Autumn

Autumn

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Let's Chat, Shall We

My father and my grandfather before him taught me a man's word should never be broken, and when a man shakes your hand on a deal, he's just given his word of honor and the deal is sealed.

A couple of hundred years ago a deal was sealed by both parties with spit in hand and a firm manly shake, and then as, Al Swearengen said in the movie, Deadwood, "I spit in my hand, will this give you the vapors...." it's too friggin late to back out and maintain your dignity. 

A few days back a fella came into the shop and asked if I'd like to purchase four firearms. Said he had problems and needed to raise a bit of quick cash. I took two, told him to take one home as it wasn't priced in my range, and the fourth I requested he leave overnight as I might know of a buyer. He agreed.

The fourth firearm was a Ruger Super Redhawk chambered in .454 Casull/.45 Colt. Nice handgun but not to my liking and his asking price was far out of my range - read, little margin for profit. I cannot afford to have cash tied to a piece that I know will sit and gather dust for months. So, I zipped out a text to Duke. 

This handgun, and trust me, its a fist full of manly boom-boom, isn't your everyday target pistol. Its primary purpose is hunting. Alaskans holster them for Grizzly protection. It isn't designed for normal tuck 'em under the shirt self-defense. When this baby is filled with the .454 Casull, her recoil will hurt the novice and make liberals in surrounding counties faint. She's a California democrat's worst nightmare. Now ease a few .45 Colt's down her gullet and she'll purr like a kitten. (The recoil is greatly reduced. Or, as a Fudd would say, "It don't kick so hard.")

Which lead me to believe Duke might like to ask her out for a dance.

Duke returned my call and said he'd love to hold her. He arrives and takes the nice little Redhawk and gives her stocks a squeeze. He shed a tear. They then whisper sweet nothings each to the other and he said if the seller lowers his asking price he'd take her home...but only because he hand rolls his own .45 Colt ammunition. I jump on the phone to the seller.

 As Duke sits and waits the seller and I chat about his price. He wants six hundred. Duke offers four. The seller balks. I'm the broker, the go between...me, "Duke wants to know if you have ammo." The seller said yes he did but mostly .45 Colt with a partial box of .454 Casull. I explain his asking price is too high. Said if one were to add a hundred or so to the price a new in the box current model was but an order away.

Finally the seller counters with, "I'll take four-fifty, not a penny less." Duke replied, "Ask if he'll throw in the ammo, all the ammo. If so, we have a deal."

Over the phone I give the seller Duke's offer. The man said, "Yes." I tell Duke, "Yes." Verbal handshake. Done deal.

All parties agreed to meet here the next morning. I held and secured the weapon overnight. Duke went home with a smile on his face.

The next morning I placed the Super Redhawk on my desk and within an hour after I'd unlocked my front door Duke arrived. We waited. Waited some more. The seller finally called and said he'd be here within the hour. Still we waited. Soon the guy is an hour overdue. Overwhelmed with impatience,  Duke drives home. I held his funds.

Like a skunk from its winter den the seller calls, all sly like, "I'll be there soon." Nothing else. I quickly ring Duke and tell him to return. They arrive together and walk back to my office. When this man, the seller, by the name of Keith Nobody, walks into my office I instantly knew something was off, wrong, not good. He begins with, "I'm so sorry guys but I just can't do it. I can't sell at this price. The deal is off."

Without emotion Duke bends and takes his cash from me and places it into his pocket. The skunk takes the handgun and wisely retreats. I look at my friend and say how sorry I am about his man's lack of class. Duke smiled, ever the gentleman, and said it wasn't my fault.

Still. And, here I give my word to my friend. I'll never again purchase a firearm from this man. I don't care if the butthole starves to death.

I hope Duke remembered to wash his hands.

Stephen


  






32 comments:

  1. A handshake used to be a mans word. Now one has problems even if you get it in writing. I am proud to know men whose handshake still means something.

    Sorry things did not work out for you or Duke.

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    1. This is not the same country, my dear, in which you and I were born. It was a very awkward moment. Thanks, Sweet Lady.

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  2. No question about it and the handshake is just a formality it's the word that is important. This Summer I had to replace a strand of electrical wire to the barn. Not one electrician I could find would do it until finally I found a guy who had recently retired from the electric company but he wanted 5 bills to do the job. When one of the first electricians I contacted came back by to see if I found someone and I told him the price he tried to convince me to call the guy back and cancel because he would do it for less.

    I told him flat out a deal was a deal and I know the retired guy had already went and bought the wire needed.

    There is too much shady dealings in all aspects of life these days. The original electrician could have just given me a price but he was playing a game to see what he could get.

    Once you give your word it becomes your law.

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    1. Indeed. It's the word. A man's honor. A hundred years ago this man's actions were excuse enough to put him down.
      Yep, your experience was the same....darn shame. Thanks, my friend.

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  3. Now there's a person we'll not want on the team when the balloon goes up. Sure wouldn't want him watching my back.

    The Good Book says that a double tongued man is unstable in all his ways.

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    1. Agreed on the first part and yes, if the Good Book brands him it is so...

      Thanks, my friend.

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  4. My grandfather's word was his bond. So was that of my father. He passed down to his children that you keep your word, no matter what. He said that if a man loses his good name by not keeping his promises, he has nothing of value to offer. It is such a shame that so many don't understand the meaning of trustworthy.

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    1. Lost values, morality. A man that doesn't keep his word is the kinda fella that will stick a knife in your back for a dollar. Thanks, my lovely friend.

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  5. The previous comments beat me to it. I understand seller's remorse, but once you've agreed to a deal, you have to follow through.

    Ah well, better to find out what kind of "man" the guy is, now, before the excrement hits the rotary air-handler.

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    1. Yes indeed. Duke just left. We've chatted for the last two hours, and btw, he ate all my donuts and drank most of the coffee. Anyway, he said it wasn't a big deal to lose the gun since he really didn't 'need' it....it was the man's backing out a done deal that pissed him off. Thanks, my friend.

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  6. After decades of retailing automobiles, I am surprised when I meet someone with integrity. Seldom happens. Very difficult not to become so cynical it becomes a self fulfilling mind set.

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    1. I understand. A man must have personal values. Otherwise you're just another rat in the gutter. Thanks, my friend.

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  7. My parents always taught that your word given is set in stone. You NEVER go back on it and embarrass the family name - ever. Some were not taught that lesson. It's not your fault Stephen and Duke understands.You are both good men.

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    1. Thanks, Dear Lady, but truth be known I'm prettier than him....

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  8. Someone who doesn't stand his word is no man.Just taking up space.

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    1. That, my friend, is a fact. Thank you.

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  9. Duke, Like I said I didn't need the gun so I saved money but what did tick me off is him going back on his word especially when I accepted his counter offer. Did you notice how low his head was when he slunk out the door?
    Deadbeats like that don't win in the end.

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    1. Yes, I did notice how he slimmed his way out....sorry, Bubba.

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  10. There are worse ways to discover bad character.

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    1. Yep. Their kind seem to grow in number with each passing year.

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  11. It's not just the backing out on the deal. It's that he let you guys hanging, wasting Duke's time, and causing him to have to make the trip over to the shop. Breaking the deal was bad enough - he could have at least manned up enough to tell you right away.

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  12. ack. i hate it, but these kinds of things are happening more regularly. it seems that a man's word no longer means anything.

    what gives me hope is the fact that there are still men out there who treat their word as something valuable. because it is.

    i am very sorry for your, and Duke's wasted time. you are both good men. so are a lot of your readers...i would list them all off but they know who they are.

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. I need to move my butt away from this place....but, where...maybe the wilds of Alaska, the upper Northwest...not sure. Then again, I'm too darn old to rip out our family roots to relocate. Thanks, my friend.

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  13. That reminds me of a young man that was supposed to buy my motorcycle.

    He was adamant about the purchase, agreed to return that Friday, and I turned down two opportunities to sell it; out of the unwritten obligation.

    He called that Friday, told me he changed his mind; I was out of the cost of the ad and still owner of the motorcycle.

    The next person that made the effort to commit was given a piece of paper that stated they were placing $50 as a non-refundable deposit, which he signed.

    He returned within a week; with a disgusted wife and a sick look on his face. He had the option and I had a buyer.

    I signed over the title when he game me my money.

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    1. See, that's what I mean....thanks, Jess.

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  14. 'A man is only as good as his word,' is a very popular quote that people say when they want to be trusted or their trust has been broken. What it means is that one needs to honor what they say. If you say you will do something, then you need to do it. A man that cannot be trusted isn't much of a man."

    I copied that down in a little book I keep. When I read something I like, I write it in the book. Clearly the fellow who reneged on his word doesn't measure up.

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  15. That is truly truly creepy.
    One has to wonder what this guy was thinking?
    Haven't read the above comments and your responses. . . but I'm guessing he was hoping Duke would be so ready to complete the deal that he'd assent to the higher price.

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    1. I think the fella had time between his agreement to sell to make a few sly phone calls on the side and was told by some friend he'd make a better deal somewhere else. Oh, well.

      Thanks, my friend.

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  16. Tried to buy a car this way once, a Firebird convertible in ticket-me red. It was sitting on a consignment lot that I had bought another car from earlier, the wife drove it and fell in love with it.

    Call to the bank and a check was cut. Seller preferred cash, we were told, so off to our bank 50 miles away to cash it in. Cash in hand we advanced to the dealer only to be told after we arrived that the guy was going to make an internet sale for more money. Back to the bank to give them their money back, saved us some interest payments anyway.

    A couple of days later the consignment dealer called back, seems the internet sale fell through and the car was available. Laura told him in no uncertain terms what the both of them could do with that car. Together or separately, she was unconcerned as to which they preferred.

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  17. Great story, Larry, thank you. Sorry it's taken so long to reply but for some reason your comment was bounced to moderation....anyway, thanks again...my friend.

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