Over the past couple months while blogging about Layla and the ABC crew, I incorporated a few things happening in real life at my shop. This morning, I had one of those inane conversations I’ll have to store for a sequel.
“Hey man,” a middle thirties guy calls out from the big door.
Right on time because I just walked out of the office. “May I help you?”
“Yea… sell me one of your used batteries for a…”
“I don’t sell used batteries, only new Delco batteries,” I cut in, rather than let him give me a vehicle description.
“C’mon,” Mr. Usebat laughs incredulously, “you guys always have shop batteries around.”
“I do have a shop battery, but it’s not for sale.”
“Because it’s a shop battery,” I reply, “and it’s over four years old. I use it…”
“I don’t care,” Mr. Usebat interrupts animatedly nodding his head, “that’s just what I need. How much?”
“It’s not for sale,” I repeat, wishing I had never admitted having one. “You do understand just because I have a shop battery, doesn’t mean it will fit in your car anyway.”
“I’ll make it work. How much?”
“Think of it this way. I sell you the shop battery, and you go home and hook it up. What happens if it doesn’t start your vehicle?”
“I’d bring it…” Mr. Usebat pauses, knowing he stepped off the tightrope, and he’s working without a net.
“Exactly,” I fill in for him.
“How much for a new one then?” Mr. Usebat asks, resigned he’s not going to separate me from my shop battery.
“Come in the office and give me the application, and I’ll find out,” I direct, opening the office door for him.
“Can’t you give me a ball park figure?”
“Sure, somewhere between $80.00 plus tax to $150.00 plus tax. Delco batteries are pretty expensive, but they’re the best. If…”
“Shit… I’ll just go to Walmart!”
“Okay,” I shrug, letting the office door close.
“Could I borrow your shop battery to drive over to Walmart?”
If only I could conjure Layla…