I noticed in your Fall issue that you are not adverse to fiction. In this tale I used the personalities of some of my friends. I may have stretched the truth a bit. The story begins below. Joe
I have a friend who may be the greatest swapper of all time. Let me tell you about this guy.
One time a while back I was looking for someone to share expenses to a swap meet. All my friends were busy until I got to Dick. He was my last choice because he suffers from a chronic cash flow problem. I called him and he promised to help out so I agreed to pick him up in the morning.
When I pulled up to his place the next morning Dick was standing outside with a 5-gallon gas can. He stepped up to my window and said, “I don’t have any money but I do have some gas”. It was too late to back out so we poured in the gas and started out.
As I was driving I inquired where the gas came from.“The gas gauge in Mom’s Buick stays on full until you drive about a hundred miles. I just take out a few gallons after she fills up. She never misses it,” he said. When we pulled into the parking lot at the swap meet I spied a neat Buick Reatta in the car corral. Dick looked over and said, “That’s Art’s latest car. He has more money and fewer brains than anyone I know”. As we walked towards the gate I wondered how Dick would cross that barrier. Not to worry! Dick spotted Fred walking towards us. “Hi Fred, just the man I was looking for”. Just the sucker I thought. “I have this 3 brush generator at home you can have for five bucks”. A little friendly arm-twisting soon parted Fred from the five bucks and we were on our way. We entered the meet with Dick carrying an old car radio and bumper jack I had brought to swap. He disappeared as soon as we were inside.
I promptly forgot about him. Around 10 O’clock he showed up carrying a large bag. He set it down and pulled out a nice set of T-bird wheel covers. “I knew you were looking for these so I swapped your stuff for them”. Since I needed them I was pleased with this turn of events. Dick soon set off for new adventures carrying the not quite empty bag. I suppose he had helped himself to a commission on the wheel cover deal. Later I saw Fred with a 3-brush generator. He got it from Dick. I wonder if Dick really has one at home? We will never know for sure.
Dick stopped by about noon to let me know he wouldn’t be riding home with me. By this time he had leveraged his commission into a ratty old Ford pickup. The day stretched on and because of the fine weather business was good. Finally the crowd thinned and I packed up to leave.
While I was walking out I heard a beep to my right. I looked over and there was Dick sitting in the Reatta. “How in the world did you get this,” I blurted? “Well I ran into Tom. You know how nutty he is about old Ford trucks. He had a ’57 T-bird with a rod knock and a slipping trans. When I finally convinced him that I wouldn’t come down he cried a bit and agreed to a swap. Then I found Art and started dickering. There just happened to be some Harleys revving up nearby while he listened to the engine. Those guys sure appreciated that six pack. Art is not a mental giant so I now have this Reatta. By the way do you have five bucks you can spare? I don’t think I have enough gas to get home.”