April 21, 2012


She approached the car lot with trepidation. Aura really hated buying cars -- without a boyfriend or some man with her, the dealers always took advantage of her lack of automotive knowledge.

And she was between boyfriends at the moment.

Unfortunately, her clunker had died a loud and messy death and she had to have a working vehicle, so here she was.

"Helllllooo, young laaaaaaaaaddddddyyyyy!"

Aura turned, expecting to see the Big Bopper.  Instead, it was just a huge bear of a man, smiling and blocking out the sun.

"Uh, hello. I need a car. Can you help me?"

The vulpine grin that spread across the man's heavily bearded face could have congealed oatmeal. "Certainly I can help you! Step this way."

Aura followed him into his office. When she was seated across from him she saw his name plate . . . "Barry." So this was Barry Trois, the richest car dealer in the entire country, possibly the world.

Barry slunk into his chair behind the desk. "Would you like a cup of coffee . . .uh . . . I'm sorry, what was your name again?"


"Ah, yes. Aura."

"And, yes, I would like a cup of coffee."

"Comin' right up," Barry said, striding to the coffee maker. "How do you take it?"

"Sugar, light," she replied.

Barry handed her the coffee. "Here ya go, hon."

Aura took a sip. "This coffee is stone cold!"

"Oh, pardon me," Barry said, returning to the machine. "Been having trouble with this lately. Hold on, let me pop it in the microwave."

After a couple of minutes, he handed the cup back to Aura. She took a sip. "AUUUUUGH! What are you trying to do, burn my lips off? People have been sued for this sort of thing, you know!"

At the word "sue" all color drained from Barry's face -- even his beard. "I'm terribly sorry. What do you say we skip the coffee and go take a look at some really great cars?"

Through throbbing, tingling lips, Aura said, "That's what I came here for."

They adjourned to the car lot. Aura glanced over the hundred new cars and said, "These just don't do it for me. No style, no class. Don't you have anything else?"

"This is it ," Barry said.

"Wait -- how about those over there? Those look interesting." At the far end of the lot, off to the side, there were three cars parked next to each other.

"I don't think so. Not only are those used, but they're . . ."

"Oh, used isn't a problem. Let's go take a look. I mean, I'd really rather spend time looking at those cars than calling my lawyer. Have you got the keys? "

"Yes," Barry sighed. "Right here in my pocket."

The cars sparkled. The first one was a vintage Bentley, the second was a SmartCar, and the third was a Corvette convertible.

Aura sat behind the wheel of the Bentley. "No, I don't think this is quite right for me. It's far too big and the seat is much too hard."

Barry sighed with relief and offered up a silent prayer of thanks to whomever might be listening.

Next, Aura, who was not a little person, found herself wedged behind the wheel of the SmartCar. "No, no, no! This will never do. It's far too small, and the seat is far too soft."

While she was extricating herself, another prayer left the car lot.

Behind the wheel of the Corvette, Aura sighed happily. "Ah, Barry, this one will do nicely. It's just the right size and the seat is just right, too. I'll take it!"

"Well, I guess I can live with two out of three," Barry thought. They stepped back inside and filled out the paperwork. Aura wrote him a check of unusual size and drove off the lot.

Now the only thing Barry had to worry about was how to tell his son, Barry Jr., that he'd just sold his car.

A few hours later, as Barry was preparing to lock up, Barry Jr., the company accountant, burst into the front room of the darkened dealership.

"Hello, Dad. I was just going home after putting in yet another hard day's work when --
and you're going to laugh at this -- I discovered that my car, the Corvette that took me two years to restore and customize with my own hands, is GONE!"

"Ah, yes, son, er, I, uh, I had to sell it."

"You had to sell it. Why this time?"

"This time, because a customer burned her mouth on a cup of coffee, and you know that people have successfully sued over that before."

"First it was my Alfa because some dizzy broad tripped and skinned her knee walking in. Then it was my Ferrari because some moron, instead of opening the door, tried to walk through it..."

"We keep our glass very clean . . . "

"And now it's my Corvette! Excuse me -- I'm going to the Men's Room to throw up!"

Barry Jr. pushed the washroom door so hard it bounced off the wall. He stood at the sink and stared into the mirror. "Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who's the most screwed over person of all?"

The floating face of a wizened old man immediately appeared, causing Barry Jr. to step back in surprise. They stared at each other, until the face in the mirror finally spoke.

"Nu? So vhaddya vant, awreddy? I got the Vicked Qveen on hold over here! Speak, boychick, speak!"

"Well, I...that is...uh…"

"Hoo boy, tongue of silver. Your parents must have such naches!"

"Wait a minute!" Barry shouted, recovering somewhat. He checked the sides of the mirror, and, sure enough, he found the tag -- MADE IN BROOKLYN.

"So vaddya think? I'm from Minsk or Pinsk?"

"Can you help me?" Junior asked.

"Can I help him? This messhugge vants to know, can I help him! Of course I can help him. He's got a goniff for an old man, a shiksa mama who wouldn't know kreplach from gefilte fish, and this one’s an overprivileged schnorrer! Vaddya vant my help for? You're rich from having money! You got the gelt -- go buy another car!"

"But I need some advice about . . ."

"Advice, I got. My advice to you is this: you get yourself a bagel -- are you writing this down? -- some lox, a schmeer and a Dr. Brown's. Things alvays look better vhen you got some decent food in your stomach. Now get moving, schmucko. I got an alteh moid Qveen on the uddah line! Curses I don't need! Feh!

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