Your town in Maine has a few local car dealerships.
Most of the community knows each other. And one vehicle showroom gets a visit from a lady who is looking for the cracker jack star salesman. That just left five minutes ago to bee line to lunch.
She announces she has the cash. Wants to test drive that red Buick. Is ready to buy today. She tells the others in the dealership Zeke called her this morning. Said “come on down” today to take a spin.
He’ll be working up the papers. To put the deal through to not hold her up.
So here are the keys, knock yourself out, put your next car you’re buying through her paces.
The place is busy. Sounds like a sale is in the wind and the lady slides behind the wheel. Heads out for a test drive. Several hours later, someone says hey, that lady never returned. Zeke did though. But scratching his head. Not sure who the lady is that he supposedly called earlier today to invite up to kick some tires.
The Maine state police Troop F gets a jingle. Good news or bad news first? Which do you want? Well, found your vehicle, the lady too that has no license, zip for insurance. But the real bad news is no one is going to be buying it, it’s totaled. Played bumper car with some guard rails in Mars Hill Maine and the police let the dealership know the lady has a reputation, habit of telling the same tall tale. You are not the first to give her a set of keys to take a joy ride. To drive off into the sunset. Never to return. The dealership “ate” that demolition derby like, racked car unit.
Or a call comes in from a local homeowner who asks the Maine oil company how much of a discount can I get if I buy 2000 gallons?
Let’s cut to the case. Not a puny minimum 100 gallon nickel and dime transaction. Looking for a deal. Gives impression I will be taking that much. Have a 2000 gallon buried tank, time to fill up. So the pencil is sharpened, the figures are massaged and voila, this much off if you buy that bulk oil gallonage.
Send up the truck for the first installment load, 200 gallons to this address. Fill pipe is on the driveway side of the home by the tiger lilies. The owner says never mind on automatic fill up. (He dug up the buried 2000 gallon tank a dozen years ago.) And I burn a little wood. Will ring you up when needing the rest of the Texas tea. Never calls back for any more oil. Does not ding ding ding guzzle up the other 1800 gallons as promised to get the near rack price discount. That first, last, only oil truck load will last a couple years. Where wood is the primary heat source now in the Maine home.
Back to the car dealership, one of many in the small Maine town trying to eek out a living selling more units.
The lady of the house announces honey, let’s take a ride to Bangor two hours away. And instead of saddling up, cinching the girth on the family sedan in the yard, let’s go up to Cracker Jack Auto dealership. Tell them we are ready to buy, want to test drive that swanky Darth Vader black Mercury with all the bells and whistles. The husband says we are? She smiles. He gets her drift. Kids are watching and learning too.
It’s a picture perfect nice day and that Mercury one step down from a Lincoln. Comfortable, spit polished leather seats, premium sound system and moon roof open wide would make an excellent car to take to get out of town for the day. To impress her sister living in Bucksport Maine she plans to try to make drool over the car she has no intention of buying, can not afford. And it has more room for the four kids to stretch their legs. To hide the happy meal wrappers, garbage stuffed under the seats. Way cleaner, better smelling their their old worn out ride with bad tires.
When picked up is full of gas. When the car returns over four hundred miles later, she’s parched, bone dry.
Rolls in on vapors. And a quick “guess not, don’t like the way it handles” said snarkily without eye contact happens. As the keys get thrown on the front desk. The Mrs. leaves in a huff. Acting disappointed, annoyed like she is in no mood for questioning. But secretly with no notion in the least of ever being in the market for a new car. Which they told the dealership salesman when the whole family crammed in. It was picked up as soon as the dealership opened. Returned as the place is shutting off the lights. Everyone working there is putting on their coats.
When you would never do something, it does not always show up on radar, get felt down in your gut that someone else is about to pull a fast one. Who is thinking you never know what you can get away with until you try. We’re trusting, kind, considerate and want to help. Make things easy. To not be difficult or insinuate, announce that something smells, is rotten and devious about to take place. To stop it. But small towns in Maine, anywhere are places where the same stunt is not pulled again. People talk. But there are other dealerships to try your luck at if you are so inclined to horse around.