Photo by Cheryl Oreglia
Is Santa Drunk
I accuse Larry with a little bit of attitude, “You woke me up at 3:00 am, I tossed around all night.”
“I remembered I had to transfer some money.”
“At 3:00 am?”
“Better late than never.”
“And then you said we were going to wake me up at 6:00 am and it’s only 5:00 am.”
“Hello, it’s not Christmas.”
“It’s still dark.”
“Let’s get going.”
God As My Witness
Here’s the truth, never mind what he tells you, I’ve got the inside scoop.
Larry’s been hankering for a new truck for months, I mean as soon as we got the tandem bike, the only thing I see on his computer screen as I travel from kitchen to laundry room is trucks! Yes, I have a Cinderella complex, because I can be whatever I want to be.
The problem is when Larry wants something, Larry is going to get something, come hell or high water. If you pulled off his toenails one at a time, he would still say this isn’t true, this my friend, is self-deception at its finest.
As you know the value of used cars has skyrocketed recently most likely due to the chip shortage leaving new cars stalled on production lines across America. Larry has calculated the net worth of two of his old cars and with ADDITIONAL FUNDS, that’s key, he can get the truck of his dreams.
Like I said, if you need a truck, for goodness sake, find one that fits, because size matters.
I want to find sleep, nothing excessive, just two hours straight.
It just so happens the truck Larry wants is in Reno, as in Reno Nevada, four hours away in the best of traffic, and might I mention the price of gas?
And he wants his sleep-deprived wife to drive because he has to work. There might not be enough coffee in the world but I’m going to find out.
A Sanfu Of Epic Proportions
Rolling down Highway 80, I have to say when we hit the snow line it’s rather beautiful, and the honest truth, there is no prettier scenery than the Sierras covered in snow. I’m charmed but I have to go to the bathroom something fierce and that is distracting as hell.
Halfway there we pull off the highway to fill up both the car, and my coffee mug, but the bathroom is out of order and there is no coffee. Are you kidding? I should have worn a diaper and brought a thermos. Larry’s in a mild state of panic, he doesn’t want to miss his appointment, have the damn truck of his dreams sold out from under him, and then we just drove 250 miles in the middle of the night for nothing.
For weeks Larry has been quibbling with some sales guy over the price of this particular truck, while simultaneously bartering over the price he wants for his trade-in. If you happened to miss last week’s blog (no shame ~ much) I mentioned his decision not to sell his old truck to a local service that offered him more than this dealership in RENO, NEVADA, of all places.
Larry is a mystery of epic proportions, I’m sure he has his reasons, but they’re not reasonable.
We arrive at the dealership right on time, 10:00 am sharp, and I make a beeline for the lady’s room. All I can say is the relief is real, except for the party in the next stall, she’s not dealing with number one if you get my drift. She must have eaten an entire cow last night? I exit quickly, holding my breath as I wash my hands.
In the meantime, a young man named Donovan (love that name) approaches Larry and asks if he can help. To give you a complete picture, Donovan is missing half of one arm, his coat is pushed up so the stump is visible, he’s maybe in his early thirties, dressed in slacks and a dark blue jacket, sporting a Yankees-Brooklyn New Era “dueling” baseball cap. Not sure that’s a good sign?
Larry says, “I have an appointment with Dave at 10:00 am to see a truck we’ve been discussing.”
Donovan says, “Dave’s not here (reminds me of that Cheech and Chong clip ~ hysterical).
“We have an appointment?” He’s holding up the appointment reminder on his phone as if that has any bearing on our current reality.
Donovan smiles, holds out his one hand in resignation, and says, “Well, Dave’s not here today, he must have thought Lance would be able to show you around, he’s Dave’s assistant, but unfortunately Lance is off today too. What truck did you want to see? I’d be happy to show you.”
Larry runs a hand across his brow, he says, “It is a white, four-door, F150, platinum.”
“I know the one, it’s not here either. Can I show you another one that is similar?”
Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?
Larry’s body language alone is enough to send half the sales guys scampering under their desks for cover.
I’m just returning from the bathroom at this inopportune moment, and as bad as that latrine was, I wish I stayed.
“There are ingrained features behind people’s propensity for being unduly influenced or manipulated by their emotions…primal in origin, necessary for survival…” SoundEagle [link to post]
Larry laments loudly, coarsely, and precisely. As not to traumatize you, I’ll leave the exact verbiage to your imagination, and finally, he says, “Cheryl, get in the car, we’re going home.”
You Can’t Make This Shit Up
Poor Donovan, he’s sweating and it’s only 30 degrees out, he says, “if you give me a few minutes I’ll find that truck and bring it back, but in the meantime, you can look at a similar version and check out the features. Does that work for you?”
If you want to rile my husband all you have to do is show up late for an appointment. If you want to really piss him off, don’t show up at all. If you want trouble with a capital T, hide the object of his desire, and watch the axes of the world actually shift.
By the grace of God, Larry agrees, begrudgingly (meaning he is not his normal warm and fuzzy self). I’m giving him the look, which he totally ignores, and we follow Donny (as he likes to be called) across the lot to a like version. He leaves us with an open truck to explore the features while he tries to figure out where the hell the other truck is.
I’m sure Donny is rueing his decision to come to work today.
Larry is incredulous, he’s talking to himself, muttering obscenities as if a drunken sailor. I’m sure my Mother is blushing from a safe distance.
I choose to purposely silence every one of my thoughts as they are far too scorching and clearly will not aid the situation.
Long story short, our hero Donny somehow found the truck at the airport (five miles away), the GM had caught a flight out this morning and left the truck in the long-term parking lot. I can’t wait until that guy gets back in town and discovers his ride is missing.
Donny and another sales guy drove around the parking lot pressing the fob until the truck sounded its horn.
Donny pulls into the parking lot, all out of breath, holding up the keys, and says, “take her out for a drive, as long as you want, I just need a copy of your license.” I’m about to offer myself as collateral, but I can see Larry’s humor has soured, it’s as if I’m clairvoyant.
Larry takes this leisurely stroll around the truck, kicking the tires as he goes, when he finishes circling his prey, he takes the keys from Donny’s one hand, and says, “I’ll be back,” Arnold Swarnegar style.
Drama much? Donny is praying the tank is full and we stay out all day.
This truck is huge, you have to use the stair that pops out when you open the door, and climb up as if trying to get to the top of a jungle gym. It must be a guy thing? If they wore high heels and dresses there would be a lift.
Larry drove around town gunning the engine, jumped on the freeway, discovered this truck has some kick to it and a nice set of speakers. He’s satisfied. This truck is a good fit, like I said at the onset, not that Larry’s a boob, or anything, it’s just a metaphor.
By the time we pull back into the car lot, Larry’s blood pressure has returned to normal, and he’s ready to negotiate. I’m ready for a Bloody Mary and a couple of Xanax. It’s everything he wants, and more (I’ll tell you about that later) and all we have to do is settle on a price.
I’d rather have a crown put in my back tooth but that’s just me.
Did I Remember Deorderant
We find ourselves seated in the front showroom, the dealership is crowded with buyers, just about every desk has groups of nervous-looking clients and smiling sales guys all wearing the same jacket. People are rushing back and forth from their desks to the offices with important-looking papers. As if a beehive, it’s a swarm of activity and I believe we’re about to get stung.
Larry is the epitome of calm and calculating. I’m obsessed with their espresso machine, it’s free and the coffee is worthy. Currently, I’ve enjoyed two lattes, and a mocha, I’m a little shaky, but fully functional.
While Donny types our information into the computer, Larry says, “Are you typing with both your hand and stump?” I’m not kidding. Mortified, I choke on my coffee and pretend there is something dire on my phone that needs my attention.
Is it hot in here?
Now Donny is one smooth cat, I’m sure he’s used to these sorts of observations, he says, “I am, I’ve developed my own style, but it works.”
Larry says, “it sure does.”
While Donny continues to gather our information, asking about income, residence, and where we want to register the truck, Larry asks him how long he’s been selling cars.
Donny says, “about three years, I’ve been doing really well, I’m in between chemo treatments for cancer right now, so I work when I feel good, and rest when I can’t. The dealership has been good to me.”
OMG, he has one arm, and cancer!
Larry says, “Is that how you lost your arm? A Dravecky sort of thing?” I quickly look up Dravecky on my phone (linked it for you, you’re welcome), and now all I want to do is slither out of the showroom and run to the nearest bar.
Donny looks up at Larry, he says, “no, not that way.”
Larry says, “You know Dravecky? You might be too young.”
Suddenly, I’m sweating profusely.
“I know of him,” he holds up his stump, and says, “I was born this way, bad luck twice, but I beat the cancer, just finishing up the treatments.”
My hand is aching to slap my husband silly.
“Well, I wish you luck.”
There are brief amounts of back and forth negotiations, I’m impressed with the efficiency, but when Donny comes back with the final offer, it’s not to Larry’s liking, and you can probably guess what comes next.
Larry says, “No, this won’t work, sorry, but I can’t leave that much money on the table, Donny. I’ll take my car home, sell it myself, and check back on the truck next week. Come on Cheryl, let’s go.”
If you could just send me a postcard with this message in bold so I don’t forget. I’m never, ever coming with Larry to buy a car again, not even if it’s a convertible Jaguar, and he’s buying it for me!
I gather my things, smile at Donny, thank him for his help, shake his one hand, and catch up to Larry, who is already across the showroom, holding the door open for me.
It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Lady Sings
We saunter over to our car, I’m like, “What the hell is wrong with you? Asking him if he types with his stump? Walking away over less than a thousand dollars. I got up at 5:00 am, I didn’t shower, I’m hungry, tired, and…
He hisses at me through clenched teeth, “Be quiet, here he comes.”
I thought they would have said don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out buddy, I did, but they did forget about his appointment, and the truck was missing from the lot after we drove four hours. I think Donny feels sorry for Larry. Which is a first.
I turn around and there’s Donny, smiling, calm, he says, “I can go up another thousand on the trade-in. Does that work for you.”
Larry acts like he has to think about it, and finally says, “Cheryl, what do you think?”
Flabbergasted he won’t say yes himself, as if I’ve ever had any authority over what he would and would not do. I’ve had half a mind to say absolutely not, let’s go home, it’s not good enough, and then watch Larry scramble to save the deal. Bahaha.
Instead, I glance over at Donny, looking ever so hopeful, and I say, “absolutely, it’s more than fair.” Did Larry raise his brow at me?
Everyone’s happy, except me, I just want a hot shower, some food, and sleep.
Hours later, after I’ve taken on the shape of the orange plastic chair I’ve been sitting in for what seems the better part of my life, our loan is approved, the papers are signed, our trade-in is emptied, the new truck is detailed, we’ve handed over a cashiers check, traded fobs, and the truck is ours.
Rumi Scores Again
I make one last coffee for the road.
Okay, the best news ever, the seats have a massage feature, I’m not kidding. All the way home my butt and back enjoy a relaxing massage, with the seat warmers on, and the sunroof open to the stars. Larry even stops at JimBoy’s Taco to feed his hungry wife.
Here’s Larry’s lesson from Rumi, welcome the unexpected, because that missing truck was the sweep we needed to clear the way for a better deal, and what is more delightful than an unexpected, four-hour massage.
I’m Living in the Gap, with my Pick Up Man, join me in the comments. What have you picked up lately?