Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Flakes, you know you've gata love 'em, in all their nutty variety. Flakes, and I'm taking people flakes not cereal flakes, drive me crazy. People flakes are a lot like cereal flakes now that I think about it. They are light, not very filling, and just take up room in the box. In the words of Paul McCartney: "Where DO they all come from?"

Like the man and wife team I met last weekend. They called from two hours away and wanted to look at the car. I met them Saturday afternoon. Seemed nice enough but they'd been in an argument on the way. Their tempers had ignited about a traffic jam I think they said, they looked frayed.

Bob was checking out the car and and asked all kinds of questions. Meanwhile Mary, or whatever her name was, pawed through the repair records I brought in a manila folder.

I asked them if they knew much about Boxsters. "No" they lied in unison. Later I discovered they have been looking at Boxsters for two years.

Since the car has just two seats, and I wasn't about to send a strange couple on their way alone, I took Bob for a drive first. I let him drive through some twisties and we returned for Mary's turn.

She'd been drinking a bit. Maybe to dull the memory of the argument I don't know. I debated letting her drive but I really wanted to sell the car.

I drove her to a less traveled road and let her drive me through the turns. I saw my life flash before me when she took the turns hard. I was glad to get back behind the wheel.

We made a deal and they were going to call and confirm within two hours one way or the other. I waited but never heard from them again.

Until two DAYS later.

"Car still for sale?" Bob asked in a friendly way.

"Sure. Are you still interested? I thought you folks were going to call me in a couple of hours?"

"We were? Oh, didn't realize that. I'm sorry for the mixup. You know you said you'd be willing to drive the car half way. Are you still in agreement with that?"

"Yeah, sure." I said. I'm a man of my word. If I say something, I tend to follow through.

"One other thing. Would you have the oil changed too?"

"Sure. How did you want me to handle the cost?"

"I want you to do it before I pick it up. You pay."

"Bob. I'm willing to deliver the car to you and have agreed to a price you and I shook hands on just two days ago. The car doesn't need an oil change for another 3,000 miles."

"But I'm concerned about the high mileage and want to make sure it's ready to drive."

Send me the money and find out. No, I didn't say that. Instead I said: "Bob, I'm willing to deliver the car as promised. I'd be willing to have the oil changed instead. But I'm not willing to do both. You choose what you want."

"I'd like to have the oil changed then. I'll come pick up the car."

And so it ended. I put the wheels in motion to pay off the car after I received his deposit of $200. I got a check in the mail two days later and deposited it into my bank. Then he called again on a Friday evening.

"Hi, Dave, is there any chance that I can pick up the car this weekend?"

"Sure, just bring the cash. I'll send you the title when it clears."

"Well, I have the money in the bank. Would you take a personal check?"

"Ah, no, Bob, I won't." I like to have dollars in my hand if someone drives off with my car and parks it two hours away. It's kind of a insecurity thing I have I guess.

Is this guy for real?

"Well, then that means I'd have to pick it up next week? Next weekend is Father's Day!"

"Great, consider it a gift to yourself then."

"No, but I'm divorced and I have only that weekend to visit my kids. I can't come next weekend. I've been looking at Boxsters for two years. That will mean another week before I get it."

"Then what's a couple more weeks. It's parked in the garage, it will have new oil in it, and I'll even clean it up for you. It'll be all ready for you the week after next. Ready to go."

"Would you consider letting me back out of this deal? Can you send me my check back?"

What a flake.

He was a few flakes short of a full box. - Dave Terry