austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

In forty years I'll be retired

So my sales guy in his neighbor's cubicle (the cubicle shortage thing is part of the script, right, along with nobody having their own business cards? It can't be this much coincidence) got to work, establishing that he couldn't find the car I meant to buy in the inventory. He talked with someone and found it again. And he asked me to fill out an application form with stuff like my name, my employer's identity, and so on. I didn't have my insurance card since mine was left in the dead Sable, but I did have a letter from the insurers on some miscellaneous other business and that included the number. He tried to call my insurance company, too, but initially had problems using his `code' on the phone system concept that they have now, until the guy whose cubicle he was using had him try again. So he did call my insurance company, to get a temporary coverage letter, and I had the chance to talk with someone at the insurers and figure out what kind of deductible I needed now that there was something worth deducting. Meanwhile my mother got to wondering if the guy was new at this particular dealership.

As things progressed various people came in and out with things for me to sign, and suggesting to my father that they could find a chair for him if he'd like to sit down. He didn't want to sit down. I was beginning to remark to my parents about how this was proving to be a lot less quirky than their car-buying experience here had been, and I wondered if they still had the same decorative balloons that they did last time, when we did establish that they were routinely drained and re-filled for continuing freshness. And then my sales guy came back in and told me it was time to pop a balloon.

I'm not a natural balloon popper, since it seems pointlessly destructive to me, but apparently the gimmick they now have is the customer pops a balloon, which has some kind of prize inside. There were a lot of balloons in the showroom, but he clarified it was to be a balloon tied to one of the show cars, a rather smaller set. He didn't give me any kind of pin or other balloon-popping implement, suggesting I just do it by hand, which again is not a normal part of my lifestyle. I picked the nearest one and started squeezing, which wasn't working all that swiftly and got me wondering if I even knew how to pop a balloon. I also worried about eye protection because, yes, I'm the sort of person who worries about the potential for eye injuries in popping a balloon.

Well, it popped, and nobody was injured even temporarily. And inside was ... the lingering feeling that there was supposed to be something inside, right? There wasn't anything obviously on the car or on the floor except rubber fragments and we started examining each. The sales guy eventually found the nozzle part and the curled-up scrap of paper which promised not what I would have wished for (ten thousand dollars in vouchers), but ... pinstripes. My car's preparation and delivery would include a touch more styling.

Trivia: The 61st article of the Magna Carta provided that the barons of England were to choose 25 of themselves, who would be empowered to seize castles, lands, and possessions from the crown in order to make amends for any injustice that the King of England had, in the committee's opinion, made. Source: 1215: The Year Of Magna Carta, Danny Danziger. (I'm still curious just when the `h' got dropped out of ``Magna Charta''.)

Currently Reading: Extraterrestrial Civilizations, Isaac Asimov.


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