Thursday, September 04, 2008

Did you hear the one about the Brit and Yank in a Swedish car?

One of my periodic assignments is to stand by our Volvo showcase car at the Beachwood Place Mall. It's not a particularly hard job, but it does get a bit boring if nobody is willing to talk. You can imagine what I go through. Someone sneaks up to the car to take a look but as soon as I make a move, they scurry away like cockroaches.

This afternoon, I decided to sit in the driver's seat for a moment of comfort. But I was quickly interrupted when I heard, "May I sit next to you?" from outside the car. The accent was decidedly British. Seconds later a 74 year old man with white hair plopped into the passenger seat and began to tell me about his Volvo experience.

It was four years ago that he and his wife decided to buy a new car to celebrate his 70th birthday. After a disappointing visit to the Honda dealership, they tried out a Volvo. When his wife first sat in the S60 they eventually bought, she ruined any hope for negotiating by saying, "We'll have this one."

But by far his favorite part of owning the S60 was what happens when little Fords with "straight pipes" pull up next to him. "All I do is press this and I'm gone," he said with an accelerator-like motion of his hand. I smiled and laughed the whole time. And I must say that his visit made the time go by much quicker than usual.

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