Two stories in one, what a deal. Do you ever get the feeling that someone is reading over your shoulder? Who’s doing it? Why? Okay may it is coincidence. When I write about my dreams, I want to claim ownership. This happened so long ago but it seemes like it happened to me everytime I tried to write something wait, I’ll explain later…………
…..Waiting for the traffic light to change and there it was, I couldn’t believe it, not after all of these years.
A 1976 Ford Granada, painted maroon and yellow. A car like that sticks out and there can be only one. I was selling cars for Duval Ford back in 1977. The boss had put a bonus on all of the ’76 model cars for incentive to move them out. The last 1976 new car was a maroon Granada. At a sales meeting one morning, the sales manager asked for ideas to help move the car.
Someone suggested painting the top yellow, to make it enticing to a Florida State football fan. I’ve always rooted for the Gators, so I was against it, but my opinion didn’t count. Still, there was a five hundred dollar bonus on the car, even after a couple of months; it still sat on the showroom floor. My rent was due, the wolf was at the door, that’s all of the incentive I needed.
I tried to keep one eye on that car everyday. One day a guy walked up to it drooling and gasping, rubbing his hands all over it like it was Alladin’s Lamp. The way his hands and fingers kept sticking to the car made me think of “Spiderman”. We made our deal, but before he drove off, I asked him why he liked it so much. He told me that he was an FSU fan and that after losing another game, he found it depressing when he tried to leave Doak Campbell Stadium. It was so hard to find his car in the midst of the 70,000 plus cars. He thought that this color would stick out much better and he wouldn’t have any problem finding it.
A few weeks after that, I sold a truck to a “Shriner” with an unusual trade in. The boss had ran an ad on TV saying, “We’ll trade for anything.” This “Shriner” having read the ad, brought in his camel to trade in on a car. Yeah, we made the deal but my boss had told me that since it was my trade in, it was my responsibility to sell the camel or trade it for something more valuable.
Soon afterwards, here comes that maroon and yellow Granada. I knew who it was right away, when I seen the car. I wanted to run and hide, because I had already spent the money I made off of him, but on second thought, curiosity got the better of me. You have to have the “go for it attitude” to sell cars and I did. I opened the door, helped the guy out, shook his hand and asked him how the car was working out? He said “not so good”.
He told me that at first, it was great. Even though they lost, he could find his car but after a couple of weeks, every body was driving maroon and yellow cars and he was back to square one. He even tried putting an orange Styrofoam cone on the radio antenna, so that he could pick his out. The next week, FSU lost like 42 to nothing to an unranked team like usual. When he left Doak Campbell stadium to find his car, there were near 70,000 maroon and yellow cars that had an orange cone stuck on the end of the radio antenna.
That done it, he wanted to trade cars, find something unusual, so he wouldn’t have to face that problem anymore. A light bulb went off in my head. “Hey, I’ve got just the thing.” I showed him the camel we had out back. He was reluctant at first. “What am I gonna do with a camel,” he asked. Finally, after reminding him of his situation, I talked him into it. The kicker was he would only said yes on the condition that I would ride with him on it to the next game on Saturday, which happened to be my weekend off.
Sitting seven feet high in the air, we paraded down Tennessee Avenue. We past miles and miles of backed up game day traffic, finally arriving at the stadium in time for the pregame warm ups. It was a great game, Florida won, beating FSU something like 50 to nothing. We joined the exodus of people leaving the stadium and low and behold, there were several hundred, maybe thousands of hump back camels as far as the eye could see.
Not to be deterred, my customer went from camel to camel, raising the tail and inspecting the rear end of each one. After a couple minutes of disbelief, I just had to ask him, “What in the heck are you looking for?” He said, “Not to worry, I’ll find him.” I hollered out, “Find who?” He answered, “On the way up here when we were wading through the traffic, I kept hearing people shout out, “Hey, Look at the two assholes on that camel.”
This story came back to me in my dream. I got up in a hurry to write it down before I forgot it. Just as soon as I finished writing and posting, I clicked onto Yahoo News and an eerie feeling ran up and down my spine when I saw the ad on top of the page.