The case of the Elusive cars salesman

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The Case of the Elusive Car Salesman I was pacing around Lexington, waiting for my local mechanic to finish the latest repairs on my '77 Chevy Impala. My name's Yesterday, Sam Yesterday. It was hot in Lexington, by that is not uncommon for mid-July. I'd had a good several months, and I was in good financial position for the first time since I bought that Impala back in 1977. That car had served me well, but lately it had been failing. Maybe it was time for a trade, I thought; so I walked over to the nearest friendly (sort of) car dealership. As soon as I set foot on the shiny showroom floor, it seized me. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. A sparkling combination of steel, leather, electronics, and a very large engine. The muscle car had been revitalized in the form of a 1995 Chevy Impala SS. It was sleek, resembling the type of car Darth Vader would drive. I grabbed the nearest salesman, hopped into the body hugging leather bucket, fired up the 275 bhp. LT1 engine and took off. As the 6-speaker CD stereo belted out Aerosmith the poor salesman tried to sell me a car that had already sold itself. I had fallen in love, it was the only car that I had loved since that '77 Impala. It had an engine large enough to satisfy my primitive need for power, an image that screamed "Hey you with the radar gun! See if you can catch me!" Granted, it was heavy, it had watery boat-like handling, and drank gas like my Uncle Bubba drinks beer. Still, I loved it. It wasn't Japanese, German, Korean, or otherwise. It was a big hunk of purebred, American muscle car, dammit. I picked out a nice shiny new one, called the bank and drove home in my new wheels. I decided to spring for all the bells and whistles; leather, CD player, alarm system, keyless entry, etc. I figured that if this car was going to run as long as my last Impala it should be well-equipped. As I was admiring the view from my office in the Financial Center, the phone rang. I answered and was greeted by a rather hysterical woman named Diane who thought that she had been cheated by her car dealership. "That evil Car salesman has kidnaped my car!" she explained. I calmed her down and asked what happened. "Well, Larry, the salesman, picked up my Lexus for servicing, just as usual. Also as usual, he left a more expensive car as a loaner. Later in the day, I received a call saying that my car had been destroyed. Larry said that one of the technicians had accidentally cranked it right up into the ceiling while it was sitting on the lift. I found it hard to believe, but he promised me a new model if I would just come over and sign the papers. As soon as I arrived, Larry said that he would credit me the value of the car if I wanted to by a nicer mor expensive model. I agreed and ended up with a lovely new sports coupe." "Nice car," I remarked, realizing that the salesman was making a tidy profit on the transaction. "Yes, it is. But I still miss my Essie." "Essie?" I interrupted, quizzically. "Yes, Essie was the name of my old car, the ES300, I loved Essie, and the new car wasn't the same." "You had a brand new $55,000 Lexus, which you got for only $25,00 and you miss you older $35,000 Lexus?" I asked, beginning to wonder whether she was playing this game with a full deck. "Yes, I did. So, anyway, I read the article in the paper covering the incident, and was struck by something. The general manager said that he was baffled, because there are safety mechanisms on the lifts, preventing them from going that high. I also realized that Larry would be making his regular commission on a $55,000 Lexus, and not a $25,000 one, because the payment for the ES was made by the insurance company after the sale. So, not only had he made money on Essie, but on the new car as well." "Interesting. Is that all?" I asked. "Yes. If the accident wasn't really an accident, I want to know, and I want a lot more than a new sports coupe, that car meant a lot to me." She concluded, between sobs. I agreed to take the case and drew up a contract. I thanked her, promised to get to the bottom of the matter, hopped in my stealth bomber and left. It seemed that the fist place to look was the dealership. I decided to go undercover, and scope out the salesman first had. I called Larry and scheduled and appointment to look at a few cars. I decided that I would look suspicious driving up in my brand new car, so I borrowed a friend's old BMW. I arrived at the dealership and was greeted with a phony, yet somewhat pleasing smile. Larry asked me if I would like something to drink, and I ordered my usual, a Coke with a splash of Vodka, and a lime twist. Larry smiled, and, lying, said "That's a good choice, I drink those too." What a schmuck! I walked around the showroom. Looking at the stickers on the new rich people mobiles, and realized that I had chosen the wrong profession. "So. What would you like to accomplish today sir?" Larry asked, handling me my drink. I realized that this was the nineties, politically correct, non-pushy, Lexus way of asking, "Which one of these over-priced, indestructible, warranty clad, Japanese tankes ca I sell you? Right now. Now, not later. Now." "Uh-huh. I wanna look at a car, but I'm not sure which one. I think it's time to trade in my trusty beemer." "Are you sure? That looks like a nice little car I might be a player on that one...I think you look like an SC400 kind of man let's go drive one; what color would you like?" I never thought that a person could say so many things in one sentence before. I could tell that this guy was ruthless, I could also see how he could easily have influenced poor Diane. "Ok Larry! Let's do that!" I said as enthusiastically as possible, without losing my composure. This guy was really pathetic. "All right. Here's and SC400. It is a really nice car, great engine, practically indestructible, fun to drive, great on trips...did I tell you how dedicated the Lexus family is to you? We commit ourselves to what you want. Want to drive it? Ill get the keys. Will you be leasing or buying? And will you want to finance that through us?" Larry said as he pushed me in to the leather wrapped cucoon. "Here you are! Have a good drive. I'll be right here when you get back. Be back in five minutes or I'll call the cops. Have fun!!!" I started the engine, smiled and floored it. I watched the color draining from Larry's face as I zipped into traffic and accelerated out of sight. It's really amazing how fast one of those fat things can get to sixty. As I drove that cushy over priced status symbol, I thought of how, exactly, I would nail Larry with the crime which he had obviously committed. I decided that if he was involved in something cooked, it wouldn't be too hard to find. I also came to the conclusion that Larry isn't the brightest apple on the tree, if you get my drift. With this in mind, I returned to the dealership, pulled in at about sixty miles per hour and pointed the car at the showroom. I saw Larry inside drop his coffee mug as he saw me and his shiny brand new Lexus heading straight for the single piece of glass separating him and his other new Lexuses from me and my obvious vendetta against the car sales industry. Aerosmith belted "Livin' on the Edge" from the 10 speaker 200 watt stereo system and the Air Conditioner quietly cooled the car to a comfortable 72 degrees and I played with the electronically controlled transmission adjustment, I decided whether to test this vehicle's sophisticated Anti-Lock brakes, or its dual airbags and passenger safety cage, or both. I decided for the brakes, as the brochure seemed to make a really big deal about them They worked well, I plowed onto the pedal and closed m eyes. The sporty coupe skidded to a stop about three feet from that plate glass window, and about seven feet from another brand new SC400. Larry looked up from the fetal position which he had assumed on the floor, looked stunned for a moment and resumed his mission to sell me a car. He straightened his tie, smiled and headed in my direction. Meanwhile, I adjusted the Aerosmith volume and tested the alarm system. "HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK..." Wow, that would really stop a thief. Larry broke into a sprint as other customers began to stare. Was I embarrassing this slime? Cool. I silenced the alarm, and cranked up Aerosmith's "Love in an Elevator" in order to further embarrass him. I was naturally surprised to see Larry break into a dance and yelled, "great tunes dude!" I knew he was full of his usual schmoozing crap, so I shook my head and turned off the ignition. "That was some awesome driving back there! I was a little worried for awhile! Heh heh heh..." Larry said in an attempt to break through my salesman resistant emotional armor. "Yeh...well...uh..." I tried to begin, but to no avail. "The SC400 really has an excellent braking system doesn't it? Now if you had plowed through that window, and struck something, the other safety systems would have proven their effectiveness as well. Thank goodness you didn't though! Ha ha ha..." Larry didn't seem to pick up on the fact that I wasn't laughing..."On snow and ice it handles well to, the electronic traction control system was first engineered for the SC 400, blah blah blah." I tuned him out as he entered an other babble session. "Excellent this, breakthrough that, blah blah blah." "Great Larry. I think I like this little number. Wonder if I could borrow it for a few days, so I can get a better feel for it?" "Well, we don't usually do that, but you seem like an honest fella... sure why not?" "Great! I'll call you in a couple days, and tell you what I think." "Okay, I can come out to your home and actually talk turkey if the trip is inconvenient for you. Here's my card with home phone, so just give me a call anytime..." I took the card, jumped in the car and floored it. Larry's eyes followed me out of the lot and he looked as if he really wished he hadn't given me those keys. I started up my Aerosmith and formed a plan. I decided to return to the dealership after closing and investigate. I realized that I had left my friend's car at the dealership and decided that I had to retrieve it before someone noticed it. First, I swung around to my place and picked up the Impala. It felt great to be once again behind the wheel of a car the size of my apartment. I really detest sporty, fuel efficient, small Japanese luxury-sportmobiles. I picked up my buddy and drove him to the Lexus place to get his car. Having done so, I drove to Larry's house, allowing that he was still at work. I was in luck, no one was home. Larry lived in a nice little home in a lovely little development off Nicholasville Road. He had no alarm system and his door locks were a joke. I Rifled through his desk and noticed that he had been doing very poorly for awhile, in fact he was nearly broke before Diane's car got destroyed. Hmm..I thought. I also noticed that Larry had received a new car as a company bonus just after selling the SC to Diane. Hmm...I thought again... Just then I heard the hum of and overpriced car entering the driveway and decided to make a hasty retreat through the back door. Larry smelled guilty to me, and I couldn't help feeling as though I was about to stumble upon a conspiracy. I decided to call my fiend at the Police Station to see if they know any thing about this, or if Larry had a criminal record. "Hey Sam! No , we haven't heard anything about a conspiracy at the Lexus dealer's, but if you find anything, let us know okay?" Buddy replied in his usual cop manner, feeling that although P.I.'s do more work and solve more cases, they are the scum of the earth and should be watched closely. Granted, we don't use the most ethical of evidence collection methods, but nobody's perfect, right? "Sure thing Buddy. How about a record on the Larry guy?" I asked, wondering if Larry was more crooked than just a simple car salesman. "Nope, he's as clean as a sleazy car salesman ca be. Sorry Sam" Buddy replied he didn't seem to be to upset about being unable to provide me with a lead. "Bye Buddy." I hung up the phone, realizing once again how much I hated the police. As it was nearing dark I resolved to make a trip to the Lexus dealership to round up some conclusive evidence enabling me to solve the case and take a trip to Hawaii. I was sure that this wouldn't happen, but it seemed like a nice dream so I gassed up the Impala, ate dinner, and drove toward Nicholasville. I pulled around to the back door and noticed that the dealership had a very fancy alarm system. "Damn," I muttered to myself, alarm systems can be a major hassle. I went back to the car and got my high-tech black bag of tricks from the trunk. From this I removed my multi-purpose computer interface device, a small black box enabling me to connect m note book computer to just about anything I liked, from an ATM machine to an Elephant's tongue. (Don't ask...) My next task was to find the nearest available alarm wire to splice into. I was pleased to find, instead of the above, an alarm company exterior control interface box with a small lock on it. My electronic lock pick tool made short work of that, and within seconds my notebook was displaying the entire alarm configuration of the building. I sent the notebook to work on decoding the alarm security code, while I called the security company. While I was searching for the cable linking the alarm's brain to the phone line I talked to the dispatcher, trying to divert his attention from the blips I was creating on his computer screen "Yes, we have code 4 security breach on level eight, sector 2 building 7 at client number 26342. Yeah, that's right. We'd also like a large cheese pizza with extra sauce. Thank you very much," I hung up on a very confused young man, who was undoubtedly still scratching his head and looking up client number 26342. The alarm te

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