I was surprised this has become public, but I suppose I should weigh in now that reports have filtered onto the blogosphere: It's true. Google is in talks to buy my car.
I was reluctant to discuss this for obvious reasons. These talks could break down at any time and there is no clear indication when they'll be concluded and the final price could change dramatically before negotiations have completed.
Nonetheless, with the equally odd acquisition rumor floating Wednesday that Google could acquire the travel site Expedia (now watch them actually do this and make me look like a yutz) and the rumor a few weeks back that Google was looking to acquire my parent company CNET Networks, I thought it was time I owned up to my own talks with the search king.
My discussions with Google to this point lead me to conclude that they are, in fact, kicking the tires on my 2003 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport. Google and its executives, who have invested in hybrid vehicles, lovely shuttle buses for employees, and a cool jet, recently discovered they also need four-wheel-drive vehicles that get decent gas mileage and can fit through a typically small garage door in San Francisco, where my vehicle has been housed since its acquisition from a Subaru dealership in Redwood City, Calif.
At the risk of impacting my talks with Google and drawing the ire of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, I'd like to point out what's great about my Subaru: In addition to that decent gas mileage and ability to fit through a narrow garage door, it's excellent in the snow and comes with a ski rack that can be modified to carry bicycles. It has a handy outside thermometer and is a perfect car for the typical Google employee who lives in the city but likes to do outdoorsy stuff on the weekends.
Google is hesitating for several issues: An unfortunate encounter with an automated car wash in 2004 left scratches on the front hood and my 4-year-old daughter's penchant for grinding the remains of peanut butter-filled pretzels into the back seat upholstery has left little, dry sticky marks that won't go away.
But sales price appears to be the biggest sticking point. The Blue Book value on my car is roughly $11,000 and Google is holding firm. But based on recent tech deals, such as Microsoft's investment in Facebook, I believe a fair asking price is $3.42 million. Larry Page, with whom I'm negotiating directly, has so far balked at this price, but I think when he sees that the oil-changing and tire-rotation record on this vehicle is outstanding, he'll at least meet halfway.
Stay tuned. I'll have more on these talks as they unfold. And yes, I'm kidding. But I wish we were kidding about the Expedia rumor. By the way, Expedia shares were up 4.32 percent to close at $25.13 per share on Wednesday's news.