Having parked the velo outside, and after absent-mindedly chaining it to the stanchion of an awning I ventured into the petrol-heads holy of holy's.
Riding up on a bicycle to a car showroom is a rather foolish thing to be doing I have decided, especially if you want to be taken seriously by anyone inside.
I had decided that after nine years of not owning a car there were journeys that I really needed to undertake, and having a car was pretty much the only way I was going to be able to take them. So having sorted out sufficent cash to go and buy myself one, I strode into the showroom full of glistening metal and decided to do the dirty deed.
I stood........I looked about me......bored sales people with not much to do avoided my gaze.....I saw a sign. "Reception" it said.......I walked over and said......"I'd like to talk to someone about buying a car." We went through a farce of me being asked to sit ......the receptionist made a fuss of standing and then looking about her for less than 15 seconds she announced....... "Ah this young lady might be the one for you"....and pointed over to a woman at a desk (rather odd verbage for a car showroom I thought more like a bordello? .......although judging from the ill fitting grey sweater dress that a rather plump "thirtyish" woman sales person was wearing, barely concealing rolls of her fat and rounded out.....and I do mean rounded....by cheap faux leather shoes, I assurred myself that car buying was all I was likely to be doing here).
Miss Clingy Plump Sweater Dress 2010 sassied over....I averted my eyes from the blancmange like wobble of the advancing hips... "Which model sir?" I was asked . "New or uuuuuuuuuuused" The distain at the word was palpable. I did not know.....what "uuuuuuuuuuused" cars of the model of my choice did they have available? "When would you like to buy this caaaaaaar?"....... "Well I rather thought I'd buy it today?"
I could tell that the woman could not concieve of anyone riding a bicycle having the wherewithall to buy a car. I'm not sure what sort of customer I came across as but even a cursory glance at my attire, bicycle, watch, shoes, bespoke waistcoat or the 28,000 quid in my back pocket might have told her differently? Whatever sort of customer I was .....she was a pretty useless seller, and did not possess the wit to make any sort of assessment of me.
She dealt with me with utter distain. I clearly appeared to be wasting her time. "Leather or Cloth?" "Diesel or Petrol?" ......She ploughed through the hundereds of variations as if they were the labours of Hercules......and I wilted........what on earth was I doing here?
I made my excuses and left, vowing never to give that premises the benefit of any of my cash. Was I doing something wrong? I was courteous, direct, interested.....why did she not respond to the opprotunity of fleecing me for my 28K?
Is the bicycle a "social leveller" I mused on my way home....or is it seen as the "Rare Steed of the Urban Proletariate"? My attire might have been expensive, my shoes exquisite, my watch a rare master-time-piece....but in the eyes of the automotive masses.... am I a poverty stricken prole?
What a soulless thing it was to buy a car from one such as her. I dare say there are excellent salespersons in the employ of VW.......but not apparently at this branch. So if anyone knows where I might buy myself a manual silver VW Golf with SatNav from a sales person who might offer even the humble owner of a bicycle a modicum of courtesy I'd be rather thrilled to here from you.....or am I likely to reamin another 9 years without a car?