read an entire Newsweek and I could have called it a day. By the time I got to the hotel I was exhausted. Yet it was just beginning. After a quick call from Elizabeth and Kim my spirits lifted as cookies were brought to me by these fine, fun ladies. I was so excited to meet other bloggers! I just have never had the chance. After talking to them and hearing their thoughts on the weekend my nervousness subsided. We were really going to be driving these cars!

Having never been on a junket like this I think I can now say I'm spoiled. GM knows how to work it. They treated us to a tour/cocktail hour at the Gibson Guitar factory that was beyond fun. We got to get up close and personal with the execs, engineers and designers of the Malibu and really get up in its grill. Afterwards it was on to dinner at BB King's on Beale Street. I found myself in conversation with Terry, the GM Director of Communications, who really wanted to know why on earth I've never owned or wanted to buy and American made vehicle. Why am I so tainted so to speak? I have to say it is pretty impressive that this company is doing this much research on such a personal level.

My group was the fifth wave that week of journalists, car enthusiasts and bloggers to be hosted by GM. It was abundantly clear as the weekend went on that they care a lot about the Malibu and making it one great piece of machinary. They want to know why we buy the cars we buy and how they can make their cars work for us. They kind of half to at this point but that is besides the point. It is all much appreciated and I learned way more than I ever thought I would. There wasn't a boring point to the whole trip.

Saturday dawned bright and early as we headed out to the cars to begin our 150 mile test drive. That's right! We drove out of TN and into MS taking those Malibu's over various terrains and seeing the sights. Here are some highlights.

-Grannies without their pants sweeping front porches. Typical Saturday morning?
-Cotton to the left, cotton to the right
-Good ol' boy sheriffs do not appreciate blogger photography.
-GM frowns on Chinese fire drills.
-Was that a dog fight? Ooh look! More dogs are a comin'.
-Lawn jockeys really do exist.
-Hogs and Horses welcome for drinks at bike night.
-You can so fit two bloggers into the back of a Hybrid Malibu!
-Kristin looks like the girl who gave me her fake ID in college. Though Kristin is way nicer and didn't throw pitchers of beer in my face yelling,"Drink it up pledge!"
-Cockrum. It's a town people! Get your mind out of the gutter.
-Bucksnort's. 24 flavors of soft serve ice cream please! You know you want some bucksnort.
-Nicole has one of those new fangled thingy's called an EYE-Phone. She uses it to send things to the Internet y'all.
-That meeting Kelly and Kristen was the best part of the weekend. I wouldn't have had as much fun in that car without them. Discussing the allure of Stephen Tyler's tongue was a serious conversation. Thanks ladies!

Thanks to GM too for making me think that despite the media/marketing hocus pocus you companies put out there you can still make me believe that you are decent, fun, and caring people. I enjoyed the ride!

The actual review of the Chevy Malibu will be up this week so check back soon! For now enjoy the other fine reviews on Mummy's Product Reviews.

Cockrum. Have you had your fill?


  1. Damn - I forgot to get a photo at Cockrun... and how about the LAW? I had the theme from "Smokey and the Bandit" stuck in my head (much to Marc's dismay) the entire morning!

  2. Ooops! By the way... the next time I see you I am so throwing beer... ;-)

  3. you totally put that picture up. I love it. LOVE IT. I'll send you the one with the same face, driving that American-made car. Who will believe it?

  4. Oh, YES. The Cockrum picture! With the tongue out! And the finger thingie! YES.

    I'm still upset about all that cotton and people getting out to take pictures. Thanks for now subjecting me to that.

  5. I forgot to ask what the sheriff said to you when he pulled up behind you! We were looking in our rear view mirror thinking "let's just keep right on driving" :)

  6. He said nothing. He just parked his little Roscoe/Boss Hogg like butt in the corner and glared at us through his Smokey and the Bandit sunglasses. We got out of there as gracefully (slowly) as possible without a scene. I think we made Chris nervous.

  7. I'm so glad those cookies and the visit from Elizabeth were helpful. I will have to point everyone toward your picture of Cockrum!

  8. Naw, I wasn't nervous. I was just trying to think of lines from Smokey and the Bandit or Dukes of Hazzard to throw at him when he made us roll down the window.

    So glad you enjoyed the visit with us and felt like you learned things and weren't bored. We appreciate you making the time, and I hope we'll see you again some time.

    P.S. I'll take any of you on in 80s Name That Tune. ;-)

  9. How FUN!! Will I be seeing you in the next Malibu commercial? can't seem to escape that one about the bank was brought to my attention a few weeks ago and now it follows me...and then I see your post! Too funny!

    Get a gig in Florida so I can see ya!

  10. Guess if I'm gonna stick with this blogging thing, got to get way more silly. I'm working on my post, too, really, and so glad all y'all let me relive that fun time.


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