Three hundred dollars and thirty cents

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I’ve recently moved out of Omaha and am now spending a little layover at my parents’ house in Kearney Nebraska before I move back to Denver. I’m planning on moving to Denver just as soon as I find a job there.

Yesterday I went to the bank to cash in a whole shitload of savings bonds that my now mentally unstable grandmother gave me over the years. I was parked in a diagonal fashion between two diagonal parking lines, so I was parked correctly. Some pig fucking shit kickin’ hill person from the sticks then parked their 1995 piece of shit Le Sabre next to my car at a 90 degree angle with the curb; or incorrectly parked to make it simple. So as I was backing out of my spot I slightly bumped his rear driver side fender. I looked over at the car and saw that this pig fucking shit kickin’ hill person’s buck-toothed four-eyed tractor operating girlfriend was sitting in the car and was staring right at me. So I just smiled and got out of my car to see if there was any damage. I looked at the side of the Le Sabre and saw that the entire side of it had been keyed to all of hell’s damnation and I couldn’t even see where I bumped it. So then the hill person came out of the bank and I admitted to bumping his car. He scanned the already completely fucked up side of his car that I gently tapped for any shred of damage that I may have caused. He then pointed to a four inch smudge that was most likely caused by his hyena-jawed mother bumping her head while she was eating road kill out of the fucking wheel wells. I looked at my car and saw that I also had a little smudge on my rear fender, so I agreed to exchange names and numbers with him and I told him that I would pay for any damages. His name was Tom, and his number is 402-705-7100.

I didn’t expect to hear from Tom again, but go fucking figure, you can just guess who called me to tell me the estimate from his mechanic while I was eating Pringles Select Szechuan Barbecue chips and watching Wheel of Fortune today. He said that the damage was estimated to be $300.30. Give me a fucking break Tom! I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night. I’m not Jewish, but three hundred fucking greenbacks for a four inch smudge on a 95′ piece of shit Le Sabre seems a little fucking steep Tom.

Tom told me to meet him at The Big Apple so we could sort things out. The Big Apple is a “fun center” in Kearney Nebraska. It’s really just a shitty bowling alley with an arcade that hasn’t been considered modern since 1984. I’m fairly buff for my height, so I decide to put on a slightly too tight t-shirt and turn up my intimidation knob when I go to meet this guy at a fucking bowling alley in bumfuck Nebraska. I get to the bowling alley and I see Tom working behind the counter. He’s wearing the exact same fucking clothes that he was wearing yesterday and he smells like Oprah’s car seat. So I ask him to show me the estimate, and he hands it to me. Sure enough, it says that it’s gonna cost $300.30 to fix the fucking smudge that washed off of my car with soap and water. I know that any moron could go to a mechanic and get an estimate that says whatever they want, and ninety-nine percent of hill peoples’ friends and family are comprised of auto mechanics. So I already know that Tom is fucking rotor rootering me right from the get go.

Tom was actually quite cordial, so I had trouble being an asshole to him. None the less, I kept my intimidation turned up at full blast while I hunched over and flexed my fucking guns while pretending to read the car estimate. He even said, “Geez, you’re a lot bigger than I thought.” I said, “Yeah, I’m legally bound to wearing short sleeved shirts in order to avoid the concealed weapon law.” He laughed and I just stared at him with a straight face. I could tell that shook him up inside a little and I had just taken the upper hand in this situation.

I said, “I’ve dealt with claims adjusters before, and I can honestly tell you that this is way too fucking high Tom.”

He replied in a shaky voice, “Yeah that’s what I thought.”

“Look Tom, I’m not paying to fix up your whole fucking car just because you pissed someone off and then they decided to key the living shit out of it, and now you’re taking advantage of me to get a little extra dough. You and I both know you’re not even going to fix the damn car anyway.” I said as I continued to stare him down. I was making sure to use his name as much as possible in order to create a sense of me over powering him. (I learned that in psychology)

“Well the estimate on the rest of the damage is around a thousand bucks and with the damage you caused it’s going to be around twelve or thirteen hundred. He said there were cracks in the panel.” Tom was breaking down now. He was sputtering out bullshit and we both knew it. His entire car wasn’t even worth a thousand bucks.

I came back with my rebuttal, “Well if you wanted to turn this into a legal matter Tom, then you would need at least two estimates from at least two different mechanics. And even if you did that, I don’t have a single scratch on my car and neither of us reported this to the police. So I could just walk out of here and say that I’ve never met you before in my life.”

Tom had a sincere look of ‘Oh Shit’ on his face now. “You can take it to another mechanic if you want to get a different estimate… if you really want to.”

“I’m not going to waste my time doing that Tom. I’ll give you a check for a hundred dollars and we’ll call it even.” I said with a shit-eating grin on my face.

“That’s nowhere near the price of the estimate.” Tom muddled out like a bitch.

“Well no shit it’s nowhere near the estimate because the estimate is fucking ridiculous Tom. As I said, I’ve dealt with claims before and I know that rear driver side panels are even cheaper than passenger side panels because you are statistically four times more likely to hit things with the passenger side of your car. It’s a whole bullshit agenda that the auto industry has against its customers. Three hundred dollars is more than enough to fix a three inch scuff on the driver’s side.” I was really talking some brilliant bullshit now. I’m not even all that sure as to what claims adjusters do because I’ve never actually met one, and that whole driver’s side panel thing was completely made up.

“I suppose I’d take a hundred dollars or so.” Tom was fucked and he knew it. He had been out smarted by a much more fantastic bullshit artist, me.

“I tell you what Tom, I’ll give you two hundred dollars just because you’re being so cool about this.” I was starting to feel a little sorry for Tom. He’s just another unlucky and probably uneducated accidental birth that’s been financially fucked into having to spend the rest of his life in Nebraska. As for myself, I’m fairly well off money wise and two hundred dollars isn’t exactly going to put me out on the street. So I wrote him a check for two Benjamins, I shook Tom’s hand, and I walked out the door. Chances are I’ll never see or hear from Tom again during my lifetime.

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