in Essays

Car Deal (Sept. 14, 1998)

This is a recently unearthed journal entry I wrote in grade 9 destreamed English.

My uncle has always told me that if I ever go to buy a Honda, check the serial number for a “J” in the third digit. That would indicate the car was produced in Japan. If there wasn’t a “J”, the car was most likely produced in North America, which meant a snot nosed, over paid person had made it with the least in effort.

You see, my uncle had taken pride in his 1985 Honda Civic. He always said, “Japanese engines will last forever.” He was right, the engine did last. The only problem was it out lasted the body. We had all agreed that it was time for my uncle to get a new car.

After weeks of flipping through the Bible of used cars, the ever so handy “Auto Trader”, we discovered almost every private car seller we phoned had already sold their best offer. We decided to give in and check out the local dealers. My uncle was more open minded about which make of car to get since the Honda’s we have had seen were a hot commodity and were selling for more than he was willing to shell out.

Arriving at the dealer’s lot, we noticed there was a shortage of parking. My uncle began to carry out an insane plot to milk the dealer for what he or she’s worth by parking his mound of rust right beside the ’98 display models and then placed his “For Sale” sign in the window.

As soon as we got out, a sharp toothed salesman greeted us. He introduced himself and asked which car we were interested in. My uncle paused, and took a long glance at all the cars in the lot. I watched his eye wander about in a circle, until it suddenly stopped. I turned to see which car had caught his eye. To my disbelief, he had told the salesman he wanted to test drive what seemed to be a ’97 Geo Metro. Ack! Not a Geo! That thing is like a child’s toy and certainly not a practical car for everyday use.

We were all buckled up, the salesman in the back, my uncle behind the wheel, and I on the passenger’s side. The salesman seemed cramp behind me, so I told him if he needed some more room I could pull the seat up a little. He then replied in a muffled, winded voice, “No, No. The Metro has a lot of legroom in the back. It may look like a small car, but you would be surprised as how comfortable I am sitting back here.”

My uncle took it on the highway to see how fast this thing could go. He had put the petal to the metal. The car had reached 120km/hrs, when suddenly the whole frame was rumbling. My uncle asked what that loud noise was. The salesman replied, “Oh these new sporty cars make these noises because the young kids go wild over it.”

As we parked, my uncle asked the salesman what he thought of this particular car.   The salesman then replied, “Either you love it, or you hate it.” Oh yeah, thanks… We had then figured that we where dealing with a genius.

We walked into his office, a trailer with a desk and a cell phone. It turned out the car costs $6,000. My uncle decided to try to trade in his heap of orange metal, for a more reasonable price. The salesman had said he would need to test drive the Honda, to have a better grasp of the trade in price. After he had returned, he had asked my uncle what he wants for it. My uncle then firmly said, “I will give you my car and an additional $1,000 for the Geo.” In disgust, the salesman kicked us out of his trailer, and said our car wasn’t worth $500. My uncle, considerably pissed, gave him a one-fingered salute and we were on our way.

While we were driving back, my uncle started boasting that his Honda is better then all the cars in that lot and he is never going to sell it. He finished the conversation by saying he will drive this car to the ground or to the grave, which ever came first.

To this very day, my uncle is still driving that Honda, which has 460,000km, without any problems. He fixed up the rust by spraying it with a little touch up paint. Now I think I know what kind of car I will purchase when my time comes to drive. I guess my uncle was right in the first place. Next time I will take his word for it.

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