Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Sweat of a Salesman

I should tell you a few things about The Boyfriend. He is a typical Irish man, albeit one living in the wrong era. He is steadfast and conventional. He prides diligence and dignity above all else. He firmly believes that a good work ethic yields ultimate happiness. He is fair and forthright and frustrated with the Celtic Tiger generation.
He's also calm and controlled, avoids unnecessary confrontation and is the most reliable and selfless individual I have ever come across in my life.
Anyway, when Beanie Face and Cali Gurrrl ended their relationship, The Boyfriend decided to terminate a liaison of his own. Since being granted the unlimited usage of his company truck, the fickle Ford Mondeo we'd scrimped for had simply been gathering dust and rust in the driveway. In addition, our lease was coming to an end and there was still no word on our visa application. Beanie Face was moving into a new house closer to where he worked, and Cali Gurrrl was back in America. We needed to find somewhere to live and the second vehicle was making the process impossible. The Boyfriend scrubbed the car inside and out, bought some air fresheners, serviced the complicated mess that is under a bonnet and propped a "For Sale" sign in the window. We waited hopefully for expressions of interest.
The Boyfriend's prematurely greying hair was almost white by the week's end, when finally an Estonian backpacker called. The Boyfriend has trouble hearing at the best of times, and was perplexed by the Estonian's frail grasp of English. They reverted to texting after several frustrating minutes, and we arranged to meet in the city to show off Dallas in all her gleaming glory. We crossed our fingers as The Boyfriend turned the key, and with a deafening roar, chugged into the city.
We met the Estonian and his better-looking half at the prearranged time. He was tall, bespectacled and dressed in about fourteen layers of clothing. His girlfriend was half his size in stature and height, and with a voice so low and meek I quickly lost interest in her existence. The Boyfriend hopped out, shook hands and held the door open for the couple's expected inspection. He was in full salesman mode, all smiles and laughing at every word the Estonian uttered. I cocked an eyebrow, not quite sure what was so funny about the statement "We are backpackers", and said so to The Boyfriend - an assertion which earned me an elbow in the ribs from Himself.
Doubled over, I climbed into the back seat as the two men organised a test drive. The Boyfriend settled himself in the passenger side, waiting expectantly. The Estonian just stared blankly at us and finally revealed his reluctance. "Oh, I am not too good driving with the stick, so could you be please to drive around?"
"You can't drive a manual?!" I sputtered incredulously. Dallas was probably the most manual car I have ever come across - even requiring the odd manual push-start in the mornings. Before the Estonian could attempt a reply, The Boyfriend was graciously jumping behind the wheel. We took a spin around the block and the Estonian said he would buy the car if we got an Road-Worthy Certificate. The Boyfriend agreed to this condition very enthusiastically and we spent the rest of our Sunday afternoon pulling up to closed garages. I thought that vein would pop, but The Boyfriend eventually managed to organise a RWC, all circulatory tubes intact.
After some haggling and bargaining with the mechanic, The Boyfriend returned home Tuesday afternoon of the following week, RWC in hand. He called the Estonian and took the next day off. The Boyfriend was beaming from ear to ear, delighted with his victory, eager to rid himself of the depreciating disaster that had been Dallas.
I arrived home from work the next afternoon at about four, and there was no sign of The Boyfriend. At five, I called him to check in. He was two hours from where we lived, having driven outside the city at the Estonian's request because it was apparently "too difficult to be driving the stick in busy city streets".  The transaction was finished and he was just waiting for a train to get back home. He's not one for public transport and I could hear the vein throbbing over the 'phone so I made some rushed goodbyes and promised to have dinner waiting when he got home.
At half past eight, with an ice-cold steak and some shrivelled carrots sitting despondently in the microwave, I rang again. I didn't even get to say hello. The Boyfriend launched into a tirade that I'd imagine most of his fellow train passengers thought was a different language - perhaps Estonian.
"That feckin' gobshite! I gave him the feckin' RWC and all, and I got on this feckin' train, and he rang me after about twenty minutes and said he'd lost the feckin' thing. So I jumped off that train, and headed straight back towards the feckin' dickhead and turned up to find the jaysuzin' thing shtuck down the back seat. Well JAYSUZFECKINCHRIST, I nearly CLOCKED the wanker! And then he had the cheek - THE ABSOLUTE FECKIN' CHEEK - to ask if he could ring me if anythin' went wrong so I says to him, I says - 'Lad, if anythin' goes wrong in this car, don't even think about callin' me.' and I walked away. What a feckin' gobshite, what sorta hoor was he, wha'? DALORDLAMBAJAAAAYSUZ."
This, for anyone struggling, simply translates as "The car has been sold. I'll be home a bit later than I originally thought."

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