Friday, September 14, 2012

Auto Biography

Priscilla and I were standing behind the sales counter talking about the well-being of our families when he walked in.  He was an elderly gentleman of about 75 years, with a full, albeit thinning, head of silver-gray hair.  He wore a pair of wire-rimmed glasses of an oiled bronze color that framed a pair of big brown, seemingly intelligent eyes.  Right off the bat I noticed there was an overwhelming air of confidence about the guy.  As he crossed the threshold, he stopped and surveyed the room, familiarizing himself with the items on display.  His gaze finally fell upon Priscilla and me, and his studious look made me uncomfortable.  So, just to break the spell, I stepped forward and said, "Hello, how are you?"

The man instantly turned on a smile brighter than the morning sun, marched right up and stuck out his hand.  "Jimbo," he said, "Jimbo McCarthy from Kansas City, Missouri and Sun City, Arizona."  I took and shook his hand and introduced myself.  Matching the "Hesston Farm Equipment" button-down shirt he wore tucked into a belted pair of cream colored shorts, Jimbo presented in a crisp, clean and pressed manner.  His attire was completed by new white socks and a pair of immaculately clean tennis shoes.  Everything about Jimbo, including a chestnut tan, lead me to the conclusion he was healthy, wealthy and wise.

Jimbo told us he recognized a well-managed, organized and successful business when he saw one.  At that point I began to question my earlier assumption; he was either easily fooled or blowing warm air up my skirt.  Either way, I decided to watch, look, listen and wait until a more complete assessment could be made.  Jimbo explained that he had once been a salesman, an exceptional salesman.  At that point Priscilla excused herself and went on a cleaning spree, which our new friend noticed.  "That's a hard working woman." he said.  "That she is," I agreed, and listened to Jimbo talk about himself for the next 80 minutes.

My new friend told me he began selling Buicks and Oldsmobiles right out of high school, and became the leading salesman before he was 20.  After five years, the man who owned the dealership became "jealous" of Jimbo's talents and fired him because he was making too much money.  Imagine that!  Jimbo was not, however, unemployed for long, he was quickly "snatched-up" by a distributor of farm equipment and rose to the top of that sales team as well.  Jimbo, however, was once again derailed.  It seems the other salesmen torpedoed him because they were, you guessed it, jealous.  Another job, another rise to the top and another plummet from the summit.  I was beginning to see a trend.  As my brother-in-law Reed is fond of saying, "No matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides to each piece of cheese."   There must have been a good reason Jimbo was a victim of his own success, but he was certainly unaware of the common denominator.

Beginning to tire of Jimbo's lustrous litany, I noticed our buddy Marx walking in with a question for Steve.  Steve was not in, but we tracked him down by telephone and secured an answer.  As I spoke with Steve, I had an idea.  My plan was to introduced Marx to this sticky character, scrape the guy off my shoe and transfer him onto Marx's penny loafers.  Marx might unconsciously stumble onto my tacky friend and carry him off, I reasoned.  Marx is fond of giving me a hard time, so I was more than willing to sacrifice him for this just cause.   I introduced the men and by gosh and by golly it worked!  Jimbo latched right onto Marx and began reciting his life story all over again.  Marx made a break for the door and hustled down the front steps with Jimbo following closely behind.  The men wound up at Marx's Jeep, but Jimbo was not finished.  Marx climbed into his vehicle and started it up, but the story was incomplete.  The last I saw of Jimbo, he was trailing Marx across the parking lot, still selling his auto biography as Marx worked hard to make a clean getaway.

With warm regards,
Barry, Steve, Priscilla and Danny; The Team

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