August 04, 2006

The Weirdest Wild Goose Chase Ever

On Sunday we decided to sell M's car. Underused and in need of repair, we thought it could serve a better purpose (buying us groceries) than taking up space in our driveway. Ask me in the deep of winter (when it's too cold for M to bike to work) if I still agree with the decision to be a one-car family and I'll probably give you a shivery smirk, but this week it seemed like a good idea.

We made the decision on Sunday, placed an ad on a popular internet service on Monday, and had a buyer Tuesday. We were estatic. SOMEONE WANTED THIS CAR. We were thrilled enough that when he said he was from a city 80 miles from us and needed to bring the car "half-way", which was really closer to us driving it most of the way, we agreed. We talked several times, set up a plan to meet at a mall near my SIL's house, and promptly spent our newfound money to replace our water heater, which broke on Thursday. (Easy come, easy go.)

During the week we had several more interested buyers and we regretted our decision to sell to someone so far away. But he was just a kid and seemed so earnest, we couldn't back out on him. So today we loaded up the kids and I followed M an hour or so down the freeway. We were to meet at M*cDonald's in the (albeit big) mall's parking lot. Then things got weird. Over the course of the next 4 hours and about 100 calls to his cellphone, we tried to find this kid who so desperately wanted this car:

  • First he couldn't find M*cDonald's. Who can't find M*cDonald's? Him, apparently. When I finally reached him, he claimed he was "by the movie theatre".
  • Over to the theatre, drive up and down the rows, looking, looking, looking. Nothing. Call him back. WHY DO I KEEP GETTING HIS VOICEMAIL? And can I just mention that after today, I despise ringtones. There is nothing more annoying than calling someone on the phone (100 times) and hearing the same damn song instead of the nice purring ring a caller should hear. Finally he picks up.
  • "WHAT ROW ARE YOU IN?" I shout into the phone. "Five-B," he replies. "Don't move," I say. We go flying over to 5B and he's not there. M shouts at me from his car "Why did you hang up?" in a tone of voice I didn't really appreciate and he soon found a cell phone flying through his (lowered) passenger window.
  • After not getting him on the phone for 15 more minutes, we went inside to eat lunch with my SIL's family and cruised the mall, letting the girl's stretch their legs on the playland. FINALLY, I got him on the phone. He sounded irritated. "Do you know where the R*ainforest Cafe is?" I asked. He did. "My husband will meet you there in one minute." Mark went racing over. No one.

We gave up about a half hour later and drove home, $40 poorer for the gas we had used. We called the next buyer on our list and sold the car 10 minutes later to a family that just lives around the corner from us.

I have no idea. Do you think he was just that bad at following the simplest of directions? Or were we duped? And if so, WHY?


Blogger Margaret said...

We've already talked about this, but I still can't figure it out. I think he took you for a ride (literally) but I can't figure out why. Just weird.

August 04, 2006 11:46 PM  
Blogger Jenn (formerly gibby23roarof84) said...

Perhaps he was bored...and in college, and ten years from now they'll still be rolling on the floor, "remember when we told that lady we wanted to buy her car...." I know you can see it....

August 05, 2006 8:27 AM  
Blogger Her Grace said...

It's not really expressed in this post, but this went on for four and a half hours. (Luckily we had a mall with food and entertainment to help pass the time.) He definitely seemed a little flaky on the phone, but very serious about the car, and he didn't really seem like the type that was pulling a prank. He was, however, really hard to hear and understand on his cellphone, so maybe that was on purpose or maybe that was our problem.

August 05, 2006 9:32 AM  
Blogger Lauri said...

That stinks that you wasted your time & energy....

Glad you sold the car... let us know how that works.. the one car family thing as we may have to do that soon... Hubby car is dying a long, slow death.

August 05, 2006 10:49 AM  
Blogger *the sweetest sin* said...

Probably a kid thing. I'm sure he wanted to buy the car, but whether he had the funds or not could have been the issue. Some people have a problem saying truthful things that might upset someone or make them look bad.

August 05, 2006 8:58 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

I think that you're much better off for not having met this guy...I got the creepiest feeling as I was reading your story.

August 07, 2006 12:57 AM  
Blogger Her Grace said...

It's still a toss up around here: Was he just a kid pulling a prank? Was he just that dense? Was he a creep? I was tempted to call his cell phone yesterday and say "What the hell??" But then I thought...what's the point. He hasn't called us at all, which leaves me to believe he wasn't there at all.

Car sellers, beware!

Lauri -- Our one car situation is possible for me only because M only works a mile from home and rides his bike 90% of the time. If I had to be without a car every day or take him in every day, I think I'd go crazy!!

August 07, 2006 8:35 AM  

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