May 25, 2020

Buying A New Car . . . by Brendon marks


New car dealers spend a lot of money on advertising. I used to think many of the ideas were pretty silly, but I always knew that no matter how silly the idea was, next week there would be one to top it. I didn’t believe these silly ideas would have any impact upon who would buy which car or when, until a friend told me that he was going to buy a new car.

“What kind?” I asked.

“It really doesn’t matter,” he said, “There’s a dealership down the street that has a giant inflated football helmet out front. That’s really cool.”

“Now wait a minute. Are you telling me that you’d rather buy from a dealer that has a football helmet out front than the one down the road with the big, plastic cactus wearing the Dallas Cowboys helmet?”

“Yep, I don’t care much for Dallas, and I even like the helmet better than the humongous football that’s filled with hydrogen and floats over the car lot.”

“I think it’s probably helium.”


“You know the only reason they have all that stuff is because football season just started. Next week it’ll be gone.”

“Maybe somebody will have one of those giant King Kong’s on top of the showroom. I’d go for that. Or how about one of those guys that flails his arms all over and dances without moving his feet, like my cousin.”

“Are you telling me that you would buy a car based solely on what type of inflatable…thing that they had out front?”

“Heck yes, I’m sure lots of people make up their minds that way. Why else would they keep doing it? I can’t be the only one.”

“You don’t have any preference about how the car looks?”

“Nah, they all look the same anymore.”

“What about color or other features?”

“I’m not too fussy, and they have so many cars, I’m bound to find something I like. And as far as options man, I had a Pinto wagon for three years with one back door that wouldn’t open. If I could get used to that, I can get used to anything. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why they figured we’d put up with minivans with no door on the one side.”

“You could be right about that. If my memory is correct, the one with the helmet is a GMC dealer; I didn’t think GMC made a car.”

“They make an SUV don’t they?”

“Well yeah. Doesn’t everybody?”

“Close enough.”

“I’m not sure too many people pick a car dealer that way. What about that one right next door that has the car sitting out front with all four doors, the hood, and the trunk open? You have to admit that car just sits there screaming ‘Buy me’, right?”

“I don’t like that. It reminds me too much of New York City. Every time I walk by the car I expect to look in and see the seats, airbag, and radio missing.”

“Have you talked to your wife about this?”

“Sure, at first she liked that old cowboy with the saddle on a steer, but when I explained why ‘That ain’t no bull’ she understood the steer’s sad expression and switched to the dealer who has the animals in his TV ads. When I reminded her that she was allergic to cats she changed her mind, and she’s fine with the football helmet.”

“You know that you don’t get the helmet, don’t you.”

“Sure, I know that. Do you think I’m stupid?”

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