Friday, March 20, 2015

Stephen A. Smith, car salesman

“We have two models on the floor today. One is the latest model of the make you’ve come to know and love. Comfortable, fuel-efficient, attractive, safe. And the price is right.”

“Yes, I’m quite impressed. My last four cars have been from this line.”

“Would you say, though, that you’d be open to buying another type of vehicle?”

“Absolutely, if it appealed to me more.”

“Because it’s not a perfect car.”

“No, it isn’t. It sometimes starts rough in cold weather. Every 5,000 miles, it’s another oil change. And one time I left a turkey sandwich in the back seat for a week and it smelled bad for a while after that.”

“Right, you’d think the manufacturer would do something about those things.”

“Well, some things are unavoidable.”

“Nevertheless, I humbly ask you to keep an open mind.”

“Sure thing.”

“Let me introduce you to this beauty of a beast!”

“It looks like a tank.”

“Yes, it does have a martial veneer to it.”

“It’s already rusting and dripping oil.”

“That’s to keep you from worrying about such things later.”

“The tires look stapled on.”

“They are.”

“Are those … jowls?”

“Standard equipment. And they sag more and more as time goes by. Six months from now, they’ll be scraping the pavement.”

“Says here this boat gets three miles per gallon. Highway.”

“That’s without the optional stack. You’ll roll so much coal with that, that you can blind both the Prius and yourself!”

“That sounds extraordinarily dangerous.”

“Dangerous? What are you, a namby-pamby?”

“I’m just saying, I have kids, and — wait, are those sharp spikes on the seats?!!”

“Yes. You can upgrade to not having spikes, but that’ll cost you.”

“I see. Well, obviously this car is a no-go.”


“It’s ugly and impractical.”

“Don’t believe the stereotypes.”

“Also, I’ve been hit by one three times.”

“It comes with a rebate.”

“Well … OK, let me think about it.”

“Don’t think! You should buy this car. Everyone should.”


“Because it would send a message to the other car company that they can’t get soft.”

“Huh. I never, ever saw it that way before.”

“Also, I make more of a commission if I sell this car. Have you thought about that?”

“No, I guess I’ve been selfish in what I buy for myself.”

“Damn right. It’s about time you start thinking of others. Like me.”

“I still don’t know, though. That one car offers so much of what I want.”

“But it doesn’t offer everything you want.”

“This one offers nothing I want. In fact, it introduces so many more problems that could hurt me down the road, that really, it offers negative benefits.”

“Well, don’t you think maybe having so much of what you want is making you slack off as a driver?”

“I really don’t see it that way. I chose that car, after all. It didn’t choose me.”

“What are you, a puppet? Do you know what this tank’s maker did for America? It started the industry! Fifty years ago, it was a dynamo, while that fruitcake car company that coddles you was just starting out. Think about that.”

“But now that fledgling company is on top and the other company is living off its past glory despite adopting an all-new philosophy in the ’80s that repudiated everything that made it good in the first place.”

“Stop living in the present.”

“I am not buying this tank.”

“You should take the tank precisely because it’s not what you want.”


“Because you are a misled sheep snookered by a car company that hooks you by offering you cars you like. This would send a message that you aren’t afraid to make bold moves, no matter how reckless. That’s your right as an American!”

“Your regard of my intelligence is insulting. I’m not a sheep by buying a car I like. In fact, I’d only become a sheep if I did the ridiculous, self-defeating thing you’re asking me to do.”

“Think for yourself! I demand it!”

“Any defiant thrill I get from buying this tank will evaporate the moment I realize I have to handle this albatross on a daily basis from now on.”

“That’s an epiphany most people have on the drive home, when it’s too late.”

“I’m glad I thought of it now.”

“Stop thinking.”

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