3.24.1993

Samson came back into town from Cal Poly on his spring break. Sunday afternoon I happened to be over at my parents house. Dad was in the basement building another classical guitar. I heard the door from the kitchen to the garage open and close, then someone walking downstairs. I didn’t think anything of it at the time because it must have been my sister Brandy, or dad. Turned out it was Samson. He let himself in.

It was good to see him. We hadn’t written to each other in a while so we spent some time yapping and getting caught up. I keep most of my personal correspondence in an old metal two drawer filing cabinet and Samson’s letters are some of my favorites. As Samson and I were getting all caught up he mentioned he wanted my help in finding him a new car. We planned to start car shopping Monday morning at ten.

On Monday morning we met up and headed out car hunting. Samson was interested in Pontiacs, Buicks, and Oldsmobiles in the 1978 to 1985 range. Those are all pretty worthless in my opinion but hey, it wasn’t going to be my next ride. We checked out one Oldsmobile that was owned by a singing telegram broad. She came out to meet us when we got to where she lived and she wouldn’t stop talking. I thought to myself that if I had to live with a woman like that I would go insane. She talked in a loud tone of voice, very quickly, and continuously interrupted us when we were trying to ask questions. The car wasn’t in very good shape.

Just what exactly Samson was looking for in his next car wasn’t clear to me. He wanted something big with power, but got good gas mileage. That’s a contradiciton if I ever heard one. I tried a number of times to explain to him that you can’t really have your cake and eat it too in that situation. He was going to have to make a choice to either go with the V8 power and take the gas mileage hit or get a V6 for the fuel economy. He didn’t seem to grasp the concept well.

It was fun watching Samson deal with these people and the cars they were trying to sell. The first car we looked at was a Pontiac. We took it for a test drive and Samson punched it a few times to see what kind of acceleration and handling the car had. Then he would slam on the brakes as hard as he could and he did it without any warning for myself or the owner of the car who was sitting wide-eyed in the back seat. I got thrown about in the Pontiac a few times and the car’s owner mentioned to me he had been out drinking fairly late the night before. He was looking kinda green after Samson started his random braking tests.

Every car we looked at, I asked for the service records. I checked the engine and transmission on each vehicle and carefully inspected the tires to see where they had been wearing out. I asked lots of mechanical questions and tried to get a reasonable idea about the overall condition of each car. Samson on the other hand was interested in making sure the heating and air-conditioning worked. He also methodically inspected the trunk of every car as if he was trying to get an idea of how many bodies he could fit into it. I think he creeped a few people out.

By the end of the day Samson was curious about checking out a lease on a brand new car. He was always fond of Cadillacs and in high school he had two Coup De Villes. So I drove him to the Cadillac dealership. We went into the dealership and Samson sat down with one of the salesmen while I wandered around doing nothing. I overheard Samson’s conversation with the sales guy. It went something like this:

“I’m interested in leasing a car”.
“We have many different ones to choose from. Which one did you have in mind?” the salesman said.
“Well, I don’t know. That one”. Samson quickly pointed to the nearest car on the salesfloor. It was a red convertible.
“That car costs about $750 a month to lease” said the salesman.
There was a long pause and then Samson said “I think I’m in the wrong place”.

At this point I looked up and noticed one of the other Cadillac salesmen was also eavesdropping in and he was laughing. We left quickly. Our visit lasted less than five minutes. We went to a Lincoln/Mercury dealer after that. Samson was really into the idea of leasing a car for two years and then bringing the car back and just walk away from it. I was beat from all the auto mayhem and by six in the afternoon I wanted to call it a day. I drove Samson home and we made plans to go out looking for cars the following day.

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~ by factorypeasant on September 1, 2004.

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