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DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Richard At Walt Disney Studios

"I have been to an open house where mine was one of three consecutively parked identical gray Priuses."

The Driver: Richard
Car in Question: 2009 Gray Toyota Prius
Spotted at: Walt Disney Studios, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521
Odometer: 33,279


Q: Did you buy your car new?

A: I leased it new. May 24, 2009 is the birthday.

Q: So how are you doing on the mileage?

A: I'm way over my mileage. I'm a realtor and I drive all over the place.

Q: Who are you with?

A: Keller Williams Realty. I'm all over the L.A. area, so I'm driving every day. Sometimes 100 to 150 miles a day.

Q: Five days a week?

A: Every day of the week.

Q: No vacation for this man.

A: No, except for next week. We're going to Alaska.

Q: Nice. So how much time do you spend in your car on a daily basis?

A: Way too much time. An hour, two hours a day pretty easily.

Q: Since you're in the car all day, what is your favorite or worst part about your commute?

A: Well, I don't have a specific commute, but my favorite part is that the worse traffic gets, the better my gas mileage gets. I don't have a worst part. It's all bad, I guess. I just try to plan my day to avoid traffic. If I can't, then my car's got a really comfortable driver's seat.

Q: Anything else you like about it?

A: Roomy car, very comfortable, drives well.

Q: And what's your absolute dream car?

A: A hybrid Ferrari, if they made one. It's a good-looking car.

Q: Does Beth, your wife, want a Ferrari?

A: Beth wants a minivan for soccer practice.

Q: Do you have kids?

A: No kids. She wants kids.

Q: OK, why don't we move on and leave that for another interview. Is there anything else we should know about your car?

A: Well, I have two funny stories about the car. I went to a dinner at a hotel one time, and it took them an hour and a half to get my car because they kept bringing other gray Priuses to the front of the line. There's this long line, and they kept bringing other gray Priuses. Finally, I just took my keys, went to the back, and started pressing the button until my car's lights went on.

Q: So did they just grab the wrong keys or what?

A: They just kept bringing the wrong Prius. They'd yell back, "Gray Prius!" and then a valet shows up with a gray Prius. They would just radio back to the guys in the garage, "Bring a gray Prius up."

Q: Where was this?

A: The Luxe Hotel. They gave me a free dinner as compensation. I never went back to get it, although I got dinner while I was waiting because it took them so long to get my car.

Q: And what's the second funny story?

A: Well, whenever you go anywhere, you always see a lot of gray Priuses. And I have been to an open house where mine was one of three consecutively parked identical gray Priuses, and I thought that was quite amusing. I'd say probably twice a week, I try to open the wrong car door.

Q: Really? That's funny.

A: Well, you know, there's another gray Prius three over and you don't even realize it.

Q: Do you know your license plate by heart?

A: I know the first four digits. [Takes a guess at the full seven digits.]

Q: Let's walk to the back and see what it is. Uh-oh.

A: Oh, I got the last three mixed up. I was close.

Photos and interview by Michael Shen, blogger of

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