high-minded drivel

high-minded (adjective) - refined; cultured; particularly civilized. drivel (noun) - senseless talk; nonsense.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Closing the deal

This evening Sayak, Courtney and I went out in the Short North for dinner and settled on The Burgundy Room after checking at Marcellas and being informed that there would be a wait.  The Burgundy Room was pretty good (it was a first visit for all of us), and perhaps even better than Marcellas.  Interesting how there is such a difference in the popularity between two places that both serve tapas dishes and wine in the Short North.  I think it must be the dining room of Marcellas that gives it a great appeal, being open to the street in the warm months, with the sidewalk-front windows removed.  Interesting touch.  Anyway, none of this is important.  What is important is that there was a hit man sitting in the parking lot where we parked the car.  Well, I can't say with certainty that it was a hit man, because it could have been a disgruntled employee or husband waiting to mow down his boss/wife upon their departure from one of the local restaurants.  What is certain is that the man was there for the purpose of delivering the vengeance of the Lord.  The signs were obvious:

1. He was sitting in his SUV when we first parked, and he was sitting there when we came back for the car two hours later.
2. He was wearing a white shirt and tie.
3. He was pretending to read a newspaper.
4. He was mustachioed.
5. He was sitting in his SUV when we first parked, and he was sitting there when we came back for the car two hours later.
6. He was strangely alert.
7. He was cleverly disguising his purpose by displaying a "livery vehicle" license plate on his SUV.

That's no less than seven (7) rock-solid reasons to confidently, fairly, and justly, with all due process, label the man as a killer.  Now, if you're like me you're thinking "What's a livery vehicle?"  Good question, inquiring citizen.  Causes you pause, does it not?  Well, upon reaching home I consulted the WWW and found that livery, in the case of a vehicle, refers to some insignia on the vehicle indicating a relationship with a corporate body.  UPS is cited as a company with a well-known livery on their vehicles (the signature brown color).  Clever, clever hit/disgruntled man.  Well played sir.  Disguising your vehicle as a livery vehicle.  For those who are familiar with the term "livery," the thought is "Hmm, a livery vehicle.  I'm very educated, knowing the term livery.  I have too much on my mind to worry about this man."  For the rest of us, the thought is "Hmm, what does livery mean?  Better go consult the internet to check myself before confronting this man who seems to be on a first name basis with the Grim Reaper."  But by the time you get home to check, it's too late, and you can only identify this clear sign of the killer in a seven-item list retrospectively.

The Grim Reaper's business card:

Grim Reaper, PhD, JD, CPA
Death Consultant
P.O. Box 241
River Styx Township, Hades 00000
Email: grimreaper62@gmail.com
AIM: grimmy05

Over 2500 years going strong in the reapin' business
"I get the job done right guaranteed, or your life back

You can bet that grimreaper1@gmail.com through grimreaper61@gmail.com regretted their "imaginative" choices.

While I don't support the life decisions of the livery driver hit man, I can respect his tactics.  I respect the kind of psychological trickery games he is using mostly because I consistently fall prey to them.  Perfect example: Earlier in the week I got a call from WOSU.  Now, for each of the past few years I've made a small donation to WOSU.  I enjoyed listening to WOSU on the radio in my car, so I was happy to provide support.  But this year, as I've continued to drive less and less, I felt that I didn't really utilize WOSU's services anymore, so I decided not to make a donation.  WOSU clearly noticed this, and being smart people they know that there's no better target for a donation than someone who has given previously and already demonstrated some willingness.  So the call comes, they ask a few questions about what I like about WOSU, and then they "assume the close."  You learn in negotiations classes that this is one tactic used to get what you want.  Something like "Okay Mr. Parry, we thank you for your continued support of WOSU.  I've got you down here for a $25 donation, and I can get that processed for you right away if you want to just go ahead and give me your information."  The caller is acting like your donation is a done deal, so the pressure is now on you to make the uncomfortable statement that no, you don't want to donate and continue to support this great cause, you cheap-ass you.  To avoid this discomfort, you might seek an "out" by saying something like "I really would prefer not to do any transaction over the phone.  You can mail me something if you'd like," thinking "Whew, I'm off the hook.  That mail is getting thrown out, no doubt."  But you see, at that point they've made you express that you would be willing to donate as long as it's through the mail.  And if you don't follow through and donate via mail, then you're being inconsistent.  This creates "cognitive dissonance" if you're like me and have weird stances on things like integrity.  The key is to acknowledge the fact that they're playing tricks on you and to therefore A) not feel guilty about not sending a donation or B) just tell them straight up that you aren't going to donate and not care if they act hurt.  They called you, so they took the chance.  Tough luck.

The letter came in the mail today.  My donation should be going back out in the mail in the next couple days.  

I've noticed that Nate is really good about this kind of thing.  He holds firm and doesn't give in.  Not only that, but he's really nice about it, which I'm sure is maddening for the person asking.  If there's one thing Nate does not do, it's throw away his money.  This fact caused some amusement earlier in the week when Nate made the following statement: "A guy is going to show up between 6 and 7 with a helmet, and if it fits, I'm going to buy it."  Now, I understand the reason for informing me that some guy would be showing up, and the reason for informing me of the nature of the visit (to sell a helmet), but was it necessary to inform me that a purchase would only be made if the helmet fit?  Probably not.  That's naturally assumed.  But in my case it's not!  I probably would buy the helmet, just because I would feel bad about the guy driving to the house and not getting anything for it!  OH MY GOD I AM A TURD!

This would never happen with Nate.  Upon hearing his announcement about the helmet-toting visitor, I developed this mental image of Nate responding to a knock at the door, opening the door, wordlessly taking a helmet offered by some guy, making three rapid-fire attempts to jam it onto his head without success, then handing the helmet back while saying "Sorry" and shutting the door without another word.  Transaction over.  That must be how these internet-facilitated meet-ups work, right?  Two people connect online, arrange a meeting place, one person brings the goods, one person brings the cash.  Maybe an exchange gets made.  Maybe not.  No wasted words.  No hurt feelings.  Pure, raw business.  Beaver pelts and beads style.  Your pelts don't fit, you ain't gettin' no beads.

I supported great programming like Car Talk and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me at the $75 level.  


  1. I bet the guy in the SUV was about to serve someone with a subpoena.

  2. did u ever consider that he was waiting for you?
    i mean had there been no Sayak and Courtney, would you have been alive to write this blog??
    and since you have repeated point 1 in 5, I am getting more certain about it. You should have sneaked back after half and hour and checked to see whether he was still there.
    I would watch out for livery vehicles if I were you.....

  3. If I had thought that the guy was serving a subpoena I would totally have waited around to watch. Because that would be the classy thing to do.