All Show, No Go

Standard

Pursuing the used car section, I happened upon an ad for an AMG Mercedes for a very good price.  “This would be worth checking into,” I send a message and end up arranging the meet up.

So I travel two hours and, sure enough, there it is black and beautiful, the three pointed star on the hood.  I’m excited.  The interior is immaculate, leather, that perfect German fit and finish.  It was loaded, with all of those features one would expect from a modern luxury vehicle.

“Okay, let’s take it for a spin,” I exclaim, anxious to see how this beast performs on the road.  “Oh, you want to actually drive it?” My host asks.  I wasn’t sure if he was going to throw me the keys or perplexed.  So I answer, “Yeah, I want to see how it runs, could we go around the block?”

“This is a Mercedes Benz C-class sedan,” the response comes, “you either accept what it is or stop wasting my time.”  At this point I’m a little stunned, taking a test drive isn’t that unreasonable.  “I’m serious about this,” I respond, “could we at least start it up, hear how it runs?”

At this point the seller seems to be a little confused.  “The battery is strong,” he says, as reaches for the radio knob, “surround sound,” turning up the volume.  “Oh, that’s great!”  Still trying to maintain my positive demeanor despite my increasing uncertainty, “could I look under the hood?”

“I don’t understand why you’re asking that,” the owner of the car retorts, “are you saying that you’re not satisfied with the heated seats and navigation system?”

“Well, I’m looking for reliable transportation,” I pause, “you know, to get from point A to point B.”  And then add, “the door locks and other doodads certainly matter to me, but I really want to make sure that the drivetrain is solid before I commit to anything.  That’s why I want to see how it drives or at least hear how it runs and look under the hood, can we do that?”

“The body on this car is immaculate, no dents or scratches.  There is not an AMG this pristine, for this price, anywhere.  So are you interested or not?”

“Okay, so here’s what I’m looking for,” I say, becoming more forceful, “I want a fully functional vehicle, something with a solid drivetrain.”  I stop, then add, “I can pay cash, I I just need to be sure that the engine runs well enough and the car can move.”

Now getting red in the face, my counterpart responds angrily, “Oh, I see what this is really about, you’re jealous, you are on the attack against my Mercedes-Benz out of your own feelings of inadequacy, because you couldn’t handle the payments for a car like this!  You make it about the engine and the driveability of the car as an excuse for being unwilling to pay the price for a luxury sedan!”

I laugh, a bit nervously, assuming this man must be joking as bizarre as the rant is and yet not entirely sure that given his serious expression.  “I guess I just thought it was normal,” pausing to think, “to take a test drive and see under the hood.”  And adding, “No offense, but most people are going to want to know this before making a commitment, is there a reason why you’re being so cagey about this?”

“How dare you judge me!”  Comes the retort, and he continues, “Fine, it has no engine, but you’re being so negative!  It’s obvious that you are unable to appreciate the bells and whistles, too completely obsessed with only one small component of what makes a great vehicle, so entirely unsophisticated!”  

At this point, being unable to take the man seriously anymore, I hurry to make my exit without further drama, “Thanks for letting me look, so I’ll let you know if I’m interested.”  As I turn to get in my vehicle and leave he mutters “go to hell.”  

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