Selling the old banger

…and no, it is not my mother I’m talking about.  Watch it!

Contrary to our fellow Celtic Tiger victims, we decided that we no longer needed to have two cars.  We had been following each other around by car for a couple of years, going to/from work, and I was getting fed up being stuck in long queues going to work and back home again.  It was outright silly spending more than an hour each way, only covering 10 miles, and park the car in the carpark.  Honestly, that was absolutely ridiculous.  Just imagine my CO2 footprint!  Well that didn’t have anything to do with our decision to sell the old unreliable banger, I jsut wanted to become an Easy Rider.

I was leaving earlier and earlier every morning, just to beat the rushhour traffic, just to be in work on time.  Getting up early wasn’t really a problem, but I refused to leave before 07.00 (am).  The earlier I had to leave, the less time I was spending with my family.  They wouldn’t get up until after 07.00 (am) anyway.

Sitting in the car for over two hours every day drains your soul, and it is limited how many boogers you can find.  I ended talking to myself, having weird arguments about the other drivers and screaming along to the music.  You don’t really care what the other drivers are doing, or if they are watching you, as they are most  likely just as mental as you.  At times I pretended driving under the sea and watching whales going by, only to realise that I had fallen asleep queueing and I stopped the traffic.

The car, an old Renault from ’98, had served its time well, but was starting to give out a bit.  It had stranded me in the weirdest locations waiting for road recovery and visits to the garage were becoming a weekly routine.  I got to know most of the blokes in the local garage at this stage and they had started to join my Facebook page – bummer!  I even became “friends” with the local spare parts dealer and received a loyalty card + discounts.  They robbed me blind, but the car looked great, and they wanted to be my friends!

Decision time approached and one day at lunch I placed an add on the intranet at work, hoping some poor sod would have mercy and buy my wreck.  I found the nicest picture of our car and added it – the old sales trick – and within days I had sparked interest.

A woman contacted me hoping to see the car, as she was interested in buying it, but wanted to make sure it was in mint condition.  Of course it was!

One Saturday morning, she pulled into our driveway and a very tiny and energetic man jumped out, wearing what looked like a tracksuit.  He resembled the Duracell bunny.  I’m no mechanic myself, so I can easily spot a fake mechanic, as he would ask the same silly questions as I would and attempt to look like a pro.

The guy shook my hand with a floppy handshake.  I knew it.  He wasn’t a real mechanic.  He had soft moisturised hands, just like me, revealing years behind a computer in an office.  What a looser.  I would never do that?!

So the wannabe mechanic quickly asked for the key, inspecting it to ensure that it was a key and he unlocked the car.  This is where he took a turn, looking even more foolish, if that was possible.

He began to open and close all the doors, hoping for one of them to fall off, all while looking at me with a silly smile – muppet!  Then he jumped into the driver’s seat and moved the seat forward, only to aggressively push it back again.  The steering wheel got a few pulls as well and the electric windows too.  He reminded me of the animals in the drive-through wildlife parks, when the monkeys attack people’s cars, ripping off windshields wipers, antennas etc.  Bizarre and yet interesting behaviour.
– even the booth got a rectal examination, almost crawling into it to check if the light would come on when it closed.

Now, having seen him inside the car, he surprised me again, when he frantically attacked the wheels, one-by-one, pulling them back and forth while hanging onto the wheels like a smurf (except he wasn’t blue, but covered in oil).  Deep inside I was hoping that he would pull so hard that a wheel actually came off or that the car would flip on top of him, but I wasn’t that lucky.

That wasn’t enough.  He then decided to take the banger for a spin.  He reversed and accelerated furiously out of the driveway, like in the movies, quickly shifting it into 1st gear and driving off.  I was positive that he had stolen the car in broad daylight, if it hadn’t been for the woman who was buying it still standing on the sidewalk next to me.

Here’s the funny bit, we were selling the car for €2000 and it was from 1998.  Not exactly a Porsche or Lexus!  But fair play to the guy for acting the part, testing the car and finally telling the woman it was a good deal.  He even said it was in excellent condition – but that was probably because I gave him all the receipts from the garage, which had as many pages as The Hobbit.
– little did he know that it had broken down only 24 hours earlier.

The buyer gave me the cheque and I gave her the keys.  Actually, she didn’t get the keys until the cheque had cleared.  She picked it up from work and drove into the sunset.  Three days later, she called me asking about the immobilizer, as the car wouldn’t start.  I pretended not to know her and hung up.

Was I nervous about her ringing me to complain?  Of course not.  A deal is a deal, it was her car now, including all the technical problems. 🙂