Archive for May, 2008

Today I bought a motor scooter.

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

I have been thinking about buying one ever since I rode a scooter around Paris for a day. I figured I could save some money on bus fairs if I rode a scooter to work.

Second Street Scooters is the largest dealer of scooters in town–at least that’s what the advertisement in the phone book said. I decided to go there.

Second Street Scooters is a large building with lots of windows. Inside, there is a showroom full of rows and rows of shiny new scooters, with customers walking around them, scratching their heads and looking like they wished they had more money. Besides customers, there are repair men in greasy overalls wiping their hands on towels, and salesmen in suites rubbing their hands.

Salesman: Hello, my name is Phil, can I help you with anything?
Me: Um, I’m looking at scooters.
Phil: Well, you have come to the right place, we have over fifty scooters in stock with models ranging from 50 cubic centimeters to 700 cubic centimeters made by over five different companies, and in seventeen colors. This, here, is a beauty. Is our top of the line model with a 695 engine, automatic transmission, antilock brakes, positractoid traction, heated seat and handlebars, extra storage space, and capable of going from zero to sixty miles per hour in 4.334 seconds. Here, take my card.
Me: How much does this one cost?
Phil: That one is $6,999, however if you qualify for one of our financing options you can take this scooter home today for two hundred dollars and monthly payments of . . .
Intercom: If Phil is on the floor, he is needed in the shop for a sale.
Phil: Oh, sorry I have to go.

Have you noticed how some salesmen make you feel like if you don’t buy the most expensive model, you will be offending them. Here is a picture of Phil trying to get me to look at the expensive models, while I try to find something cheaper.

After Phil left, it was a lot more quiet. I walked around the showroom looking at all the shiny new scooters. When I climbed on top of them their tires would squeak on the tile floor. They all had price tags on them that ended in a series of nines and cost much more than the money I had with me.

Me: Excuse me, do you have any models that cost less than eight hundred dollars?
Man in Greasy Overalls Wiping Hands On Towel: Try the “used” section over there.

There were less scooters in the used section. Some of the scooters were almost new, and cost almost as much and new ones. Some were very old and looked like they probably wouldn’t run for very long. Towards the end of the row was a grey scooter with a metal rack on the back (for carrying extra gear), and a price tag that said “$769.99.” I was starting too climb on top of it when Phil came back.

Phil: Oh, I see you have found our used section. That’s a nice little scooter. It’s small, but it has a fast 148cc engine.
Me: How do I know it runs well?
Phil: Do you want to take it for a test drive?