Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Goodbye Vespa...

If I ever agree to try to sell something for someone else, please drag me out to the alley and whip my ass. With an opening like that, by now you've deducted that there's news on the Vespa. There is, I SOLD that MFer, finally. Vespa's are the wimp of the motorcycle world. There are scooters and there are Harley's and they will never be alike. Vespa's attracted a clientele that let's say, wanted to clean up, but wouldn't take a shower. There were the sponge bath of bathing. They wanted the wind in their hair, but didn't want the rumble of the engine to sway their beliefs. As you can see, I'm having a difficult time describing the group that I dealt with. Just weird. For years I specialized in Volvos. They attracted the engineer types of pipe smoker that wanted facts, not excuses. I did well with them. I shot from the shoulder and found when they were pleased, they reached deeply into their pockets and paid. No so, with the Vespa crew. I met every creep and weirdo in the Valley of the Sun and a few out of towners. One lady yelled at me on the phone that she lived in Tucson and just how was she supposed to get it home if she wanted to buy it???? She scared me pretty good.

Enter Alex, a normal young guy from not far away that just wanted a Vespa AND a Harley. The Vespa was for his girlfriend and he rode a Harley. He, I could understand. He called rather late on Sunday night and wanted to come right over in about 10 minutes. All week, I'd been hearing about the Craig's List killer that made appointments with unsuspecting prostitutes and when he showed up, he just killed them and robbed them. Although I have nothing worthy of stealing here in my humble abode, I knew I would be dealing with one or two young guys with a Vespa in mind, so I reached into the drawer that I keep my little Beretta 25 caliber hidden and decided my right front pocket would be a good place to keep it. About 10 minutes later my door bell rang and there was a truck parked in front of my house.

I decided to get the drop on my visitor and came from the backyard and snuck up behind him. Whoa, he said as I surprised him! There stood a completely normal looking young guy about 25 years old and me with a gun in my pocket. He followed me into the backyard and we investigated the scooter and he explained his wants and needs. He asked if he could take it for a ride and of course I said, yes. Somehow you don't go far when you test drive a scooter. Alex drove around the block and said he had $2000 in cash in his pocket and would pay that much for it. All I had was my gun and decided NOT to hold him up as I felt he may know where I live. Ya think? I laughed heartily at his meager off as I was asking $3500 and had just dropped the price to $3000. I told him that I thought that Marsha was pretty tired of dealing with it and might agree to $2500, but he stayed firm at his $2000 offer. Still laughing a little, I decided to give Marsha the option of taking the $2000, although I knew she wouldn't. After 4 attempts to reach her, she finally answered as Alex was leaving and I gave him the "hold" sign. I never knew that I knew the "hold" sign, but he recognized it. While Marsha's end of the conversation was hidden from Alex, she was saying that if that's all he'll pay, then sell it to him. I looked at Alex and said she's says she'll take $2250. Alex again declined claiming that he only has $2000. I make believe that I'm trying to talk Marsha into it, Alex not knowing that Marsha had already hung up at $2000 with an okay. I hang up the phone and tell him he's one good bargainer, she'll take it. That's when the inspection began.

Alex, the naive young kid, started going over that scooter with a fine tooth comb. He thought he saw indication that it had been laid down. GASP! I assured him that if indeed it had been in a wreck, more than a chip off the hand grip would be evident. Eventually, about 15 minutes later he agreed. Whew! Man, that was the toughest $2000 I ever earned and didn't get to keep a penny of it. That's when Alex asked if I could drive the scooter to his house and he's drive me back. I burst out laughing and said, it's YOUR scooter, YOU drive it to your house and I'll follow you in your truck and you can drive me home. With a scared look on his face, he said he wasn't sure of himself on the scooter yet and didn't have a helmet. I said, I'll follow you to your house in my car, we'll stop by Marsha's house, you can BUY a helmet from her and I'll bring you back to the scooter. Who would have dreamed that my Harley riding friend really was a scared-e-cat!

On the way from Alex's house and by the way, I had already redeposited my hand gun in it's drawer, we chatted in the car. Alex is the food and beverage manager at Raws and he not only knew Marsha's 2 sons in CA, but knew of her younger boy who is a waiter at Raw's. Inquiring further, he didn't know, but knew OFF my son who is also in the wine business. When we got to Marsha's house, it was like old home week. Alex bought both helmets from Marsha and the ride to my house was like riding with a friend. We parted good friends and I hope to run into Alex again some time, but not while he's on that scooter!

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