The car salesman, Paul, was deep in conversation with my “significant other”, Steve. He was explaining
finance charges, interest rates, first time buyers discounts, and terms. Frankly, I found it pretty boring
so I sat quietly nearby and amused myself by looking around and making mental comparisons of some of
the everyday objects that I saw around me.
The car showroom that I was sitting in was brightly lit, designed to display this years latest models
to their best advantage. Looking up, the overhead lights reminded me of old fashioned metal ice-cube
trays, and the lights flashed over the polished car windows and shiny fiberglass bodies. Like fun-house
mirrors, the reflections were twisted and distorted, and the ice cube trays’ images curved and wound
around the sleek vehicles, reflecting infinity. These 1992 models reminded me of the space cars that the popular cartoon family, “The Jetsons” drove.
I decided that I didn’t like them very much.
A sharp, staccato bark richocheted across the room. Startled, I looked over the my right to see the back of a large, portly man laughng into the phone. On his head, a very large bald spot surrounded by a fringe of straggly gray hair glistened moistly under the glaring lights. His faded blue suit was obviously “off the rack”, and it looked like it had been a very long time since it had been ON the rack.
I decided that I didn’t like him very much.
Voices drifted in and out of my consciousness like the whirring and humming of the air recirculator that kept grumbling on and off. Steve was being assaulted by a barrage of questions from Paul.
“How much do you earn a year”? “Will you finance through us or through your bank”? “Do you want
in insure through us or through your own insurance agent”? Paul then turned toward me, and I half
expected him to request my first born son along with a hefty down payment to hold the new truck that Steve was considering buying. Instead, he boldly asked my age and date of birth. Aghast, I considered lying, but one piercing look from Steve convinced me that it might behoove me to be honest. Honest! With a car salesman!
I sighed deeply, and confessed. Paul smiled widely. His teeth looked like two rows of dingy candy
“chicolets”. Right then, I decided that I didn’t like this salesman much either. His soft white hand reached into his suit jacket pocket and pulled out an ingeniously designed calculator that was shaped like the tail end of a ’57 Chevy. Lifting up the little plastic car trunk, he manipulated the tiny calculator keys and began figuring. A manageable payment plan for Steve was arrived at and agreed upon. “Tickely tap tap. Tick, tap.’ His stubby fingers danced in a surprisingly adroit fashion across the tiny pads. More calculating, he spouts more figures. I yawned. We had been inside this garish showroom for over an hour, and tired, hungry
and bored, I just wanted to go home. I had yet to see this truck that Steve wanted to buy. Suddenly, the two men stood up and vigorously pumped hands. Beaming, Steve turned to me and said, “C’mon, babe. Let’s go outside into the lot. I want you to see what I bought”. Curious, I followed him across the industrial steel gray carpeting, past the rows of black formica desks with their matching padded swivel chairs, past the “Win a 1992 Chevy Lumina!” contest displays, and out into the chill February night. Under a bright car lot spotlight stood a pretty little fire-engine red Chevy mini pick-up truck.
“What do you think”? asked Steve as he peered at me closely, measuring my reactions. My feet crunched over the car lot gravel as I walked all around the little truck, giving it a careful inspection. Looking inside, I noticed that she didn’t have a radio, but I appreciated the fact that she had air-conditioning. I thought to myself that this little fire-cracker would be great for camping, fishing and enjoying the things that we loved to do. In my mind, I’d already named her “Firecracker” for she was as bright as a Chinese firecracker. Walking, I reached the front of the little truck and glanced over at Steve He stood there expectant, awaiting something from me for I still had shown no reaction. I looked at “Firecracker”, looked over at Steve.
My face broke into a big, silly grin, as I stated emphatically,
“I’ve decided I like her. I like her very much”.