Michael Campbell

Story Time.

Used Car Salesman

by | Jul 11, 2008 | Uncategorized

I sold my truck. So what?

The thing is, I didn’t know how to sell a vehicle. I haven’t sold one since I parted with my high school car, a 1962 MGA convertible, which I traded to buy an engagement ring thirty years ago. I joked that she was wearing my car on her finger.

We married. Her dad provided us a Gremlin, took it back, gave us a Nova, took it back, gave us a panel van with an airbrushed eagle killing a snake on the side, took it back. We eventually leased our own car, a Ford Tempo, black as a funeral.

I later added a 1972 Volvo to our stable. It was quirky and fun. For everything I fixed, something else broke. I fixed the analog clock, and the radiator blew. The car and I developed an understanding. I loved it. My wife hated it.

Against both our wishes, the divorce judge awarded her the Volvo, because we owned it; the Tempo was only leased, and I, a male, was forbidden by law to get anything of actual value out of the union. Another of my favorite cars slipped through her fingers. When I delivered the car to her, the door wouldn’t open. I wasn’t surprised. As I started to explain to her how the Volvo liked to have its handle jiggled a little, she kicked it. “Uh oh,” I thought. “Now you’ve done it.”

Six months later they towed it away, a heap, after it tried to kill her with carbon monoxide fumes.

When the Tempo lease ran out, I gave it up and bought my very first new car, a 1988 Celica. I still drive it. As my kids continued to grow tall and lanky and vociferous, I expanded to the truck, a white Pathfinder, chosen almost entirely for its rear legroom.

It was the chariot for many a summer adventure. I taught my daughters to drive in that truck. We went to the abandoned Aksarben parking lot. To teach them to park, I got out, walked about fifty yards away, and pointed out the parking space they were to end up in. The truck sat silent and motionless for a long time. Then it just turned and drove away.

When the transmission went out last month, I looked at it the same way I once looked at my old, sick cat. “It’s time,” I sighed. The new owner towed it off into the sunset. That’s when I realized it was the first car I had actually sold since the MG.

I don’t suppose I’ll forget it. It’s somewhere in the background of just about every vacation picture in fifteen years. I looked up Mick’s, the bar I own, on Google Earth’s satellite view, and was pleased to see my truck from space, parked in front.

While you’re spying down on Mick’s from above, click below to find out what’s happening on the inside:

So now I get to buy a car, just for me. Anybody have an old Nissan 300SX? I always wanted one of those.


  1. YourFireAnt

    Your first two sentences made me read the whole post. Good writing.


  2. jo(e)

    Maybe you should go back to the 1962 MGA convertible ….


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