The Case of the Elusive Car Salesman Subject: English –Short Story The Case of the Elusive Car Salesman I was pacing around Lexington, waiting for my local mechanic to finish the latest repairs on my 77 Chevy Impala. My name’s Yesterday, Sam Yesterday. It was hot in Lexington, by that is not uncommon for mid-July. I’d had a good several months, and I was in good financial position for the first time since I bought that Impala back in 1977. That car had served me well, but lately it had been failing.
Maybe it was time for a trade, I thought; so I walked over to the nearest friendly (sort of) car dealership. As soon as I set foot on the shiny showroom floor, it seized me. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. A sparkling combination of steel, leather, electronics, and a very large engine. The muscle car had been revitalized in the form of a 1995 Chevy Impala SS. It was sleek, resembling the type of car Darth Vader would drive.
I grabbed the nearest salesman, hopped into the body hugging leather bucket, fired up the 275 bhp. LT1 engine and took off. As the 6-speaker CD stereo belted out Aerosmith the poor salesman tried to sell me a car that had already sold itself. I had fallen in love, it was the only car that I had loved since that 77 Impala. It had an engine large enough to satisfy my primitive need for power, an image that screamed “Hey you with the radar gun! See if you can catch me!” Granted, it was heavy, it had watery boat-like handling, and drank gas like my Uncle Bubba drinks beer.
Still, I loved it. It wasn’t Japanese, German, Korean, or otherwise. It was a big hunk of purebred, American muscle car, dammit. I picked out a nice shiny new one, called the bank and drove home in my new wheels. I decided to spring for all the bells and whistles; leather, CD player, alarm system, keyless entry, etc.
I figured that if this car was going to run as long as my last Impala it should be well-equipped. As I was admiring the view from my office in the Financial Center, the phone rang. I answered and was greeted by a rather hysterical woman named Diane who thought that she had been cheated by her car dealership. “That evil Car salesman has kidnaped my car!” she explained. I calmed her down and asked what happened.
“Well, Larry, the salesman, picked up my Lexus for servicing, just as usual. Also as usual, he left a more expensive car as a loaner. Later in the day, I received a call saying that my car had been destroyed. Larry said that one of the technicians had accidentally cranked it right up into the ceiling while it was sitting on the lift. I found it hard to believe, but he promised me a new model if I would just come over and sign the papers.
As soon as I arrived, Larry said that he would credit me the value of the car if I wanted to by a nicer mor expensive model. I agreed and ended up with a lovely new sports coupe.” “Nice car,” I remarked, realizing that the salesman was making a tidy profit on the transaction. “Yes, it is. But I still miss my Essie.” “Essie?” I interrupted, quizzically. “Yes, Essie was the name of my old car, the ES300, I loved Essie, and the new car wasn’t the same.” “You had a brand new $55,000 Lexus, which you got for only $25,00 and you miss you older $35,000 Lexus?” I asked, beginning to wonder whether she was playing this game with a full deck.
“Yes, I did. So, anyway, I read the article in the paper covering the incident, and was struck by something. The general manager said that he was baffled, because there are safety mechanisms on the lifts, preventing them from going that high. I also realized that Larry would be making his regular commission on a $55,000 Lexus, and not a $25,000 one, because the payment for the ES was made by the insurance company after the sale. So, not only had he made money on Essie, but on the new car as well.” “Interesting.
Is that all?” I asked. “Yes. If the accident wasn’t really an accident, I want to know, and I want a lot more than a new sports coupe, that car meant a lot to me.” She concluded, between sobs. I agreed to take the case and drew up a contract. I thanked her, promised to get to the bottom of the matter, hopped in my stealth bomber and left.
It seemed that the fist place to look was the dealership. I decided to go undercover, and scope out the salesman first had. I called Larry and scheduled and appointment to look at a few cars. I decided that I would look suspicious driving up in my brand new car, so I borrowed a friend’s old BMW. I arrived at the dealership and was greeted with a phony, yet somewhat pleasing smile.
Larry asked me if I would like something to drink, and I ordered my usual, a Coke with a splash of Vodka, and a lime twist. Larry smiled, and, lying, said “That’s a good choice, I drink those too.” What a schmuck! I walked around the showroom. Looking at the stickers on the new rich people mobiles, and realized that I had chosen the wrong profession. “So. What would you like to accomplish today sir?” Larry asked, handling me my drink. I realized that this was the nineties, politically correct, non-pushy, Lexus way of asking, “Which one of these over-priced, indestructible, warranty clad, Japanese tankes ca I sell you? Right now.
Now, not later. Now.” “Uh-huh. I wanna look at a car, but I’m not sure which one. I think it’s time to trade in my trusty beemer.” “Are you sure? That looks like a nice little car I might be a player on that one..I think you look like an SC400 kind of man let’s go drive one; what color would you like?” I never thought that a person could say so many things in one sentence before. I could tell that this guy was ruthless, I could also see how he could easily have influenced poor Diane.
“Ok Larry! Let’s do that!” I said as enthusiastically as possible, without losing my composure. This guy was really pathetic. “All right. Here’s and SC400. It is a really nice car, great engine, practically indestructible, fun to drive, great on trips..did I tell you how dedicated the Lexus family is to you? We commit ourselves to what you want. Want to drive it? Ill get the keys.
Will you be leasing or buying? And will you want to finance that through us?” Larry said as he pushed me in to the leather wrapped cucoon. “Here you are! Have a good drive. I’ll be right here when you get back. Be back in five minutes or I’ll call the cops. Have fun!!!” I started the engine, smiled and floored it. I watched the color draining from Larry’s face as I zipped into traffic and accelerated out of sight. It’s really amazing how fast one of those fat things can get to sixty.
As I drove that cushy over priced status symbol, I thought of how, exactly, I would nail Larry with the crime which he had obviously committed. I decided that if he was involved in something cooked, it wouldn’t be too hard to find. I also came to the conclusion that Larry isn’t the brightest apple on the tree, if you get my drift. With this in mind, I returned to the dealership, pulled in at about sixty miles per hour and pointed the car at the showroom. I saw Larry inside drop his coffee mug as he saw me and his shiny brand new Lexus heading straight for the single piece of glass separating him and his other new Lexuses from me and my obvious vendetta against the car sales industry.
Aerosmith belted “Livin’ on the Edge” from the 10 speaker 200 watt stereo system and the Air Conditioner quietly cooled the car to a comfortable 72 degrees and I played with the electronically controlled transmission adjustment, I decided whether to test this vehicle’s sophisticated Anti-Lock brakes, or its dual airbags and passenger safety cage, or both. I decided for the brakes, as the brochure seemed to make a really big deal about them They worked well, I plowed onto the pedal and closed m eyes. The sporty coupe skidded to a stop about three feet from that plate glass window, and about seven feet from another brand new SC400. Larry looked up from the fetal position which he had assumed on the floor, looked stunned for a moment and resumed his mission to sell me a car. He straightened his tie, smiled and headed in my direction.
Meanwhile, I adjusted the Aerosmith volume and tested the alarm system. “HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK..” Wow, that would really stop a thief. Larry broke into a sprint as other customers began to stare. Was I embarrassing this slime? Cool. I silenced the alarm, and cranked up Aerosmith’s “Love in an Elevator” in order to further embarrass him. I was naturally surprised to see Larry break into a dance and yelled, “great tunes dude!” I knew he was full of his usual schmoozing crap, so I shook my head and turned off the ignition.
“That was some awesome driving back there! I was a little worried for awhile! Heh heh heh..” Larry said in an attempt to break through my salesman resistant emotional armor. “Yeh..well..uh..” I tried to begin, but to no avail. “The SC400 re …