Everyone, her friends, her parents even people on the street were all taking about why their car was better than someone else’s. Betty decided it was time to go shopping so she did what everyone else did and went to the dealership. They sold the two major brands ,the brand her parents always drove and brand that her friends wanted.
“I could tell by the way you came in here you want to make or keep this country great am I right?”
“I just came in here to look.” Betty said. The salesman looked perfect, blue suit, flawless hair, red tie knotted precisely and a smile that matched his perfect white shirt.
“Very wise but you want a car that is great like this country, dependable but bold, tough and smart. Do you want to buy or lease?”
“Well I don’t want to be tied to something forever so just a lease, maybe like four years.”
The salesman continued smiling. “Of course, but with the option to renew for another four years. Once you commit to four years it will be hard to change.”
Betty looked around the showroom. “How come the only cars here are either red or blue?”
Smiling he showed those sparkling teeth. “Red and blue are the most popular colors and we give America what America wants.”
“Do you sell other colors, maybe green or yellow?”
“Of course we could but we really suggest either red or blue, it is much easier to get body work done and other colors are more likely to get stolen. I am sure you have heard the phrase ‘the tallest nail gets hammered first’ well by selling only red or blue cars we are protecting our customers.”
“I guess that makes sense.” She strolled between two cars which were both on elevated platforms with the salesman at her elbow. “I can’t really get a good look at the cars from down here.”
“But you can see their great profiles while looking up at them, let me show you the brochures, which one do you want to look at first, blue or red.”
Betty shrugged. “Red I guess.”
“Great choice a very impressive model this year.” Pulling out a glossy brochure he handed it to her.
Looking over the brochure she asked. “Does this car really get a hundred miles to the gallon?”
“It depends on your driving habits if you are a lead foot in the city then you mileage may vary, but look at this,” he said flipping the page to a picture of the the trunk. “isn’t that impressive, you could probably get seven suitcases in there.”
Betty nodded it was a huge trunk. Glancing at the remaining pages she turned to the last page and as if on cue the salesman asked. “So what do you think can you see yourself showing this off to all your friends?”
“Well maybe, but I should shop around, what are the features on the blue car.”
“An awesome selection it is a very impressive model this year.” The brochure was produced and at the same time he relieved her of the first, flipping to a page seemingly at random he pointed out a feature. “This car’s interior is made with sustainably produced fabrics that have a zero percent emissions rating in the shipment to the market.”
Betty looked at the stats but not knowing what he meant. Although the cars looked different and were different brands it seemed to her that the cars were basically the same. “Can I see the brochure for the red car again?”
The salesman continued smiling and deftly produced the brochure again, but this time he presented it to her open which forced her give the blue one back to him.
The facts seemed clear but not quite. “Can I look at both of the brochures together?”
His smile faltered slightly. “Sure.”
Betty held both and flipped thru them together. “It says the blue car has 30 cubic feet interior space but the red car has 17 cubic feet in the front and 13 cubic feet in the rear. Isn’t that the same amount of space? They are both four door sedans after all.”
The salesman answered as if he got asked this question all the time. “You are very observant.” Then he winked. “Yes they are both sedans, with the same basic layout but with key differences. One has 30 cubic feet overall that is in total space and the other has 13 cubic feet in the passenger area but 4 more cubic feet in the front seating area.” Still smiling. “I can see you are very astute. Are you interested in a leather interior?”
Betty shook her head realizing what he had said did not make any sense. She closed the brochures and noticed a logo on both brochures. “Are both these car manufactured by Omni Consumer Products?”
The salesman winked again at her. “No they are manufactured by different companies, both with different but similar manufacturing processes.” Then he pointed towards the blue car. “This design team spent hundreds of hours on the greatest luxury car of all time,” he shifted his body to now block the blue car while pointing towards the red car. “Their design team polled countless people to determine what people want and created the most supreme luxury car of all time.”
Betty nodded and then stepped around the salesman and began to walk around both cars. “What if I wanted something totally different from these two cars?”
“I know what you want.” Snapping his fingers. “A convertible, well we have a crimson model and a sapphire one right on the other side of showroom, you are going to love one of them.”
Betty shook her head. “I don’t think you understood me what if I did not want a car made by Omni Consumer Products?”
“These are the best the country has to offer.” He said smiling.
Betty folded her arms “But in the end Omni Consumer Products makes money no matter how the car performs; good or bad.”
He still smiled but anxiously. “So what color convertible would you like? The sparkling sapphire would match your eyes perfectly or maybe the crimson one, it is a real racy number.”
Betty turned her back an looked out the window and noticed something across the street a much smaller dealership, this one had yellow, green and even purple cars. “What about those cars?”
“Them.” He waved disdainfully. “A bunch of nuts.”
Betty regarded him and he chuckled. “They can’t advertise as much because they don’t have our budget. Secondarily our maintenance department promises everything you could ever want. We take care of everything from start to finish. All they do is give you manual and make suggestions.”
“What is wrong with that?”
“Our machines are complex, checking the air pressure in a tire is a multiple step procedure, steps most Americans don’t want to do, let alone understand.” Stepping in front of the window he blocked the view. “What do I have to do to put you in a convertible?”
Betty shook her head moved towards the door but he casually slid in front of her again. “Do you know anyone that has ever driven one of their cars? Everyone you know drives one of ours.”
Betty stepped around him and started walking. She heard him yell as she left the showroom. “These are the best our country has to offer.”
Here is the my reading of the story which will be sent into The Survival Podcast.