Thursday, May 31, 2007

Three Things

Well, I've learned three things today (that I can remember; I probably learned and promptly forgot much, much more). The first two are related. The third is funny.

First thing: If you want to sell a car, do it on Craigslist. Yes, we sold a car, again. Yes, it's that car. Why did I sell it? Well, the short answer is that I love my wife, and she did not love that car. It was green (which she did not like), and kinda rattle-y (which made her nervous), and had a serious paint issue on the hood (which was embarrassing, yea, even unto myself). So I sold it, and am buying my brother-in-law's slightly newer, non-green, non-embarrassing-hood-desecration Honda Accord.

(Sticklers will point out that the husband of my wife's sister is not technically my brother-in-law. To these people, I say two things. First, language is a method of communication. If I say that a fellow is my brother-in-law, most people will recognize that as an indication of a relationship within a particular orbit: not quite immediate family, but closer than extended family. Second, ppphhhhtttt.)

Back to Craigslist. I put up the ad on Saturday afternoon before we went to the park. I got my first call while we were at the park, and met the guy in the Wal-Mart parking lot that night. He did not buy it, but I got at least two phone calls, plus at least one email each day after that. Having used other means to sell cars before, I can tell you that that is a lot of activity (certainly, selling a very popular car at slightly below Kelly Blue Book price also helps).

Yesterday, a lady, her son, and his daughter came by to look at the car. They test drove it, and he said he liked it. I told him that yet another fella was coming up from Dublin, Georgia (a 3-hour drive) to look at it later that night, and this first guy told me that he would call me back by 3:30 that day. He didn't.

He called at 9:00 instead (the Dublin guy neither showed up nor called; this happened a lot). Man-With-Daughter said, over the phone, that he would come by at 11 or 12 this morning to pick up the car. He didn't show up.

At about 1:00 today, I got a call from a DeKalb County police officer (eek). He asked if the car was still available. As MWD had not shown up or called, I said that it was. He asked where we lived, and that he would be over in 15 minutes. He showed up in 12. He opened the car, started it, turned on the AC, and looked under the hood. That's all. He explained that the car was for his girlfriend, who had been looking for about 2 weeks for a Honda Accord like this. He was going to tell her to come over and look at this one.

About 20 minutes later I got a call from the girlfriend. She asked where we lived and said that she would be over in about 15 minutes. She showed up in 14 (they're going to have a very happy life together). She took the car for a test drive, and called from the test drive to say that her boyfriend, Officer On-Time, would be by in a few minutes with half of the payment (he was), and that she would be by with the rest of the payment and to sign papers as soon as she could find her way back (she did). Signed, sealed, delivered, etc.

6 days to sell a car. Craigslist rocks, if you have the time & patience to put up with the process. And the emails. I got an email on Saturday (about an hour after I had put the ad up) that said simply, "800 cash." I didn't respond, and got a second email on Sunday from the same address that said, "500 cash." Someone needs to read up on economics. And etiquette.

And now for the second thing. I had a pile of cash on the dining room table, when Timothy (9) and Stephen (7) walk in the room. They just about fainted, and begged to hold the $100 and $20 bills. So we looked at watermarks and the plastic embedded strips in both bills.

Then I pointed out some of the newer and nifty-neato features on the new 20's. I asked the boys to point out some differences. Timothy liked the new shiny parts on the bill, and Stephen liked the portrait. But I waited for someone to point out the different colors on the $20 note. When nobody did, I asked them, "What about the colors?" Then my wife said, "Remember who you're talking to."

So I had a V-8 moment, but stopped just short of the head slap, saying, "What about Stephen?" But he couldn't see the colors either (bluish on the ends and red in the middle). So . . . off to the computer for the colorblindness test. No dice.

Stephen is colorblind.

Moderate panic attack this time. Can doctors be colorblind? I called my sister, whose husband is a doctor. She said he was traveling but she'd ask and call me back in an hour. She did, and the answer is yes, doctors can be colorblind. Or, rather, colorblind folks can be doctors. Whew.

At first, Stephen was a little upset. This lasted for exactly 27 seconds, until I told him that Timothy was colorblind, too, and that they could be colorblind buddies. He practically skipped out of the room. No worries there, and it really explains the past 4 years of wardrobe decisions.

Okay, finishing up. Third thing: Jonah (6) is an entrepreneur. The invisible hand is strong with that one.

My mom dropped by today on her weekly trip down to Macon, and she and my wife decided that it would be a wonderful thing if Jonah and Sam (3) went with her. So down they drove (in her new van), to visit my sister and her children, including Aaron who is also 3, and is Sam's "bestest friend and cousin, and also friend." As my brother-in-law is out of town, they all went to Chuck-E-Cheese's.

About midway through the meal, and after a while of playing games, a boy walked up to the table and asked, "Where's Jonah?" My third son peeked around the corner, spotted his new friend (or should I say partner?), and smiled. Then, under the table, Jonah passed the boy some tokens, and the boy passed Jonah some tickets.

Apparently, they had worked out a mutually beneficial relationship. To wit: Jonah gave this older boy tokens; the older boy played the games at a higher level of skill; then the boy gave the tickets to Jonah. The boy got to play more games than he would have on his own, and Jonah got more tickets than he would have on his own.

If there are small plastic lizards involved, I'm sure that Jonah will find a way to game the system. Adam Smith would be proud; I know that I am.


At 4:23 PM, Blogger fiorinda said...

Who could you possibly think would give you a hard time with the brother-in law thing? Possibly my brother-in-law, but not technically splitcat's brother-in-law??

Remind me to tell you about my Uncle who was colorblind and how he ended up a VP at Bellsouth.

At 7:58 AM, Blogger 4BoyDad said...

Well, as much as I hate to point fngers at a long term reader (and occasional poster), that is indeed who I had in mind. All in good fun, of course . . .

And thanks for the colorblind success story. I'll assume that he didn't begin by wiring phones. The guy my sister told me about was a hand surgeon, which is apparently one of the most difficult and demanding types of surgery. So I'm not worried any more.

Okay, of course I'm worried, but just now I'm worried without any real reason to be. So I'm back to normal.

Thanks again.


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