An Arm and A Child

“4 billion! But wait, you also get a radio with that price.  Come on, gurl, let’s go get your car.”

“Lint.  We will give you the lint in my belly button for the car.”

Haley and I are playing hardball.  We seem to be a pretty far away from each other in terms of price, her billions to my offers of the lint in my pocket and a kiss on the cheek.  But this is how you buy a car, this is the expected dance.  Two peacocks strutting around showing their feathers until one of us gets fucked.

“I can’t do the lint, but how about we talk about what I can do.  I can do the cost of the Louisiana purchase in today's value and how about I throw in something meaningless about the undercarriage.”  Nobody knows what the undercarriage is.  It’s a bullshit term car salesman invented just so that the could offer it for free.

“That’s still a bit out of our price range,” I tell Haley.  “I’ll give you some quality Llama fur and then call your mom for you on Tuesday’s to let her know that you are doing swell.”   My mother in law is buying a new car, go grandma, and I”m just here to help out a little bit.  I feel this is going well and I”m about to offer a used napkin to sweeten the pot before she cuts me off.

“I like Llamas.  Who doesn’t like Llamas?  But Llamas don’t ride like this sweet piece of foreign made machinery.  You know what I heard?  I heard that Jesus was conceived right in that backseat.  True story, saw it myself.  So how about we take the Llama and add the weight of Everest in Gold.  I’ll even throw in the steering wheel for free.  FOR FREE!”  Haley is on a roll.  She gives me her shrewd eyes, the challenge in them is obvious.

“I like steering wheels but Everest is a little steep, don’t you think?  Why don’t you come down a bit.  Say around to basecamp where there is a 1920’s coffee maker waiting for you.  I’ll give you that plus one coffee bean.”  This is called haggling.  I’m really good at it, promise.  I once got a car salesman to come down 100 dollars.  All on my own.  I earned my big boy pants that day.

“Well, at least we are near Everest.  So we got a coffee bean, a Llama, the coffee maker and a steering wheel.  That’s not going to do it though.  I need more to sell this deal to my bosses.”  Pssht, she doesn’t need more to sell to her bosses.  These negotiations haven’t even started until she has gone back to her “bosses” 25 times.

“And a radio,” I tell her.  She tried to trick me there.  I got it.  I’m helping!

“And a radio,” she confirms although I can tell she is not happy that I remembered.  “Let’s split the difference and you give me your child.”

“Which one?” I say.

“You have more than one!”  She gets a little too excited at that.  I might have offered a little too much so I back peddle.

“They are more my wife’s than mine.  And they are pretty beat up, little resale value and require constant maintenance.  You don’t want that.  But you do want a look at the gun show without the shirt on, am I right, Haley, bubbie.  This gut under this shirt is covered in a thick black hair and I haven’t showered in like two days.  I’ll give you that sweet, sweet musk for free.  Free, Haley!”

She went and got her boss.  Or she got a little sick and needed to go to the bathroom.  I didn’t care, I’m breezy.  It’s just another move in the chess match of car buying.  Eventually, when I”m close to dehydration, the bossman comes out and Haley stands at his side as his standard bearer.  The negotiations continue for another 25 hours.

Empires are made and discarded, health care is fixed and then screwed up again.  We go over the political importance of the Roman system of government in the early 2nd century.  I may have blacked out a couple of times in there somewhere.

Eventually, both of us exhausted, we stand.  A respect has been earned on both sides.  We have lost family members during this ordeal and apparently, there has been a coup in the U.S.  None of it matters, a deal has been reached.  We shake hands and they go to draw up the paperwork.

“How did you do?” my mother in law asks me.

“I got you floor mats.  For no additional charge.”  I stop to let her bask in my business abilities while performing business.

“They come standard on the car, we already had them.”

“But I got them installed.”  Bam!  I’m like a superhero sometimes.  As I walk away from my mother in law and her new car I shoot Haley a grin.  Today was mine Haley but perhaps tomorrow will be yours.

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