After appealing to prayer warriors on FB to send thoughts and prayers to our old truck, in the end we realized that the most compassionate decision we could make was to put it out of its misery and to let it live on by donating its V10 engine to those in need. And after a suitable mourning period of half a weekend, Paul and I began the search for another.
“Are you getting a new one?” asked a friend, excitedly.
“Like I’d spend $75,000 to haul hay around in,” I sniped. “Spending that kind of money on a truck is insane. Anybody who’d spend that needs their head examined.”
“What if it was a horse?” retorted my friend.
“Completely reasonable,” I shrugged.
I combed ‘car gurus’ on line and found a couple of prospects. Paul and I wasted no time running over to Greer, (too much rust underneath and, surprise, a cracked dash on that Dodge) and then to Greenville (way over priced and too small a V8 in the Ford).
“Let’s just drive down towards Spartanburg and see what dealerships have trucks out front.” Paul suggested, and so we buckled up and before even leaving Landrum, stopped at a local dealer with a couple of very clean looking late model Fords. Wouldn’t that be nice, I thought, climbing out and walking to the front door of their building, to support a neighbor’s business.
“Out to lunch,” read the post-it stuck to the front door.
“Let’s move on,” I said, climbing back in beside Paul. “I love living in Mayberry, but sometimes lunches go on forever, especially if they’re eating at their momma’s.”
Heading through Inman, there was another attractive Ford 150 parked right out front of a dealer’s, and I was feeling far more optimistic as Inman is quite a bit bigger than Landrum, that they would have somebody to cover should someone need to run to Bojangles for lunch.
“Not looking good,” I called over my shoulder to Paul. “Door’s locked and the shades are down. Is today, like, a holiday or something?”
“It’s weird,” he agreed, “Like a Twilight Zone episode. I mean, normally when you go to a car lot you get tackled by a salesman before you get out of your car.”
The third dealership had a bit more of a reputation with rows of gleaming, quite new vehicles in their ‘Pre-Owned’ lot. But we did spy a nice looking prospect, as well as an employee in their body shop, washing down a Lexus.
“At least we know there’s someone actually here,” I laughed and together, we swung open the glass door of the main building, although I was somewhat puzzled at what appeared to be 4 dog leashes tied to the handle.
The leashes made perfect sense as a white standard poodle lay sacked out on a bench in the lobby area, oblivious to our presence, while another was sprawled in a bed on the floor.
“Hello?” I called tentatively. Neither dog stirred. An empty office stood directly in front of us and from the office adjacent to it, I heard movement. “Oh, good,” I said, “Someone’s coming.”
But the someone was a third enormous poodle, black in color, and clearly the alpha of the pack, or at least the only one still awake, who stuck his head around the corner and eyes locked on mine, met me with a growl.
“What is this,” Paul said, “Wild Kingdom?”
I stood stock still as the dog approached me haltingly, still growling, and averting my eyes asked, “Do you have any late model, low mileage, V8s on the lot?”
I received a growl in reply and knowing one should never show fear to an animal, turned and ran like hell, figuring Paul could tackle him if need be.
“You’d think these places would hire some extra sales people,” I said, slightly out of breath as we got back in the Subaru.
“I’ll apply for the job and then sell us a truck for a great deal,” Paul suggested.
In the end, we found our baby at the fourth dealership, and not because they were the first that had actual salespeople present. Late model, V8 trucks that are clean and reasonably priced are snapped up faster than funnel cakes at the fair, and it just happened that the sales manager was selling his personal truck because with a second baby, and struggling with two opposite facing car seats, really need a true 4-door vehicle. It’s an immaculate Chevy with a complete Carfax showing recent, pricey repairs and so it’s comforting that no alternator, gaskets, or air conditioning compressor will be needed any time soon.
Our own mechanic found it to be mechanically sound and the after-market doo-dads, including Blue tooth, are icing on the cake. Elated, Paul drove me back to the dealership to collect it and followed me home.
On the way back we passed all the lots we had also visited.
And I swear I saw that giant poodle staring at me through the window.