If the modern automobile had a status on Facebook, it would undoubtedly be “It’s complicated.” With their computer-controlled fuel-injection systems, continuously variable transmissions and three-phase four-pole AC induction motors, the days when every Tom, Dick or Harry could wrench on their ride seem long gone. So let us help — especially with the seemingly mundane stuff that if not done properly, your dad and/or his favorite mechanic vowed would ruin your car forever. Because when it comes to cars — and this column — no question is too dumb.
I just have to ask: Are giant, red car bows really a thing that people do when they buy a car for someone?
You’re goddamn right it’s a thing. As is often the case, life often imitates art, and when you’re bombarded by commercial after commercial from car companies like Lexus and Mercedes and their red-bow laden “December to Remember” ad campaigns, it’s no wonder John Q. Public wants one the next time he surprises his wife, 16-year-old or college grad with a new set of wheels.
There are two primary ways you can procure a giant red bow to place on your new car: From the internet, or from the dealership. Let’s start, however, with the second one — dealerships.
“It happens like crazy, man,” says redditor timchar, on the r/askcarsales subreddit. “They cost about $100,” explains redditor gganew. “We have six in storage at any given time, and put them on the cars in the showroom in December. If we deliver a car to a house, we’ll take the bow with us and get it back later.”
Not sure if you caught that last part: You pay for the bow, but really, you’re only paying for the experience, considering the dealership takes them back once your loved one has freaked the fuck out over the fact that you’re a Bow Guy who surprised them with a giftwrapped car — just ask redditor MattJFerrell: “We bought our car right around Christmas a few years back. When we got there, it was waiting with the big-ass bow on it. Made my wife happy, she got to pose with it. Then the salesman took it off and put it away for the next person. Smart business, costs nearly nothing and makes the customer happy. Worst case, they’re indifferent.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking: $100, and you don’t even get to keep the bow when you’re done? Well, that’s where the other option comes in — the internet. On Amazon, for example, a giant red car bow with 28 giant fluffy loops is only $42. And there are hundreds of ratings!
Unfortunately, Amazon only has a few listings for bows. Of course, that’s to be expected; how on Earth would a massive company like Amazon think they can compete in the giant red car-bow market when websites like CarBows.us, KingSizeBows.com and CarBowStore.org have already cornered the market? Need a 30-inch vinyl car bow with magnetic backing? Done — that’ll be $39.95. Want to be a big baller and upgrade to velvet? No problem, just fork over 45 bucks, and it’s all yours in three to five business days.
The only problem is that giant red car bows are, well, giant, and so, you might have some trouble hiding the damn thing before the big reveal. Plus, you’ll have to figure out how to get the car from the dealership to your house without ruining the surprise. (Maybe your brother can help you?)
Whichever route you decide to take, the short answer is, yes, giant red bows exist, and they most certainly are magnificent.