A nice little story
Imagine a small pristine country town surrounded by orchards, dairy farms and fields of corn. The town square has six buildings; A church, A store that sells everything, but it’s not Walmart. You have to drive ten miles to get to one of those. How inconvenient! Anyway, there’s also an abandoned building no one remembers ever being occupied, A gas station where the guy still pumps your gas and you can actually get your car fixed, A McDonald’s restaurant because those things are everywhere, and A cheese factory where most of the locals work. The ones that don’t work there are wealthy folks who can afford big houses, and drive forty-five minutes to work in a nearby city. Beautiful isn’t it. Sort of like a painting that you saw at a starving artist sale, but you passed up because twenty-five bucks was a little too much for you, but by the time you realized you wanted it badly, a lady in a flower print dress and sunglasses had snapped it up. So, you cried a bit, then went and got a chocolate ice cream cone to drown your sorrows. You know what I’m talking about.
Now to this scene add a lost little man in a twenty-three-year-old blue minivan, snubbing his GPS system, because he’s sure he knows where he’s going, who is looking for a garden center somewhere in the nearby area. This man is called Mr. Ohh! and he is not afraid of asking directions. A highly intelligent man to be sure. So, the man stops at the store. He goes in and speaks to the heavy lady in a faded Aerosmith concert tee-shirt. The lady informed the man that he did indeed know where he was going, and the garden center was just three or so miles further down the road. As the man left the store he was heard to say, “Ha, I scoff at GPS.”
With a tragic ending
Upon returning to the van, the man continues his scoffing, and turns the key. The minivan, which apparently does not care very much for scoffing, responds with an audible, “Errrrrrrrrrrruuuuup!” Then makes no sound at all. This had the intended effect. The man stopped scoffing and started swearing. The swearing had an effect as well. The minivan then said “Ayun-ayun-ayun-ayun, ayun-ayun-ayun-ayun, yitt-yitt-yitt-yitt-yitt-yitt-yitt-yitt-Click”, and then nothing else. The man went into shock, because he was not close to home at all.
He tried the key several more times with no success. You might think that an intelligent man such as Mr. Ohh! would have realized the vehicle was dead, but he seems to live on hope so he kept trying. Eventually, he understood his situation and walked across the street to the gas station. A great story, but like so many books, movies, and fables it has no happy ending. I was really stuck.
Reality sets in and I need a new one
The man at the station was covered in grease and I took this as a good sign. Men covered in grease know how to fix things, which is not my forte. The man tried to start the van, looked under the hood and said words like, “Curbinatedter” and “Framalelt” Hey, I don’t speak mechanic. Then we walked back to the station and looked in a parts book. Finally, he said something I did understand, “Thirty-five-hundred-dollars!!” My eyes rolled into the back of my head. He continued with, “It wouldn’t be so expensive if you had a newer car”. Well, I let the store owner know that my car was going to be there a while, and I called my wife to pick me up.
By the time she got there I knew it was time to buy a new car. The very next day we went online to find the perfect new to me car. You see I haven’t made a car payment in over thirty years. When a car dies like this one did, I just find another old one, pay cash, and keep going. I got that one when it was eleven, and traded an eighteen-year-old one for it. I wasn’t terribly surprised when it died. What did surprise me was my wife’s attitude. She was tired of old klunkers and wanted something newer. I told her I was willing to get a car that was less than ten-years, if she found the right one. Someday I’ll learn to shut up.
It didn’t have to be that new
My wife did find right one. It was two-years old. It had less miles than I’d ever seen on a car. and it was going for a good price. The thing is, a good price for her and me are two very different things. If I can’t pay cash, it’s not a good price. I presented my argument as best as I could, speaking for a bit over a half an hour. Then my wife said, I could have any car I wanted if I would agree to drive the kids everywhere they wanted to go from then on. My wife is a brilliant negotiator. The very next day we went to check out the two-year minivan she liked.
As I always bought old, I don’t get to dealerships very often. Boy, was I overwhelmed. The place we went had three big glass buildings. One for each of three brands. We walked into the first building and was told that they didn’t have used cars. I said it was advertised to be there. The man informed me that it was not used, it was preowned. I was further told that the preowned cars were in a separate building behind the third building. We had to walk a half a mile to get to the preowned cars. When we got there, a lady informed us that the car we wanted was not just a preowned car, but a Certified Preowned Vehicle. I asked what the difference was. She told me that mechanics had gone over it with a fine-toothed comb to make sure the vehicle was in perfect shape. I told the lady this was nice, but I would have preferred they would’ve used wrenches and screwdrivers, because combs are for hair and not very good for fixing cars. After that she wouldn’t talk to me, but she escorted my wife to the van, and I followed.
We have much better words and prices
As I walked through the lot, I figured out what the difference in vehicles was. Used cars cost up to two thousand. Preowned cars cost up to ten thousand, and Certified Preowned Vehicles cost way more than that. I looked at the van the lady was showing us and it looked the same as the uncertified ones, but what a price difference. The lady didn’t notice how uncomfortable I was, and handed my wife the keys.
This was so different. This vehicle actually ran smoothly. I drove it by my mechanic and he didn’t have a long list of issues. For the first time I was getting a car that was ready to go. It was amazing.
I was amazed
Scientists say that the survival of a species require three things; Food, Shelter, and Ability to reproduce. This may or may not be true, but the dinosaurs never had certified preowned vehicles, and how many of them do you see around?
Thank you for laughing and Please read a little longer
Thank you all for laughing with me, but I need to be serious. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a genetic disease which rots the liver and lungs. There is no cure. The only help for people is to have a weekly infusion of proteins to stop the spread. For the next few months I will be taking all my proceeds and donating them to the Alpha-1 Foundation who are searching for a cure to this horrible malady. You can give here or for more information go to Alpha-1.org Thanks for supporting world laughter, and finding a cure. Laugh On