My darling--the love of my life--Betty (the 1968 Chevy truck I drive) required a spa day a couple of days ago because her front tire was going to fall off.
While waiting at Stampede Pontiac GMC I found myself wandering the halls while the mechanics counted how many nuts and bolts she had discarded on the highways and biways of Alberta, and I happened to make a fast friend in one of their self-described "crack salesmen". The way he was behaving, I first thought he meant crack cocaine; he actually meant crack in terms more akin to the A-Team--a crack squad--successful, without rules.
I hate talking to salesmen who fly into their automated pitch, and this guy was at full boil when I turned him to simmer by saying:
B- "Hey, pal, I drive a 1968 Chev truck, everyday. You haven't got one thing on this whole lot half as cool as that--so I think I'll likely stick with what I got."
In the background, I was sure I heard Betty's anti-sway bar drop to the floor with a clangclangclang.
So instead, this young man decided to give me an education on the ins-and-outs of car sales. To him, all customers in Calgary who were over 50 fell into one of three categories: those who listen to Neil Diamond; those who listen to Kenny Rogers; and those who listen to Johnny Cash. He told me that if he could figure out which one they preferred, he could sell them a car. I then got tricky and asked him:
B- "What if they like all three? What do you sell them then?"
S- ". . . I just have to figure out if they like one of them."
B- ". . . oh. . . you can likely tell if some old gal's into Neil Diamond if her panties are hanging on the rearview mirror. Ha ha ha!"
S- "Yeah. It's a bit harder then that."
B- ". . . ha ha. . . I. . . was mostly kidding."
This near-humourless dude then went on to describe the nuances of two different Slayer concerts he went to 20 years apart. How did he get into this conversation?
S- "You look like a guy whose into metal! You like Slayer?"
No shit--I was in a cardigan. I had a feeling that anyone under 50 fell into one of three categories for him: those who listen to Aerosmith; those who listen to Debbie Gibson; and those who listened to Slayer. For some reason, he took me to be the latter.