“Good morning”, he said, extending his hand and flashing a thousand mega-watt smile. “Harry Styles, proprietor. I’m so glad you could make it in.”
“Lucy Brown”, I said, shaking his hand. “I was a little reluctant about coming in, but I really need to make a decision, and I’m not really sure what I want.”
“Well, you came to the right place”, he said, putting his arm around me and ushering me into the showroom. “You can’t be too careful, you know. It’s a pretty big decision.” He extended his arm toward a small conference room. “Can I get you something to drink; a donut, juice, coffee…?”
“No thank you, Mr. Styles”, I said uneasily.
“Call me Harry”, he said and flashed that wide smile again.
“If we could just begin…”
“Of course, of course”, he cut me off. We reached a set of double doors, and he opened them with a grand gesture. “Step in, young lady, and let us begin your great adventure."
As the doors closed behind me with a gentle swoosh, I was mesmerized by the dazzling showroom. The flashing lights and neon signs were a sight to behold. There were various makes and models of all colors, shapes and sizes.
“Impressive, huh?” he asked, as he walked to the center of the room with the air of a ringmaster. “We strive to offer the very best. Stroll around. Check them out. There’s no pressure here. We want you to be completely satisfied with your decision. After all, you’re going to have to live with it for a very long time.”
I walked slowly around the vast showroom, stroking and inspected each model. I stopped at a particularly dazzling one and mused over it.
“Ah, excellent choice”, Styles said, suddenly at my side. “This one’s got all the bells and whistles. Guaranteed to impress”, he smiled.
“It’s beautiful, but it doesn’t seem practical for everyday use”, I said. “Do you have something less flashy?”
He escorted me to another model. “This one is not as richly equipped, but it’s still a beauty”, he said. “It’s fun and flirty; very popular with the college crowd. No maintenance necessary. Even comes with a sports package.”
I contemplated the idea, and then shook it off. “No, it’s not really what I’m looking for”, I said. “How about that one over there?” I asked.
Styles frowned a bit, but caught himself and put his game face back on.
“Yes, this one”, he said, strolling over deliberately. “This one has seen a little bit of mileage”. He walked around it slowly and stroked his chin. “It’s certainly dependable; I’ll give you that”’ he said, raising his eyebrows a bit. “It’s not the kind that will impress in the finest social circles, but it will get you from point A to point B.” He turned and looked at her deliberately. “It’s not maintenance free; you’ll have to invest some time and money into it; but let me be clear – it will not let you down. It is absolutely guaranteed and warranted to run true as long as you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. And as you said earlier, it is practical.”
Lucy eyed it carefully. “Are there many of these on the road? she asked.
“Honestly, this is our least popular model”, Styles admitted. “Most people aren’t interested in practical; they want flashy, low maintenance, showy models. They are popular with the old timers; they’re kind of vintage and many actually enjoy putting the time and effort into them.
Lucy walked slowly around the model. It was solid, sturdy…practical.
“Yes, this is the one, definitely. I’m not interested in flashy; I want something that will get me through day in and day out”
Styles almost grimaced, but smiled and turned on the charm. “Well then, let’s step into the office. Judy will go over all the details”.
Lucy scanned the showroom and read the nameplates one more time: The Lincoln - Man About Town, The Chaz - Party Animal, The Brittany - Social Butterfly.
She turned back to her choice: Model # 3562910. The Sarah - Evangelical Christian. High morals, conscientious, integrity, Biblically based ethics. Scriptural download included. Owner provides maintenance. 24 hour help line access. Lifetime guarantee.
Lucy eyed Styles. “Will it hurt?” she asked.
Styles gently took her by the arm. “Really, my dear, this is the 21st century. Personality transplants have been safe and pain free for 20 years now. Let’s just step this way and we’ll get started…”
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