HAGGLING

I’ve never been much on haggling. My wife on the other hand loves a good haggle. (I think it’s genetic, because her father was a master haggler. I won’t tell you how much I had to cough up to get his permission to marry my wife, and that’s not even counting the deal I had to cut with her–I still have to clean the stools for five more years.) If someone offers me something for a certain price, I either take it or leave it—usually I take it and tell my wife I talked them down—but my wife sees a price as nothing more than a suggestion, an opening gambit for a larger game that she plays really well. When we go looking for a new car, the salespeople see my wife get out of the car, and they throw the CLOSED sign on the door and cower under their desks until she gets tired of waiting and leaves.
I’ve told the story before about the last time we went shopping for a new boat. After an hour of my wife trying to squeeze down the price to below what the boat cost the dealership and getting them to throw in every option ever made, the salesman finally threw up his hands in surrender and called the owner over to deal with her.
After another hour of haggling, the owner threw up his hands. In frustration he asked my wife, “Do you want a job?”
“What?”
“Do you want a job?” he repeated. “Because I would certainly rather have you working for me than against me.”

My wife once took a trip to Ecuador with her church. She brought a lot of religion to the country. Street vendors who weren’t religious before now get down on their knees every night and pray she never comes back. When we retire we’re going to take a trip to Mexico where they expect you to haggle. I can hardly wait to watch her in action. It’ll be sort of like the haggler Olympics. Now that’s entertainment. My wife will haggle over anything.

Sample lady at Sam’s Club (smiling broadly): Excuse me ma’am, would you like to try a sample of our new Braunschweiger spread on a cracker?

My wife: Just one?

Sample lady (still smiling): We have two different kinds, regular and with cheese. So you can have one of each.

My wife (looking indignant): So my husband here doesn’t get any?

Sample lady (hesitantly and the smile not as wide.): He can have one of each, too.

My wife: You’re going to have to do better than that.

Sample lady (no longer smiling.): What do you mean?

My wife (nodding toward another sample stand across the aisle): Weiner Boy over there is offering a cheese dog and a Dixie cup of butter rum ice cream.

Sample lady (looking confused now): But this is all they gave me.

My wife: If you’ll throw in that bag of chips you have under your display table, maybe we can talk.

Sample lady (in a confused whisper): But … that’s my lunch.

My wife: You want to do this deal or not? (She looks over at Weiner Boy) I have other offers.

Sample lady (looking ready to cry): What do you want?

My wife: Has that bottle of Pepsi beside the chips been opened yet?

(Fast forward half an hour)

My wife: Okay, so let’s see if I have this straight. I get the whole plate of Braunschweiger and crackers, the Pepsi, the chips, the egg salad sandwich on whole wheat, the three sticks of gum left in your purse, and you’re throwing in a coupon for a free McDonald’s ice cream cone? Right?

Sample lady (nodding enthusiastically and looking as if she’s willing to write her a personal check just to get rid of her): Right.

My wife hands me the plate of Braunschweiger and crackers. I take a bite.

Me: Hey, these are pretty good. Especially the cheese ones. (I hold the plate out to her) Try one.

My wife: You know I hate Braunschweiger.
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About thewritingdeputy

Joel Jurrens was a deputy sheriff for 26 years until he retired in 2013. He has published three novels: In The Sticks, Graves of His Personal Liking and County Ops: The Vengeance of Gable Fitzgerald. He tries to keep his blog light and humorous and sometimes downright silly.
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1 Response to HAGGLING

  1. Claudia says:

    At least you get the best price available!

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