Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
There are many things in life that are not my favorite activities. I had to do one of the things I despise
most last week – buy a car. It seems as if we just went through
this process not too long ago. I couldn’t believe I had to
do it again.
I dislike car buying because you are expected to barter over
prices. Do you ever go into a department store and offer to give
them $50 for a $70 dress, or to a grocery store and offer the
checkout person less than the total on the cash register?
Because I hate spending a whole day playing the car-buying game
that I know I can’t win, I’ve lately been going to a
dealership that sells used rental cars that have been retired from
the fleet. They are only a year old, loaded with extras, and the price is the price.
Our sales person was the eager type. The minute we walked
through the door he was with us in an electric flash, shaking
hands and saying how glad he was that we came by. He wondered how
we found them since they don’t advertise and his eyebrow
twitched into a dollar sign when he found out we were repeat
Then the pitch: “We keep only 5% of our cars and the rest are
wholesaled out. We price them at the fair market price and
there is no negotiating.” That was music to my ears, even
though I already knew it and that’s why I drove to the other
side of town to buy car.
“What kind of car are you interested in?” My daughter
was already outside on the car lot checking out the selection.
“Something for my daughter that’s economical,” I replied.
She had zeroed in on one that was similar to the one she had wiped
out on the Interstate a few weeks before. The price was about
right and mileage fairly low. I was ready to get the deal done.
We have some nice Fords with remote entry, said the salesman, are
you interested in a Ford? Before I could say “no” he had
waltzed my daughter across the lot to a slick silver model with
all the features you could load it down with.
“But the mileage is higher and it’s a year older,” I
“I like it,” she said, already behind the wheel. Pink
hearts drifted out the window.
“Would you like to drive it?” purred the evil
Of course she would. We piled into the car, and I covered my
eyes while we pulled out into the busy traffic for a test spin.
“How do you like it?” I asked, as the violin music swelled and
a choir of angels sang from somewhere in the unseen background. The
answer was obvious.
We went back to the dealership to get the painful part over with -
the part where you sign away half your paycheck for once a month and get an
easy payment plan. After filling out the paperwork and signing my
name so many times that I had writer’s cramp down to my ankle,
the deed was finally done.
“We try to keep it as simple as possible,” said the salesman.
“Was it easy?”
“Yes, too easy,” I replied truthfully.
And so my daughter has wheels again and life can get back to
normal around here. But those tiny pink valentines that keep
floating out the windows of her car are beginning to become
Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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