Thursday, March 20, 2014
I don't even know where to begin this story, so I'll just spin it out the way I remember it. Keep in mind as you read, that there are multiple levels at play here, with lots of players and topics.
First, was the 08 Jeep, Patriot, that my granddaughter Kylie asked me to try to sell for her. Her older sister had just received a company car and offered her old car an, 07 Honda, to Kylie for her personal use. Now Kylie, who was making payments on her 08 Jeep, wanted to not make payments so the entire thing came together. All I had to do was sell the 08 Jeep, got all that?
Second, my beloved reclining chair, that I seemed to have moved into in 05 after my heart surgery..........broke! The supporting frame literally disintegrated, something that has happened before and I had it welded by Paul, my mechanic.
I posted an ad in Cars.com for free and waited for the first phone call, but all that came were scam artists in other countries with a multitude of scams. I should open a Pay pal account and they will pay me that way and send a courier to pick up the Jeep, (no thank you). Another was going to send me a check for a larger amount of money and all I had to do was refund the balance to them and ship my car and title to an independent transport company, (sorry, not interested) all I wanted was a legitimate phone call from an interested buyer, just like it used to be when I was in business, but that never came. I was beginning to get concerned that I was doing something wrong, so the next think I tried was lowering the price by $500. We made it through the weekend without a legitimate call, when suddenly on Monday morning when I awakened at about 9:30, there were 2 voice mails waiting for me from a man named Omar. He seemed extremely interested and was willing to come all the way from Tucson the look at the lonely Jeep.
A little about the Jeep.... The car was literally immaculate, unscathed, pristine and all of the words you can think of to describe showroom condition. Kylie dropped it off on the only rainy day we'd had in 70 days and regrettably explained that all the car washes were closed. I waited that day for the rain to cease and the following day, I approached the car like it was a child that had been playing in the mud! Soap, water and a shop-vac, along with plenty of clean dry towels. I used engine cleaner to detail the engine compartment and when I was finished, I was pretty impressed with my work! I took pictures and closed and sealed it up to wait. If I were to fault the car for anything, it was the tires that were about ready for replacement. The old Jeep had 94K miles on it but I don't think anyone ever sat in it to do the driving!
I decided that the very first person to look at this car was going to buy it. After a couple of more calls from Omar, that only confused things, he and his wife pulled up in front of my house. After about 3 or 4 minutes and they still didn't ring my bell, I finally went outside to see them leaning against their car just looking at me. Suddenly my phone dinged indicating a voice mail. It was he and we both laughed. Omar turned out to be Tomas, not sure how or why that happened and he was a retired Tucson cop, originally from Wisc. They looked and kicked the tires and took it for a nice long test drive. Kylie had gone to the trouble of filling up the tank before dropping it off which was a nice touch.
When they returned they started hmming and hawing and making going away noises, when suddenly I said, I thought certainly the first people that were lucky enough to see this car would buy it! Tomas didn't know what to say, it was obvious. It turned out that they were only the front runners for their daughter, who had the final say. They said goodbye and climbed into their car and got on the phone while I watched through the window of my house. Suddenly he hooked a u-turn and I watched him drive away, thinking it was over. About 5 minutes later my phone rang and it was Tomas and he was all excited. He said they would be back tomorrow with his daughter, she wants to see it too! I asked for a deposit to hold it and he explained it had to do with the credit union and suddenly it all started making sense. He had to get a loan first!
The following morning I get up about 9 AM and there are once again 2 messages from this time the wife of Tomas, Olga, asking if she can make an offer. Still sounding sleepy, I return her call and she says she wants to make me an offer on the Jeep. I reply, only if it's a good offer. she says she wants to offer $6900. I'm asking $6995, so that was a pretty good offer, right?
The transaction started the prior day at 9:30 AM and they finally picked up the car and dropped off the money at 8:30 the following day. Everyone was happy, the young girl that bought the car through her mom and dad just loved it, she got a great car and Kylie wound up with lot more money than she was even anticipating. I was happy because everyone else was happy and that's something you seldom achieve in the car business.
The following day I have an appointment with the cardiologist and then my plan is to drop off my broken chair frame at my mechanic Paul to weld it. The cardiologist lays me off onto his nurse practicioner which was a pleasant surprise (cute), but she says they want to do an angiogram, which is how I got into this trouble to begin with, so I blew off the idea for a few months anyway and headed West to Paul's. Paul had his usual assortment of junk yard dogs around (none of them had 4 legs either), so I dropped off my frame pleading for a quick job, when Paul told me he was leaving for CA tomorrow, (So much for quick) and it was almost 3 PM, so I headed out.
I'm driving North on the I-17 and traffic is pretty bad, when I realize it's not yet 3 PM, so I can legally use the HOV lane. I'm cruising along and the only car that's hindering things is the DPS car that it directly in front of me, going 10 miles under the limit at 55 MPH. I look down at my watch and notice it's right at 3 PM and make arrangements to move over out of the HOV lane. I do just that, using my signal to execute the lane change. About a minute later, the cop pulls over two lanes and fades back behind me and then over to the left lane to be directly behind me and puts on his flashing lights. Using my turn signals again, I realize that this asshole is pulling ME over. I know by everything that is Holy that I was not speeding and I was out of the HOV lane in a timely way. I cross over 3 lanes in rush hour traffic and now I'm on the shoulder of the freeway and this jerk is right behind me calling in my plate for potential warrants, which I don't have. He approaches my car from the passenger side and tells me to lower my window by using the international sign for "LOWER YOUR WINDOW". I reach over and open the door explaining the window doesn't work.
He's a little guy with blond hair and a lisp and he says to me, "are you familiar with the HOV laws?" I say yes! I show him my iPhone time and it reads 3:03 and we're now 4 lanes over and having a discussion, verifying that I was out of the lane at 3 PM, 3:01 at the latest. He says nothing as he retreats to his car to write me a ticket.
He returns a few minutes later talking about how he's done this big favor for me my only giving me a "warning", otherwise it would have cost me over $400 in fines. If he had given me a ticket, I was already planning on hiring one of OJ's defense team lawyers to represent me in court. I was SEETHING!!!