You look like a nice fellow. Now believe me when I say I don’t go around calling fellows nice just on account of their looks. That’s not my style and I don’t do that. In my business, in the automobile business, you sometimes have to make snap judgments about people, and while I may not always be right, I would have to say my accuracy rating is pretty high. Pretty high, indeed. In fact, my manager Ted sometimes asks me my opinion of job applicants simply based on sight. Not a word passes between myself and the applicant. Merely a nod, a handshake, something nonverbal but tangible nonetheless. Something that tells me something about that fellow, and ninety nine times out of a hundred I’m correct. So I’m not going to stand here and tell you I’m infallible because believe me, there’s only person who ever walked this earth that was infallible and I ain’t Him. I got my problems like everybody else. My ex-wife will vouch for that. But when I see a nice fellow such as yourself walk into the showroom I don’t hesitate to approach because I know as sure as I’m standing here with this cheetah on this chain that we are simpatico.
Are you going to be trading in today?
The question that people often ask when they first meet me is this – and believe me, I understand why they ask because if it were me standing in their shoes, I’d probably ask the same thing – why are you holding a cheetah?
Let me answer that question with a simple statement of fact. I am not holding this cheetah. I will grant you that it appears that I am holding a cheetah, but in point of fact I am not. The human body does not possess enough strength to hold a cheetah that does not want to be held. So while I am indeed parading around this showroom accompanied by a cheetah on a dog leash, I am in no way holding, possessing, controlling or doing anything at all to this cheetah that it does not want to be done. Put another way, the cheetah is holding me.
Why don’t you tell me what you’re looking to spend and we’ll go from there.
Now, why is the cheetah relevant? That would be my second question, and I can already see it forming on your lips so don’t bother asking. Like I said a moment ago, we are simpatico and so I anticipated the question before it even fully formed in your mind. Why is the cheetah relevant? Because this magnificent, one hundred and ten pound cat trusts me. Trust is either there or it’s not. This animal relies on its instincts for its very survival. If it didn’t trust me, there wouldn’t be a thing in the world I could do about it; if it didn’t trust me, I would be this cheetah’s dinner. So when I say to you that I am trustworthy, I am not asking you to take my word. I’m asking you to take the word of a cheetah. Granted the cheetah is incapable of human speech, but when I spoke to you a moment again about something nonverbal but tangible nonetheless you nodded your head, and so I think you understand me. But more importantly, I can tell that you understand the cheetah.
I’ve got a ’94 Honda Civic that I think is going to knock your socks off.
Before you ask, let me tell you something else about this cheetah. A lot of people walk in here and make an assumption about this cheetah. An assumption that I would like to dispel right here and now. This is not a tame cheetah. This is not one of those cheetahs bred in captivity for the amusement of the rich and powerful. This cheetah was born in the wild and came into my possession through a series of tragic events that involve the blood diamond trade and my role in saving the life of a young woman who was about to be sold into slavery for the sexual gratification of certain important members of that trade. The cheetah was my reward from a grateful village. How did I come to be in that particular part of the world at that particular time? I wish I could answer that question for you now. Unfortunately, I cannot. But I will say this – even though there are many nights when I still wake up screaming, every time I look at this cheetah, I know what I did was right. Even if some people had to die.
How do those bucket seats feel? Kind of grab you back there, don’t they?
After the service I drifted for a while, I’m not going to lie to you. Got married too young, drank a little too much, didn’t take care of my cheetah the way a man should. Well pretty soon, the wife got up and left. The bottle kind of left me, too, and if you’ve ever been a drinking man I think you know what I mean by that. The only one who stayed was this fellow right here. This big cat. Didn’t matter what time I rolled in or who I rolled in with, he didn’t give up on me, and that’s when I learned the meaning of the word trust. You see? I didn’t teach the cheetah trust – the cheetah taught me. And that’s how I knew when you walked into my showroom today that you could be trusted too. Because you look like a man who’s walked through a hurricane and lived to tell the tale. Just like me.
How’s your credit?
A lot of folks think that trust only goes one way in the pre-owned vehicle industry. Not so. Sure you have to trust me, but just as important – maybe more important – I have to trust you. I have to trust that you didn’t come in here to waste my time. I have to trust that when you tell me you can make the payments on this cherry Honda with the mag lights and the six CD changer that you can make the payments. Otherwise I’m the one left holding the bag, and I can’t feed a cheetah with an empty bag.
Shoot, I’m standing here running off at the mouth and all you want to do is drive off in that Honda. Forgive me. I’m passionate about what I do, and I think sometimes I go a little overboard. I’ve wasted enough of your time. Tell you what – I don’t even want to negotiate here. I trust you. But more importantly, the cheetah trusts you and that’s good enough for me. I’m not supposed to do this without putting up a big fight but I can see you’re too smart for that old trick, so I’m just going to go ahead and knock five hundred dollars off the price and hand you the keys to this car. Now that five hundred bucks comes out of my commission, but I’ll tell you what – just talking to you about this stuff today has more than made up for whatever money it costs. Hell, I should be paying you. Just kidding.
Well, here’s your keys. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.
Jimmy, come take this cheetah. Thanks. Jimmy’s a good kid. We’ve also got a walrus back there that we save for Christmas season. Smells like shit, that walrus, but that big fucker really moves the SUVs, believe me.