Watching for hustlers

Posted: January 4, 2006 in Uncategorized
I couldn’t get anything on a trade-in for my old Nissan P/U when I bought my new Taco, so I decided to do a private sale. Hell, the Outlaw II rims with mounted Cooper Cobras alone are worth more than what they would give me! Plus, I just had $1200 of work done on the engine 5K miles ago! So I placed an ad in the corporate newsletter Monday evening, hoping somebody would bite.
 
The first clue: the hustler called me at 7:30 the next morning. <c3po>How rude!</c3po> Thank gawd I had turned off my phone the night before. Considering his foreign accent, I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he just didn’t understand that you don’t call somebody while they still might be asleep…especially if it’s extremely well known throughout the world that the people in that particular newsletter often start work late. So I hear the voicemail after powering my phone and call him just before I leave for work.
 
He sez he’s new to the area, and needs to buy a vehicle TODAY. He came across like such a n00b. He insisted I drive to downtown Kirkland to show him the truck…NOW. Hell-ohhh, I have to go to work. He knew that, I said it at the beginning of the convo. And he can’t get to campus, cuz he has no transportation (considering the accent, I thought he may have taken a bus at least ONCE in his life…). OK, I’m being prejudice at this point, sorry. We agree to meet that evening…but I had a weird feeling, and didn’t want to do a deal in the dark of night, so I canceled at the last minute. So we agree to meet the next morning at Starbucks in Park Plaza.
 
I call and get his voicemail as I’m heading to Kirkland that morning…leave message. I arrive at 9AM and call again…leave message. I grab a white choco mocha, wait a few minutes more, call again…leave message that I’m gone in five minutes. He calls me at work on my land line an hour later asking why I didn’t hook up with him that morning…huh? Claims something must be wrong with his phone, then asks if I will drive to Kirkland NOW. Hell-ohhh, I’m at work. Take the friggin bus to me. No, he doesn’t know the area, he’s new here, doesn’t know the bus scheds, etc…but wait! He has a bike, he can ride it up and meet me at the convenience store that he knows is on the corner of 51st and 148th, just a couple of blocks away from me, 15 minutes from now.
 
Hmmmm. Doesn’t know the area, but knows the area exactly? Including street numbers? And he’s gonna ride a bike from Kirkland in 15 minutes? What, am I dealing with Lee Majors? Or is he gonna show up out of breath and unable to walk?
 
So I reluctantly agree to go the the convenience store. He’s standing there, I get out to greet him, and look at the bike rack…no bikes. A quick scan of the area results in no bikes to be seen anywhere. He immediately wants to drive…what, he doesn’t want to give the truck a once-over first? Well, he noticed the studded snow tires, and said, "Aren’t those illegal? I got a ticket because of those once." Duh, they’re only illegal after April 1st…this is January 4th. I point out that this is why I’m including the Outlaws/Cobras in the deal…just unscrew the bolts and swap them according to the calendar! But he repeatedly insists he doesn’t want the wheels/tires included in the deal! Then he repeatedly bitches that he would still have to buy new tires, and he "would need to buy matching tires".
 
So we get in, and I tell him not to depress the gas pedal, just the clutch and start…oh, he brags that he already knows this, he used to own a truck exactly like mine, and just recently sold it. Hmmm…why did he sell it when he "desperately" needed a vehicle? I didn’t ask. At this point, I already figured out who this guy was.
 
He pulls out, hits my tranny hard, and I think we’re heading for the freeway entrance…nope, he suddenly turns at the street corner at Nintendo and heads down a 25MPH doing 35, and still riding my tranny hard…he even down-shifted into first gear before the vehicle was below 10MPH…what an a$$hole! Then he pulls over after another two blocks, pops the hood and jumps out to check out the engine. He’s asking about a timing belt…he doesn’t see one, do I have one? Hell-ohhh, he once owned a truck just like this one (or so he said…). Then he sez it’s obvious I have a timing chain, and those blow out after 170K…have I had it replaced yet? God no, there’s nothing wrong, I just had a 30K maintenance by the dealership 5K ago, everything is fine, and I’m WAY beyond 170K…no blow-out, clean bill of health. He insists it must be replaced…will I do it before he buys the truck? In my mind, "Are you fvcking nutz?" Out of my mouth, a very polite "no".
 
"Do you mean, no, you won’t replace it?". In my mind, "What part of ‘no’ is a foreign language to you?" Out of my mouth was a very polite "Yeah, that’s what I meant". He was then stupid enough to ask again. Of course, he said it would be a great financial burden for him to pay me what I want for the truck, and then immediately HAVE to get the timing chain replaced. Which set the stage for…
 
THE OFFER. Oh yes, chillun, after the short ride back to the convenience store he was going to give me a generous offer of HALF of what I was asking for the truck. No Outlaws/Cobras of course, I could make more money selling those separately!!! What a favor he was doing me! (like, I really want to deal with that scenario). Oh, and he was also gonna have to spend money on new tires, of course. He insisted he was just being honest, looking out for what MUST be fixed in the truck, and being fair to BOTH of us. When was the last time I heard lines like these…? Oh, that’s right…from some smarmy used-car salesman with salamander breath. He didn’t quit with the pressure, either…he even pulled a once-folded wad of 100’s out of his front pocket that was nearly an inch thick to flash them, just to "show" me he was "serious" about buying a vehicle TODAY…as if that was a NEW trick. Was he blind? Look at me…long-ass hair, wearing leather, and this moron flashes a wad of hundreds? Is he mental? And he insisted he could help me get rid of "my headache", cuz nobody likes spending a lot of time and energy selling an old, used vehicle, and then end up accepting much less money for it anyway.
 
After the scenarios of "what’s your lowest price", etc, he still layed it on thick. Walking away from my truck (finally…) he suddenly turns around and puts on his best "I’m doing you a favor" face and gives me his final offer of just another $200 over his original offer. "Take it now, and I’ll take this headache off your hands". Even after 16 years, the truck has never been a headache, arsehole. Me, just being polite, I said a couple of other people are interested in looking at it (which was true) and if he’s still interested later to give me a call. First thing out of his mouth is, "well, you have my number, call me". Obviously blind *and* deaf.
 
He got on his bike and rode away. Oh, did I mention his bike was a late-90’s 5-series?
 
No, sweet chillun, the story doesn’t end there. He called three times between 4:30 and 5. Each time I saw his ID, I thought, "Eat voicemail, arsehole". He didn’t leave any, tho’. But he didn’t call again after that…perhaps he finally realized I wasn’t as stupid as he hoped I was.
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