The Used Car Dealer.

Posted by admin on September 26, 2016 in Randomalities |

I admit that I have a pretty old car. It’s a 2004, in fact, a Saturn VUE. Yes, it’s true. They don’t make Saturns anymore, but in my defense, I didn’t pick the car.

It was a consolation prize of sorts. I guess my ex-whatever felt I should get a consolation prize for putting up with her in that joke of a marriage we had. While I’ve lost a house or two in other competitions, I’ve never ‘won’ a car in the end.

That said, I have never been attached to the Black Widow as it’s come to be called. I called it this because 1) it’s black, and 2) I used to tell people it was my wife’s car, until she died in a horrific accident, leaving me all alone in the world. Frankly, it was a better story than telling a first date that I had divorced, again. The whole widow thing was far more empathetic and far less pathetic.

But, the time had finally come to take the car in and get a new one. Now, “new” is a relative term for me. I’ve never owned a new car. I’ve always had a used car. It may have been gently used, as in the case of the Black Widow, or it may have already been on its last legs when I arrived on the lot.

I think the term pigeon is the word they use for me at car lots. I know nothing about cars except that they hate me. But it was time for the Widow to go, so off to the used car lot I went.

If you live in the north end of Seattle, then you know that Aurora Avenue excels at two things: hookers and car lots. I think both are pretty similar pursuits. Both provide a service for a price, both rely on bottom feeders to handle the delicate negotiations, and chances are good that you’re going to walk away disappointed and always poorer for the experience.

I thought I knew all the lots up and down Aurora. But a new one was lit up brightly near Harvey’s Tavern. A spotlight cleared a pathway in the night sky, as if the star of Bethlehem was guiding the faithful to this particular spot on earth.

The VUE seemed almost too willing to pull into the lot. By the time I had popped the latch on the door, the salesman was on me.

“Need a car, do you?” he said, taking me by the arm. “Nice American car, a beautiful American car. They don’t make them like this anymore. All the jobs have gone to Mexico. The Mexicans have taken our jobs and given us crappy cars.”

“Now, what can I help you with?” he said, brushing the hair from his face.

“I’m looking for a car, I guess. This one has seen better days.”

“Right you are, my friend. I’ll tell you what. I will show you some beautiful cars. Beautiful. Stunning cars. Made in America. By Americans. Not unsavory immigrants.”

He led me to a row of four-door sedans, all in muted colors.

“Beautiful cars. And not too showy.”

“You mean conservative?” I said with a smile.

“Nothing wrong with being conservative, my friend. These are real beauties. Low miles, one owner. Little lady drove it only to church and back. Never over 20 miles an hour. Can you believe that? Never over 20 miles an hour.”

“Why, no, no I can’t,” I replied. “I know you’re trying to sell me something here, but I really think it’s an over-do in the lying department.”

“Look,” he said. “Don’t let a little thing like the truth get in the way of our relationship. I want to make you great again. I want you to enjoy the feeling of driving a great car, an American car. Not one of those two-bit import jobs, the ones that are flooding in from overseas.”

“Can I take it for a test drive?” I asked.

“Drive? You think you need to take this thing for a spin to make a good decision? I know spin. Spin is a bad thing my friend. Don’t trust it!”

“What kind of media does it have?” I asked.

“Media? Don’t ever trust the media. They are always out to get you. Media.”

“I’m talking about a CD player, Pandora? An iPhone connection. Internet?”

“The Internet,” he said. “Let me tell you something about the Internet. Our government plans to give it away to the United Nations. They want to give our Internet away.”

“Well, I don’t really know anything about that. I just want to know if I can listen to… just forget it. Let’s talk terms instead. Are your terms liberal?

He looked at me as if I had just shot his puppy.

“Liberal? There’s no one liberal around here. We don’t even use the ‘L’ word on this lot.”

I could tell I was getting nowhere with this guy. By now we were deep into the back lot. It had grown dark by now and I really couldn’t see the way back to my car.

“Where’s the entrance?” I said. “I should really be going.”

“Don’t be in such a rush, friend. We haven’t found you the car of your dreams. I promised you an amazing car. A beautiful car. And I always keep all of my promises.”

He was starting to freak me out. He had tightened his grip on me as we continued to roam through the aisles of deals he had for me.”

“Great deals. Best deals ever. You won’t believe the deals I have for you.”

I finally found a cute little car near a huge wall at the back of the lot.

“I like this one,” I said.

He leaped in front of it. “You don’t want this car,” he said. “It’s foreign. It’s untrustworthy. It could even blow up on you as you roll on down the highway. I would never trust a foreign make. I doubt there are even papers on it. Foreigners never seem to have papers.”

He steered me back to the American makes.

“This one,” he finally said. “A nice Ford. Made in the good old USA.”

“Um, Fords are made in Mexico, these days,” I replied. “If you want American these days, you need to buy a Toyota.”

I could see he had lost all patience with me.

“Get off my lot, you, you, commie son of a bitch. Get out of here before I call the cops. And I know cops. I have cop friends.”

I ran for it as he began to dial his phone.

A couple weeks later I drove by his lot again. He was gone. All that was left was a sign that said, “Future Home of Lynnwood Toyota.”

I heard from a friend that the dealer had moved out of town in the dark of night. He opened up another company a short time later. In El Paso. Seems he got a hefty incentive package from the city to open a manufacturing plant making kitchen gadgets. Something about Making America Grate Again.

In the Emerald City, still driving my American-made car,

  • Robb

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