Chronicles of Chang: Auto Merchant

Some things happen to some people, some things happen to all people but all things happen only to Chang. We continue to follow our hero of yore as this time, he embarks on an epic adventure of car selling.

A little background is in order as we go back a few years to chronicle the first entrance of our protagonist into this intricate art. Circa 2002, Chang was of the frame of mind to sell his 4-door car. He gets this itch every few years or so where he sells a perfectly good automobile and then will drive to Los Angeles to buy an identical vehicle. The whole cycle then re-starts. Let us not delve into the inner workings of the complex mind of Chang but limit ourselves to the exploits in question.

Anyway, first, a senior citizen called him to visit her place so she could see the car. She mentioned that she was not able to get around much so could he come by and show the car? As we all know by now, Chang’s heart of gold melted and he promptly drove 40 miles or so to demonstrate the proficiency of the car. The lady went over the car with a fine tooth comb and essentially trashed every aspect of the said vehicle in no uncertain terms making Chang feel like a school-boy being reprimanded by the headmistress.

Suitably chastised but with an ever indomitable spirit, Chang journeyed back to his home. In a couple of hours, the phone rang. The voice on the other line said something about trying out a new system and Chang, not the most attentive of listeners, said fine, I’ll try it out. The voice continued saying that, a person on the other line would type something, the voice’s owner would speak it to Chang, who would have to reply to the voice, which would type it back to the person. For someone who is easily confused justifying the drinking of Diet Pepsi, you can imagine the chaos all this must have created in Chang’s mind.

The voice on the phone continued “The person would like to know how much you are selling your car for”. Chang gave his reply. A momentary pause; the voice came back “The person says it’s too much. Can you go lower?” Chang, in most instances, a man of infinite patience was slowly starting to lose his iron control, especially with the drubbing from the senior citizen fresh in his mind. In a barely controlled voice he said “Why doesn’t the person talk to me directly?” A second’s delay. The voice replied “The person on the other line is deaf sir” Now, Chang felt more miserable as he realized what the system was all about.

There are a few more stories that we won’t delve into for the sake of people who want the latest story. The stories are a bit hazy but there was one buyer who seemed to be a gangster or a drug lord and wanted to take the car off Chang for a steal..literally… To make a long story short, the car did get sold finally but that is another tale.

Let us now move to present day. The itch was back and Chang was afire with the desire to once more sell his 4-door automobile. This time his adversary was an Indian. Chang, the admirer of India and Indians, looked upon this person favorably as a potential buyer. A small obstacle here was that the Indian would leave messages on Chang’s phone saying that if Chang called back, the phone would not be answered as there may not be a signal. 174 missed calls and voice mails later, Chang struck upon a brilliant plan. He would go to the mountain himself! With strong past practice in driving his car to show prospective customers, he decided to do it again. Not finding a common place to meet, flexible Chang said he would take the car to the Indian’s work-place.

It was déjà-vu all over again! This time, the Indian went over the car with a microscope. He found paint peeled off an unseen part of the front door and made a big deal of it. I have seen this purported damage. You need to look at the door with a 1500X magnification to find this peeled off paint. Next, the Indian, with Chang perched on the passenger side, took the auto for a spin. Indian guy asked if Chang could hear some noise when the brakes were applied. Chang couldn’t hear a thing and not for the lack of trying. After this, the Indian claimed that the alignment was off as the car moved off a straight line about 0.00085 degrees for every 20 miles. He enquired politely of Chang if the car had ever been in an accident as his friend once saw a car which had an issue with the axle as it had been in an accident. Chang retorted with barely concealed rage that if his car had been in an accident it would be in the records. Finally, Chang’s disciplined power over his emotions gave way and he let the Indian have a piece of his mind and came away with a dismal view of the re-seller trade.

To date, the car has not been sold, but we shall follow the progress of our hero as he goes through his trials and tribulations, for we all know in our hearts, that when Chang tries, Chang succeeds. Maybe there’s a lesson in it for all us somewhere, but for the life of me, I don’t know what it is.
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