Tuesday, May 09, 2006

In Search of Treasure

I don’t know why I did it, but I did. On my way home from the gym this morning, I pulled into a car dealership and began looking for a car. Call it naïvete, but I was hopeful I’d find a hidden treasure. Well, I’m no pirate, that’s for sure.

I felt like I had a bright sign above my head that read: I have no idea what I’m doing. Had I worn regular clothes, I might have tried to play it cool, but in running shoes and gym attire, it’s hard to spit game.

She’s a beauty isn’t she, the salesman asked as I peered into the window of a nearby car. Um, yeah, she sure is, I stuttered. I hate personifying inanimate objects, so referring to a car as a ‘her’ or ‘she’ bothers me. I know, I have issues.

We spoke about the weather and the LA Clippers for a while, then ran out of things to say.

Listen, I said rather abruptly, I’m not going to waste your time, so let me be honest. I rung my hands and surreptitiously glanced at the sticker price. I had no idea what the car was really worth, so I arbitrarily subtracted $6,000 from the listed price. That’s what I can offer, I told the salesman. And if that wasn’t ludicrous in itself, I said, That’s tax and license…out the door.

What was I thinking? He smothered a cough and said he’d have to run the figure by his manager. I debated sneaking off the car lot because I was so embarrassed, but I repeated you-will-never-see-him-again, you-will-never-see-him-again, you-will-never-see-him-again, in my head. When I saw his blond hair bobbing over the tops of the cars approaching me, I froze. Not like a deer caught in headlights…more like a possum caught in a porch light. Yes, like that ugly. I'm sure my desperate yet hopeful face was contorted in such a way it might have been mistaken as a lawn gnome.

Sorry, but my manager said no, the salesman told me apologetically. I wasn’t disappointed. I kind of knew it would be a ‘no’, but I hoped otherwise. I was wishing for a miracle. There was a part of me that wanted to tell the manager that JD’s car was wrecked by a drunk driver, and what a wonderful person he is, and how much he deserves a nice car, and how he would somehow find a way to use the car to warm orphans in Antarctica…but I let it slide.

I slithered out of the showroom and back to my car.

So, today I didn’t find a treasure, but who knows what tomorrow holds.


Blogger Eric McCarty said...

Possums and Lawn Gnomes . . . now you're speaking my language. My brother-in-law and I once pulled a two-week-dead possum from his basement. My olfactory sense voluntarily shut itself down. Now I can barely smell anything, including myself. Stinks for my wife, so to speak.

2:38 PM  

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