22 January 2007


Over at the Brain we talk about reality a lot. Usually when it pertains to people in Washington's grasp, or lack thereof, of the subject. In the car business, you get a lot of folks who don't want to get a grip on it either. Today fer instance.

I'm alone in the shop this afternoon, Indian and PDB called in sick and Harry was at lunch, and a woman in a BMW X3 pulls up. Never seen her before and she has that look in her eye the Moonies and Amway reps have.

Me: Good afternoon, what can I do for you.

Lady: I'm buying a 1941 GMC pickup.

Me: Good for you. Good luck with it.

Lady: I want you to look at it and get it started.

Me: It doesn't run?

Lady: No, but the people who own it say the engine was overhauled.

Me: When was it last started and running?

Lady: 1979.

Me: 28 years ago? [Jaw drops open and I begin to think of her as 'Crazy Lady']

Crazy Lady: Yes. [nod, straight face] And once you get it running and lube everything, I'm gonna drive it out to California. [If you didn't know, this conversation is happening on Long Island ... New York.]

Me: Wouldn't you rather drive the Bimmer?

Crazy Lady: I'm getting rid of that. [Did ya hear the door open and close? That was reality leaving the building.]

Me: So you want to have this '41 GMC towed up here, hasn't run in 28 years, and expect me to get it started, top off the fluids, and you're gonna drive it out to LA?

Crazy Lady: Pasadena, yes that's right, I'm willing to pay.

Me: Do you realize what having an old truck like that means? Parts are hard to come by. The electrical system isn't compatible with most modern accessories. And it's 65 years old. Are you prepared to do repairs on the road if you have to?

Crazy Lady: I have a '69 Triumph Bonneville that I work on myself.

Me: Tell ya what. I'm not working on the truck, but I can hook ya up with a good motorcycle mechanic if you ever get out there ... Heh ...

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