Earlier this week, in a suburb of Detroit
As I sat staring out the window at the morning sunshine contemplating the odd tricks that fate has played on me, the wall phone in the kitchen jolted me back to reality.
I answered it anyway. Hello, I said thoughtfully.
Edward Lapham? the voice on the other end asked.
Speaking, I said without hesitation.
This is so-and-so from Nearby Dodge, he said. How are you today?
Im home sick with a fever, I said honestly.
Good. Do you still have your pickup? he asked.
Obviously, he was referring to my Hemi-powered 2006 4x4 Dodge Ram pickup in deep Patriot Blue with the swell Big Horn package that I shamelessly leased two years ago when DaimlerChrysler was giving them away.
It was a sly question, but I saw through his cruel game. No, I sold it, I lied.
Oh, you did? he asked.
Of course not. Its a lease vehicle. What kind of question is that? When I have a fever I can be a little snarky when people ask foolish questions.
Are you ready for a new one? he asked.
Ah ha! I was right. This poor devil was stuck working the phone at the dealership, trying to lure unsuspecting lessees to sign on the dotted line for a new truck. It could mean only one thing: Chrysler had a lease pull-ahead program because trucks arent moving. Who did they think they were fooling?
In the beat of a heart, I decided to play it cool. Gosh, the lease isnt up until October, I said.
I think I might be able to get you out of it now, he offered. Are you interested in a new Ram or a Dakota?
Not right now. My next pickup will have a diesel, and Dodge doesnt have one in the 1500.
From there, things broke down. The voice allowed as how I was right about the diesel, saying you had to get a 2500 to get the diesel. I explained to him that it would be about a year before a Cummins diesel would be available in the 1500.
Oh, yeah? he yawned.
My highly trained reporters ear could tell he didnt care about a diesel next year because that wouldnt help him now.
So, are you interested in a new Ram or Dakota? he asked again.
Lets see whats happening as we get closer to the end of the lease, I said.
OK, the voice said. Goodbye.
We hung up. But, somehow, I dont think Ive heard the last from him.