Humorous Persistence

January 8, 2009

Jane wrote:

I am actually fascinated by your pledge drive thing and your persistence though, yes, I do completely fail to understand the humourous persistence bit..maybe it is a cultural thing.I wish I had the money to reward your persistence but I don’t. I am spending it all on making my very own bomb shelter and spanking new bullet proof evening gown.I am sure you will understand.


America’s star is fading and the stars of China, India, and Brazil are rising. However, I am quite aware that not every person in each of those countries is wealthy. Tonight I just read about a financial scandal involving an Indian computer country, so I suspect India is catching up with America not only in technology and wealth but in double-dealing as well. None of which applies to you. I don’t expect you to contribute to David’s pledge drive. For all I know David is  pulling himself up by his bootstraps at this very moment.

My wife and I are trying to buy a new used truck. We talked to a woman from Chile who had a truck that sounded good. She turned out to be a “flake” (American idiom for an unreliable person. Do they call people flakes in India? Is there a word in Hindi that means “flake”?)

We were then contacted by a salesman named Bruce from a dealer more than a hundred miles away. He has been pursuing me with humorous persistence.


I said:


Thank you for mailing me again with information about another truck. I do not mind your emailing me and I admire your enterprise. In fairness, I will say that my wife and I are very difficult customers and quite capable of driving you crazy. Part of our anti-sales strategy is that we fight in front of sales people. If I like something, she will say “No.” If she likes something, I will say “No.” How we have managed to stay married for 43 years is amazement to both of us.


He said,


Really enjoyed your email. The truck is priced at 7995. this includes a 24 month 100,000 mile Powertrain warranty.
Crazy is a very short drive for me!
Have a very great day!
That is an example of humorous persistence.

15 Responses to “Humorous Persistence”

  1. Sounds like he’s capable of pestering you for 43 years. Just buy the truck, and get it over with.

  2. Average Jane Says:

    Now I understand.I have insurance chaps calling me up in office with the same persistence too. I tell them I am dead yet they persist..quite humourously.People never give up here. I think I just failed to understand it in you. Talking of flakes, we would be referring to snow here. I am glad you explained.

  3. pandemonic Says:

    My. I think the internet is full of flakes. My husband, Mr. D, tried to sell his Harley last summer. He put it on Craigslist, where he got an offer for $10,000 more than what he wanted. The catch was he would be mailed this super-huge check, and would have to mail the overage back to the buyer. (Can you purse your lips to form the word S-C-A-M-A-R-T-I-S-T?) There were many email exchanges, when finally he received a check with a Las Vegas postmark that looked phonier than Monopoly money. The bank checked, and yes, it wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on.

    Wait a minute. There’s snow in India? AJ, I have also told telemarketers that I am dead, my husband is dead, my name is Gertrude (it’s not), that we do not own computers, copy machines or faxes, and they still call. Deafness is in order.

  4. modestypress Says:

    I love a cartoon I saw once where the main character answered a telemarketer something like this:

    “May I have your home phone number?”

    [“No” answers the sale person.]

    “Why not? You have my home phone number. Also, tell me when you generally have dinner. I want to be sure to call you at home when you are having dinner.”

  5. modestypress Says:

    David, we are working on this. Unfortunately, as we are trying to trade in two vehicles, and intend to have a mechanic we trust check the truck, the deal is as complicated as one of those professional baseball or basketball trades involving four different teams, draft picks, players to be named later, “waivers” [which I’ve never understood) and special dispensations from the commissioner of the league.

    The reason we trust this mechanic is that my daughter has used him for several years. My wife is impossible to please as far as automobile service goes. My daughter is four times as impossible to please. This mechanic has kept my daughter happy for several years, which is a feat harder than landing a rover on Mars and having it keep going for years.

  6. spectrum2 Says:

    On your page, in the top right side, about a couple of inches due right of “pages” is a smiley face.

  7. modestypress Says:

    spectrum, I don’t see it at the moment. I will mess around and see if I can bring it up.

    I also can tell everyone about a very funny icon in Microsoft Word, but I don’t have time right now.

  8. My husband does the “give me your boss’s phone number, I’m ready to buy, but I will only buy from your boss tonight at 11:45 PM…” It’s riotous. At least on this end. I recommend it.

  9. Doctor Says:

    Мог бы долго с вами спорить на эту тему 🙂

  10. Impotant Says:

    Мало:) Пиши дальше, а то обрывается как-то на самом интересном месте.

  11. truce Says:

    Bruce sounds fun. Perhaps you should email him every hour, on the hour, for the next few weeks – as an experiment, to see just how long a drive crazy REALLY is for him.


  12. modestypress Says:

    Message #8 is apparently in Russian. I don’t read and speak Russian. Google does not very good translations Using Google I come up with something such as:

    This could be a very lengthy discussion.

    Does anybody reading this speak Russian and have a better translation and/or reply to the comment?

  13. modestypress Says:

    Message #9 also seems to be in Russian. Again using the dubious computer translation capabilities of Google I come up with something along the lines of:

    This could be a lengthy discussion.

    If my translations are correct, these comments seem quite possible.

    I am wondering, why Russian-speaking readers are reading my blogs and commenting in Russian. I also wonder if they have any pickup trucks for sale and how far I would have to go to look at them.

  14. modestypress Says:

    I just did a little simple-minded detective work and discovered evidence that the two Russian messages evidently come from the University of Warwick in Coventry England. Truce may be able to tell me much more than I know about this university. It evidently is a highly regarded university which emphasizes technical and scientific work and it much tied into highly commercial work.

    The particular links connected to the poster (I suspect both come from the same person) seem to be tied to some advertising spam for Viagra advertisements placed on a discussion forum at Warwick University. Perhaps the title of my post: “humorous persistence” inspired someone to post viagra spam. I will leave it to my readers’ imagination and intuition to evaluate whether surmise holds up (so to speak).

    Normally, I delete spam comments, but putting these ones in Russian bespeaks a certain creative imagination, so I may leave them up if not to many such comments continue to come.

    There are some days I can’t make this stuff up.

  15. modestypress Says:

    #11 Truce,

    First of all, as a person of English persuasion, perhaps you can tell me if Warwick is a particularly randy or frustrated place or perhaps something useful about his university.

    Second, we now have competition with Bruce. The friendly neighbor has a friend who works for a Toyota dealer much closer to where we live. Said friend sometimes gets special auto deals for people who live on our island. I called this friend, who is not a salesman, but works in finance. He put my wife and I in touch with a salesman who started slowly but has now gone into smooth high-pressure sales mode for deals that do not sound all that special to me.

    My wife and I are planning to drive down to see Bruce on Wednesday. I asked him four questions (suggested in part by my wife):

    1) What color is the truck?
    2) Was the previous owner a cigarette smoker? (My wife is horrified at the idea of driving in a truck that smells of smoke.
    3) How are the tires on the truck?
    3) As it will take us 3-4 hours to get to Bruce’s dealer location, we will need lunch. We asked–is there a good cafe for lunch (preferably an independent non-chain food cafe)?

    Bruce’s answers were:

    1) The truck is black.
    2) The owner of the truck is a friend of Bruce since high school and a non-smoker. (We are getting so intimate with Bruce I am wondering if we should bring Random Granddaughter along to meet him.)
    3) The owner will put new tires on the truck before he trades it in.
    4) There is an excellent cafe near the dealer.

    The other thing I am wondering is how to beat the price down. I presume Bruce and his boss are experts at what they do and we will be putty in their hands. I am tempted to ask Bruce when we get there What is your advice on how to deal with clever sales people who can run rings around us?

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