Upsell off I-94 by Simon Pinkerton

Hello folks, step right in here. I’ll take care of you. Are you looking for anything in particular today? Got your hearts set on a certain model, or would you like some help choosing?

These are all great cars. I’m lucky they are, I’m a really bad salesman. No, no, it’s not false modesty. I’m not devious enough to be a good salesman, it’s not in my nature. I don’t prize money above everything else. There are more important things, no?

Yes ma’am, I’m from England originally, London. I came to live here with my grandma after my mom died.

You were just talking about English accents with your daughter? Ha, what a coincidence!

These are all great cars. I own a Three Series. There are more luxurious models, but like I said, not the best salesman! I own the one I can afford.

Yes ma’am, I do like it here in the Midwest, and I like working here. Well enough anyway. Back in my country I was a….well, a salesman there too. I never made much of myself! At least here I have the accent, right? Thank you ma’am. You flatter me. And sir, no need for that look, your wife has a perfectly natural reaction—my voice is probably the only reason they gave me a job here. It appeals to a lot of beautiful women in this state, don’t ask me why.

But enough about me. What car are you thinking folks? The Three Series is a great car—reliable, powerful, safe. I love mine. Is the Three Series enough for you though sir? It’s about how you want to present yourself. Is the Three Series enough car to show people the real you? And ma’am—do you think that a car is a good demonstration of your status? Your husband’s status? A reflection on your choice of husband even?

I’m lucky, they give staff a good discount here. Or I’d probably be in a Jetta, know what I mean? God, can you imagine how fast my last girlfriend would have dumped me if I’d have picked her up in that? Not as quickly as our Seven Series goes, but pretty quick I should think.

Ha ha, oh stop ma’am, but yes, I am single. I’m dating right now but still looking for the right woman. I’m pretty sure one girl dated me just to use my discount here. Bought her Five Series and then, VROOOM! At least I got the commission on the sale, am I right? Oh ma’am look, your husband has wandered over there, we’d better catch him up. He’s looking pretty annoyed. Do me a favor, stop flirting with me! Ha ha, I know you’re not really, I’m just fooling with you.

The Five Series, that’s a fine car you’re looking at there sir. Most of the salespeople here drive that car. Say the word and we can hit the road for a test. It’s pretty quiet in here, I have three colleagues out testing this model right now. Who’s buying? It varies. Mostly businessmen who want a refined, popular ride. And all the salespeople taking them out. Yes, we all drive cars from here, it’s good for us to be able to tell you about the relative merits of the different models. No, it’s not written into our contracts; we just know good cars. No, none of us drives the Seven Series. A little too rich for us, that one. We’re just honest salespeople. Sure, we can go look at them now.

The Seven is a very, very nice car. Sophisticated, elegant. I have excellent finance options on that—nothing down, very low rate of interest spread over ten years if you need it.

You won’t need the finance though, will you? You must be loaded. Why do I say that? I have a pretty good idea about these things.  

So with a call to your bank I could get you a bill of sale and the keys in 10 minutes. Could you imagine yourself driving out in one of these beauties today?

Your wife appears to be stuck over at the Five Series, sir. No, she seems to be doing ok. No, I don’t think you need to confer with her…do you? Does she…does she make a lot…of the decisions in your household? No, no, I’m not implying anything, sorry sir, I most certainly did not wish to offend you. Please, get in the driver’s seat, get comfortable. Amazing isn’t it? Italian leather.

What’s that you’re looking at? Oh, straight ahead, behind that curtain? Don’t worry about that sir. That’s our Nine Series, brand new. I don’t really show that car. We only have two of them in this part of the country ready for sale. Well it is more powerful, yes. Yes, very unique. But the car you’re in is amazing. This car has got everything you need and more.

Do I what sorry? Oh, do I get commission on the Nine Series? I’m a little uncomfortable giving that information out, sir. Ok, for you—actually I don’t. We’re actively discouraged from showing that car. It’s very expensive but the mark-up isn’t as good, because of economies of scale and all that. That car was personally designed for the CEO in Germany. It’s named after his daughter.

Sir, your wife is looking over at me. She does keep staring. Do you think she’s trying to get my attention? What’s that? Oh, ha, you’re right, she probably does just want to hear my voice again. You know women and younger men. Younger, foreign men. Still between us, I really do love the attention, it’s flattering, and it’s a relief to know that this suit looks ok on me. It’s new, and I was a little worried when I put it on this morning that it made me look too broad, you know? I’ve got such a small waist compared to my shoulders. Probably from the triathlons. Yes I train every day. I’m lucky, I have such incredible stamina.

What do you do for work sir? Right, you’re a property developer. That sounds lucrative. Are you comfortable in that seat by the way sir? Do you need to move the seat forward? This chair is amazing, it lifts for the smaller driver. I have it set back, I can’t get my legs in otherwise. Six foot three.

Ok, since the boss isn’t here. Let’s go take a look. Let your wife know you’ll be over there for a few minutes, you can signal to her.

Well, what do you think? You can see why it’s behind a curtain, can’t you? Oh my god, look at you—you love it! Do you think you can afford it sir? Do you think you can handle a car as powerful as this? Let’s check that you can see over the steering wheel ok. I’ll move it up, just a press of this switch here in an upwards motion. There. How’s that? Put your hands on the wheel. How do you feel? Do you feel big sir? Do you feel important? Does it make you feel like you can do anything, go anywhere? Win anything? Beat everyone? Imagine pulling up to a stoplight in this—imagine the man on the street crossing in front of it. A big guy like me, good-looking, tailored, suavely crossing, then his jaw dropping a little, looking in, seeing you, that envy in his eyes. Can you imagine that, sir? Does it make you feel younger? Imagine that sinking feeling in his gut. He thinks he’s so great, his thick hair and his GQ grooming. His young, hot wife next to him, her ass like two grapefruits. He thinks he’s got it all. But he doesn’t have this. Far from it. Look at his stupid face as he gawps in here!

I see you’ve noticed the price tag on the gear stick. I know, it is expensive. I wasn’t even going to show it to you if you remember? That Seven Series is right behind us, past the curtain. I think perhaps your wife would think this was a little extravagant.

Does she nag you? It must really piss you off how she flirts with younger men when you’re out together. Maybe you should get some young, gorgeous women to look at you? How would she like that? I imagine she would remember pretty quickly what a catch you are when she sees them staring. Women know that look. Know and fear it. And she can’t compete with youth now, can she? Come on—you’d like a little deal on the side, no? As long as nobody finds out, huh? I know you—you’re all about the deal.

Come on. Be a fucking man. Don’t be a little pussy. Grow a pair of balls, buy this car. I want you to have it so badly now we’re in it. I can’t bear the thought of you going back to being a nobody in a Seven Series. Who wants distinguished? Fuck that. I want to be desired. I’ll have what you’ve got someday sir. Until then, I’m just a handsome also-ran. I may be twenty years younger, ten inches taller, and your wife might be looking at me and imagining what I look like naked. But you—think of me climbing into my little Three Series while you race out of here in this. God, who wouldn’t want that? Some people would trade everything for that.

I hate you. I could never afford this car. I have to look at it every single day. Put me out of my misery, please. I don’t care about the commission. I want to know you’re out there in this. Make the most of it. Fuck some twenty-something blonde, then dump her a month later and fuck another one. Fuck that GQ guy’s wife. Fuck her in the passenger seat. It reclines all the way. Italian leather, hand-sewn, wipes clean. Gun the engine before you drive it away so I can hear it one last time. Your wife will be on fire hearing it. Imagine her face when she sees you driving this. Don’t tell her about the price. It’s our little secret.

Hayley is a big fan of this car. What’s that? Yes, your Hayley. How do I know her? I know her from around. She’s been mentioning this place a lot, huh? That’s why you’re here, naturally. She was sitting in this very car last week. The passenger side though. The curtain really came in handy, especially after I gunned the engine. She was all over it.

No, don’t get upset. Why are you getting so upset? We’re just friends. Relax. With benefits. Calm down. Small guys are still at risk of heart conditions. You know, your wife and Hayley look very similar. I wonder if she fucks like her.

Hey Gerry, do you remember when your men men came and forced that old lady out of the apartment complex on Washington? Where you’re building those ugly condos? The men that knocked her front door off its hinges and made all the noise during the night, every night? You know my grandma had a stroke because of all that noise and the threats and never recovered? Do you know she’s dead, Gerry, and she meant the world to me?

Stay the fuck where you are. Listen to me.  

Gerry, do you know how easy it was to get your email password from Hayley? Do you know how badly you covered your tracks? Not too good with computers, huh? I don’t think you’re going to have long to take pleasure in this car. I hope you’ve been enjoying your money.

I love that you didn’t even notice the needle going in. Too busy thinking about all those affairs you could have had, eh? I do paint quite a picture, huh? Hayley, now talk about an ass like two grapefruits.

Speaking of, do you like bananas? Full of potassium. Like you. That and some other chemicals. I don’t know the exact details, I’m a salesman, not a chemist! But I’m lucky to know one. A doctor of pharmacy. Always gives me the best advice. Does your chest ache yet?

Do you need something, Gerry? Are you having trouble breathing? You look very red. It’s a popular color for the Seven Series, not usually for its drivers. Wow, you are flushed.  

I’m going to leave you here to get more familiar with this car. It’s soundproof in here, marvellous, isn’t it? I’m going to go talk with your wife and then, I don’t know, we’ll head over and discover your body. Then I’ll probably call your daughter, hang out with her some more. Boy do you look strange.

Nothing to say, huh? What is that, foam? Are you foaming, Gerry? Don’t worry about it, the seats wipe clean.

*

Simon Pinkerton is a nebulous concept who lives with his wife and two boys in London, England. He has a stupid haircut and the craziest expression! Please read his stories and show him some love on Twitter.

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