Several weeks ago, mother purchased a new car. Or a newer one, at least. And since then, her old vehicle had sat in the street at the side of the house, contributing nothing of value to the household. My parents made a few half-hearted attempts to sell it -- taking it to the local Walgreens with a partially melted for-sale sign in the window, for example -- but they achieved no success. Not a single phone call. Finally, I could take no more. "Mother, father," I barked, "this is the weekend. We must sell that car. It is blocking my view of the creek." And with that, I took control of the project. This was a bit of a stretch for me -- being a salesman is vastly different from being the leader of a congregation. But I had faith in my abilities.
The vehicle in question was mechanically sound, yet it was on the wrong side of 150,000 miles and had some exterior blemishes. Father tells me that he and his friends would have loved to have had such a car back when he was in high school -- did I mention that it's supercharged? -- but the demographics did not seem to be in our favor in our relatively affluent suburb. Here, the teenagers often drive nicer cars than mother and father. It's disgusting, really.
So I decided to cast a wider net, posting my first-ever ad on Craigslist on Friday evening. Soon, the calls poured in from across the metro area. As the first prospective buyer made his way to our house, I eyeballed the family. "Mother," I barked, "you're not really going to wear that shirt in front of the customers, are you? It might send the wrong message." She looked down at her "I Drink Your Milkshake" T-shirt, blushed and then went to change. The prospect brought a canine along and showed some interest, but he was not ready to commit to a sale that evening.
That was OK; I had others. Saturday arrived, and an enthusiastic lad named Jeremy called. I detailed for him the car's condition, and he proceeded to ask why I was selling the car so cheap. I took this as a good sign. Then he told me that he thought he'd like to buy it. "Why don't you come on over and take it for a spin, Jeremy," I barked. Jeremy took longer than expected to arrive, but he eventually found the compound. He must have been 17 or 18, and his father accompanied him. They looked the car over closely, and Jeremy seemed downright giddy. They took it for a long test drive, and while they were gone I received more calls about the car. Finally, they returned.
Jeremy's father said that he was concerned about the engine noise. I told him it had been that way for as long as I could recall, and it ran just fine. Perhaps it was just the supercharger. Jeremy liked this explanation. After some more time under the hood, the father brought out an offer: $200 less than the $2,500 I was asking for the old Buick. I glanced over at Jeremy, who was practically drooling over the thought of this somewhat sporty set of wheels and its respectable 240-horsepower engine. "No," I barked, "I am fairly certain I can get $2,500 for the car."
The father grimaced. "I hate buying used cars. What do you think," he said, nodding toward his son. "Oh, you know what I think!" Jeremy replied. Soon, we had a deal, at full asking price. "Jeremy," I barked, as I went to retrieve the title, "would you care to play poker sometime?"