LAST OF THE VILE AND CONSCIENCE FREE STAGECOACG ROBBERS (NEARLY)
Readers of this automotive saga might wonder whether my role in this circus was merely a minor bit part as a guy with severe carpal tunnel syndrome from excessive check writing. That’s a logical question and happily the answer is no.
The reason is that the average late 50s car carries enough stainless steel and chrome trim parts to fill two and a half semi-trailers. My 59 Plymouth was no exception so after a so-called pro charged me $50.00 for a piece that was 5 inches long and half an inch wide I made a very easy decision. Learning how to repair and polish metal was infinitely preferable to forking over enough money to put a substantial down payment on a mid-range house.
To yet another vile, conscience-free 21st Century stagecoach robber.
At a hundred bucks a foot I knew that at minimum I could match this arrogant clod’s incredibly average end result plus I could learn something besides how long it takes to piece off thousands of bucks to an ingrate with a polishing wheel. A company had a pretty decent polishing kit so for less than the price of what this extortionist billed me I took on the job myself.
After a practice piece I easily matched the so-called pro’s result and within the first 3 pieces I would definitely match my work against his at the county fair chrome-piece contest. After all the lectures, bills and immoral players in this soap opera I was finally able to kick a guy’s ass right out the door because I could do a better job.
That is a game winning World Series moment in my world.
But the crooks weren’t entirely gone-that kind of happy ending only happens in really bad situation comedies and even though I met a lot of jokers on this TV show they, like bad situation comedies, weren’t that funny.
Case in point.
I’d purchased a rear window gasket at the standard ‚“wearing mask while holding gun on customer” price that you get when you only have one supplier. I could live with that. What troubled me was that this self-righteous egomaniac wouldn’t accept that his very expensive piece of crap rubber didn’t fit. It was all my fault and despite the fact that I had a 30-year professional auto glass guy helping it was still my problem and not the fact that his reproduction rubber didn’t look anything like the original.
After I agreed to take a significant hit on a restocking fee plus handling charges he agreed to take his mistake back. But not before getting me to agree to never use this chiseling weasel again as a supplier.
Kind of like getting mugged and then signing a contract with the assailant to never, under any circumstances to hand over your wallet to him again.
Promise made, promise kept-for life.
Anyhow, the old gasket wasn’t in bad shape and we put it back to work for another 50 years. And with that grand exit, the project really got on track.