Blow, Gabriel, Blow

Regular visitors here will recall the story of Gabriel, who accosted me, more or less, in front of my house proposing to buy my old car a few weeks ago, eventually upping the ante to an inquiry about my marital status.

I sent an e-mail to the address he left with me, once I had Melissa safe in the hands of my young and penurious friend D. J., and thought no more of it.

This morning as I hoisted my gym bag I spotted a glossy white sedan parked, annoyingly, athwart the end of my driveway. As I stepped into the yard the driver got out.

“Hello, I have been hoping to hear from you, do you remember my stopping by?”

“Gabriel,” I said. “I see you got your car problem solved?”

“Oh no, that is my woman’s — girl friend’s car,” he said, indicating a shadowy silhouette in the passenger seat. It was a Mercedes and quite a handsome one.

“Ah. Well my young friend did take the car.” His face became tragic. “I did send an e-mail, and it didn’t bounce, so I thought I had the address right.”

“Ah. There was a problem. My son got into my mail account and did something and now I cannot get in.”

I gave him the card for Kirk’s Garage, where there is usually a rehabbed old wreck out front with a For Sale sign, and pointed him down the street to another clunker with a phone number posted in the window.

They didn’t leave  even when I pulled out of my driveway. It made me hinky, I have to say. I circled the ‘hood and came back by the end of the street to make sure they were gone before I went on to the gym. Yeah, I’m a suspicious old bitch, but you know, some guy comes knocking on your door pleading to buy an old heap cheap and asking if you’re taken, and the next thing you know his son is hacking his mail and his girl friend is chauffeuring him around in a white Mercedes? I mean, what kind of smoke is he trying to blow up my ass?

Serve him right I gave it away to a young buck.


11 thoughts on “Blow, Gabriel, Blow

  1. I know you are a cat person, Sled, but this situation calls for a large dog.

    I, too, am suspicious, partly because I have always paid great attention to details. Often, I misread the meaning of the detail.

    When my last old Rottweiler, Udo, died of cancer, I invested in an alarm system. I rarely use it because I’m afraid it will go off and scare me to death.

    The yellow lab is worthless in this category.

    • Labs bark at everything. That said, the neighbors’ Labs, whom I cordially loathe because they bark at me (and throw themselves against the fence, and growl) when I’m gardening, are probably good things to have next door from time to time.

      In all earnest, I think the guy was probably seriously trying to buy an old junker for the reasons he stated — his own car got badly pranged and a cheap emergency replacement was the most appealing short-term strategy — but the flirtatious schmoozing was opportunistic and probably meant to soften up the seller.

      I once had a guy of indeterminate Middle Eastern countenance pull over to the side of the road while I was walking with the same pitch and question. “Pleased to meet you, I am hot stuff in my country, America is a horrible global villain, let’s go to bed now” is an especially frequent come-on in aroudn D.C., occasionally coupled with “Can I borrow some money” or a similar appeal. American men have their own privileged attitudes, but I routinely run across guys from foreign parts who act as if the US is a big candy box full of nubile titty canapes and horny gullible divorcees. Flashbacks to the 70s when guys my father’s age thought all they had to do to get laid was walk up to a college-age girl and hit on her.

      A friend of mine, not young or even well preserved, has been repeatedly besieged by a taxicab driver from Karachi who wants her to be his second wife and says it’s OK with the first one.

      • The reply is as good as the post.
        Thanks for the laugh!

        (Back to my essay writing)

        PS Your neighbors barking dogs disparage this sweet breed. Shame on them.

  2. The inherent entertainment of this post aside, I particularly admired it from a standpoint of literary craft. The dovetailing of the contextually ironic title, and the penultimate line, was particularly satisfying.

    • That means a lot, coming from a man who wrangles writers for pay.

      I’m afraid I went around the rest of the evening after I posted trying to imitate Ethel Merman. I do have a hell of a chest voice. It scared the cats.

  3. Going back to check is a good idea. Sadly, I may not be too street smart, but crooks are persons of opportunity.

    You left, the people in the car know that you have left, and they know you don’t have a dog or husband in the house.

    You had every reason to be suspicious and to double check.

  4. Oh hell yes, I, too, am filled with complete incredulity at some of the lines (and the attitudes they represent) aimed at western women by (some) first generation immigrant men.

    And then I remember the TV shows, music and films we export around the globe and I realise why – in comparison to the women of their original culture – we look so ‘up for it’.

  5. Pingback: Your Favorite Post Comments? « Café Philos: an internet café

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