Once upon a time, there was a very desperate individual. A regular person with regular routines. Who they are and what their name really doesn’t matter for the purpose of this story. It just so happens that this individual had a regular old car that decided to take a dump one day. Yep, stuck on the side of the highway watching the much nicer, newer cars speeding by and feeling like a complete and utter loser, our regular person feels very distraught. The automobile, their only means of transportation just breathed her last breath somewhere around exit 145 on some nameless highway running through the midwest.
They make a decision that day to go to a car dealership and purchase a new car. After getting a ride from a friend, they arrive at said dealership and your quintessential used car’s salesmen complete with the phony smile and handshake emerges from a column of lemons and beaters. Our regular person is faced mounting debt and our sympathetic car salesmen tells him, “Well, you’re just in luck, I’ve got just the car for you. Right over here. Why don’t you sit down and try this one out?” He points to a breathtaking golden Cadillac. It’s everything this person could have dreamed of and more, there’s only one problem. It must be expensive.
The used car salesmen watches with interest as our friend tries out all the fancy buttons on the satellite radio and even sits with them as they take the Caddy for a roaring test drive down the interstate. Everything is just so perfect and being the charismatic gentlemen that he is, the salesmen says, “Well, are you ready to sign the contract?” Our regular individual looks down at their hands, the cover is blown. There’s no way they can afford this luxury vehicle and with the mounting debt from missing work, it’s only going to get worse. The hero of our story feels their mind begin to race, the beads of sweat forming on their forehead and their throat go dry as they stammer out, “I can’t afford this, I’m sorry.”
Our salesmen replies to our hero in a compassionate, easy tone, “Oh, that’s no problem. We have a payment system. All I need you to do is sign right here and it’s all taken care of and you can enjoy the salvation of a car that is everything the American dream embodies. You can be just like your friends who have great, powerful vehicles! Life will be great everything will be taken care of for you via our maintenance plan. Let some one else clean up the mess! Come on, don’t even give it a thought! Now sign right here.”
The words of that contract look a little something like this: I, regular person, do hereby sign over my life, my assets, time on earth and everything that makes me who I am over to Universal Auto. I admit that because I am financially unable to pay my debt that I am completely incompetent and need someone to take over my life. If I fail to pay back the payment, I will be sent to a place of inescapable hellish damnation otherwise known as collections agency of midwest.”
Our hero gulps and takes a deep breath. The salesmen leans in with a toothy grin. The hero speaks, “Wait, is this the only car on the lot? What about… that one?” They point to a festive looking little compact car.
“No, no you don’t want that one. It’s old, and doesn’t have a lot of power.” The salesmen chokes on his words a bit as he adjusts his black, leather hat. An impatient dance begins to take over and our hero is feeling like they are being rushed.
“Well, it’s probably good on gas, being so small. You know, I don’t really need such a big car to get to work. I work in customer service.” Our hero says, looking into the slate eyes of the Salesmen.
“You should pamper yourself. You’re entitled to driving around in luxury! Don’t you want others to see how fabulous you are? You deserve it!” The Salesmen argues back. He nervously adjusts his stripped polo and grinds his pointed boots into the ground.
“Actually I don’t,” Our hero responds. At this point, they are feeling a bit like a lamb being lead to slaughter. “I only make so much money and this kind of car it out of my budget.”
“SIGN THE PAPER!” The Salesmen commands, yet our hero is drawn to the little green compact with the mismatched panels and the manual rollup windows. Our hero merely walks away and sits in the seat of foreign model.
“No, I want this one. I want to make my own choice.” Our hero stands firm in their decision. The Salesmen, shrinking in his boots, sighs and throws up his hands and leaves the used car lot. He circles back around and rushes at the hero who has their feet firmly planted in the Earth.
“You will sign this or else! If you get that car, it will break. You will be stuck on the side of the road, FOREVER! This car is your one and ONLY salvation!” He howls and our hero chuckles at the display of fragile masculinity.
“No, I’m certain. I want the little green car. She suits my needs. I think I’ll call her Diana.” They smirk at the Salesmen with genuine joy sparkling in their eyes.
“FINE! I’M DONE WITH YOU! IF YOU WILL NOT SIGN THESE PAPERS, THEN YOU WILL INCUR MY WRATH!” Shouts the Salesmen, all signs of his charismatic personality are now nothing more than a memory as his true nature emerges. He throws down the clipboard with the contract and storms off in a fury.
“Dude, are you okay?” asks our Hero, puzzled by the reaction.
“Hello!” A pleasant voice emerges from the thundering echoes of the previous salesmen. “My name is Terra, and I’ll happily help you. Have you decided on a perfect car?”
“Hello, Terra! I sure have. I’m really in love with little Diana here! She’s perfect and I can actually afford the gas on her with the payments!” Our hero and Terra shake hands and sign the contract.
“I’m really glad you found a great match for your budget and lifestyle. Some times the old ways are the best way to go.” Terra says with a warm smile, “You know, you could have picked any car on the lot. There are so many choices for folks!”
Our hero grins and nods their head. A perplexed look crosses their face for just a moment and they ask, “Hey, is your friend over there going to be okay?”
Terra looks back at the Salesmen and shrugs, “Ah, he gets like that when he doesn’t get his way. Just best to give him some distance. He’s still upset about losing his only son.”
Our hero looks concerned for a moment and Terra grins. “He died?”
“Oh no, nothing like that. He wanted his only son to become a Salesmen just like his dad. His son made a choice and he decided to work at a homeless shelter. I hear he sometimes moonlights as a bartender.”
And the Wheel turns! – Shining Quill the Unicorn