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It was another fine mess


Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, July 23, 2001

I decided that I had to buy a new car. Well, it was actually my wife who decided that I had to buy a new car. The last time she decided that I needed to buy a new car was fourteen years ago. And I havenít been the same since. There are people who are afraid to go down in mine shafts and there are some who are uneasy with heights. Whenever I walk into a car dealerís showroom, I get the shakes. I would much prefer a visit to my dentist for a root canal than an encounter with a car salesman or salesperson or saleswoman or whatever they are called these days.

I do not mean to imply that these people are tricky or somewhat shady. They are not. They, for the most part, are fine, upstanding pillars of the community. As a matter of fact, one of my grandfathers had a used car lot. He was known as Square Deal John and his slogan was, "if you want a square deal, come on down and Iíll give it to you!" And, he most certainly did.

It was fourteen years ago but it seems as though it was yesterday when I walked into that showroom to buy a car. An attractive young blonde woman dressed in high heeled black boots, a leather skirt to match, with a white blouse and black leather vest greeted me at the door and asked me if I saw anything that I liked. Before I could think of anything to say, a rather portly man dressed in a large checked suit with a red tie came over and offered me a hot dog and told me to call him Charley.

There were three cars and a station wagon on the floor. The station wagon was brown with gold trim, there was a black sedan, a blue sedan and a purple convertible. I walked over to the black sedan to have a look but Charley said that I would never be happy with that car that was like so many others on the road. He said that as soon as he saw me, he knew that I was one in a million, a man with class and an eye for beauty and the unusual. He took me by the arm and led me over to the purple convertible and told me that it was just what I was looking for. The blonde girl with the leather boots, leather skirt with the white blouse and leather vest was sitting behind the wheel. She told me to hop in and we would take a spin.

She drove us through town with her blonde hair streaming in the breeze and honking the horn as she passed people on the street. Two of those people were my wife and her mother. I waved at them but they didnít wave back, they just stood there with their eyes wide and their mouths open.

We drove back to the showroom and went into the office. Charley was sitting at his desk and offered me a chair. The blonde, she told me to call her Patsy, brought me a cup of coffee and another hot dog. Charley not only told me that I looked great in that car but that that car was me! Charley had the papers ready for my signature and I wrote him a check for somewhat more than I paid for our first house and I was on my way home with my purple convertible.

I drove into our driveway, parked the car, went into the house and shouted, "come on outside, honey, and see what weíve got." She said, "if youíve got what I think youíve got, youíve got trouble.Ē She was right on both counts. After some discussion, I handed over the keys, she put the top up and told me to get in the house and stay there until she got back. In less than a half and hour she was back with the black sedan. That was fourteen years ago and tomorrow I am going to look for a new car and she is going to come with me.

John Flaherty

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