You drive to the parking lot of the nearby hardware/grocery/drug store and park. You pull out your mobile phone, go to recent calls, and send a text message to the number on the top of the list. "Here. Silver Neon." Now, you must wait. In your hand you hold $175 fresh from the bank, there's $25 more in your back pocket but you think that if they see what you're holding they might budge on the price. You suspiciously eye each car that comes near yours, trying to discern whether or not it's the "seller". Finally someone pulls up nearby, two or three stalls away. A glance is exchanged, subtle but undeniably there. You get out, they do the same. You check their hand, there it is: A Brief, Short, Concise, Abridged History of the Americas. You notice that the book must be at least 800 pages long, not so brief. The "seller" lets out a nervous giggle, and you smile awkwardly.
"So, I have $175, would you be willing to budge?"
The seller's face changes ever-so-slightly, he's seen this game before. "Oh, I don't know, I really wanted to get $200, I've talked to several other people who said they'd pay full price." Ha, yeah right. As if they would leave at this point, they've driven all the way here to finally get rid of that burden. They're thrilled to finally throw that dead weight overboard. Weight seems to be the appropriate word, seeing as how the "seller's" arm is starting to shake from the book's overwhelming mass. You know that they might cave after another moment, they can't switch the book to their other hand; one mustn't show weakness in a deal such as this.
"How about $180?" The slightest twitch of the lip, a tiny flicker of the eye, you've caught this fish, reel it in. "I've seen a few others online for $175 so..." It's over, they're done.
"Okay, $180 it is." They hand you the book, you hand them the money. You feel accomplished, but at the same time kind of dirty. You know that they're in the same boat as you, a struggling college student just trying to get an education. But hey, it's a dog eat dog world and you managed to get the first bite. As you drive away the buyer's remorse settles in a bit at a time, because you know, you just spent $180 on a book that you probably won't even read. Ah well, you think, it'll all be worth it in the end. God, I hope it's worth it in the end.
So there it is, you can probably see why I would prefer not to do it this way. Sadly, I can't do anything about it. You may be wondering why this is coming up right now. Well, just while typing this post I received two calls about books that I am currently selling and I'm leaving as soon as I finish this to go sell one of them. So I guess that's all I have to say today. Thanks for reading, as usual. I know that it can be hard for you out there that are loyal to me. I am aware that I'm not nearly as funny as I think I am most of the time, so I thank you for your dedication. I am also aware that that sentence was not really dedicated to anyone, as there are no readers that are loyal to me. Except maybe Earl.
Until next time,