Get The Picture? By Sherry Hopkins

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 9, 2009

Sherry Hopkins

Caveat emptor rules when buying used car from Sherry

The past few weeks have been hectic in the Hopkins household. Neither Dear Don nor I cater too much to changes in schedules these days, so the fast pace was a bit stressful.

A couple of years ago Dear Don decided his old truck was too old and he wanted something nicer. So he bought an SUV. A few months back he confided that the SUV just wasn’t cutting it with him and he missed his truck. “A man really needs a truck,” he lamented.

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So I suggested we sell my car and buy a truck and I would drive the SUV. He didn’t like that idea. Mostly I suspect because it wasn’t his idea.

In the meantime our oldest grandson was trying frantically to sell his truck after graduation so he could take his graduation money and upgrade to a newer truck. He had found just what he wanted and really needed to sell his truck quickly. So being the good grandparents that we are we bought his truck.

But his truck was old and needed some work and would not be suitable for Dear Don to drive everyday. So we parked it and there it sat. Now we had three vehicles.

So recently Dear Don came up with the idea to sell my car and the old truck and use that money to buy him a truck and I could have the SUV. Now where have I heard that before?

It seemed as though five whole minutes passed and Dear Don had found a truck. Just what he wanted. So he finagled a good deal and bought it.

Now we have four vehicles, a car, an SUV and two trucks.

The driveway is getting full.

So now we have to sell the old truck and my car. So I cleaned my car up spic and span and parked it in the “For Sale By Owner” lot in front of Fred’s. The old truck is listed in a trader magazine.

All this took place on a Wednesday.

Thursday morning a man called about my car. He asked all the usual questions and said he will get back in touch.

Friday morning a man called about the truck. He wanted to come see it and would be here later in the day.

Friday after lunch the man who wanted my car called back and made me an offer. I accepted, and he said he would meet me Saturday to complete the purchase

In the meantime the other man came to the house, drove the old truck, pulled out a check. We made a deal too.

I was excited. I could drop insurance on the two sold rides and get a little money back on the tags that I had purchased recently.

But I needed to run to town to get a couple of things out of my car and make sure it is in prime show off condition. I grabbed my basket of cleaning supplies and headed out in the rain.

When I got to the lot I opened the passenger side door and reached up to the sunglass holder above the rearview mirror to fetch my shades.

Ants poured out of the holder. I just stood there dumfounded, not believing what I saw. In short order I started feeling the unmistakable sting of fire ant bites. I looked down and the door frame I was leaning on was teeming with fire ants. They were frantic and so was I.

I brushed them off and stomped them off but not before they had chewed on me good. I ran around to the other doors and jerked them open. Fire ants everywhere. It was pouring down rain. I was soaking wet and smarting from the bites. And, as usual for me, I just wanted to stand there and cry.

But I rushed to the SUV, grabbed Windex and paper towels and began to spray and kill wherever I saw movement. The ants had not been on the seats until I opened the doors and made them mad. But I was mad too and I had a car to sell and buyer man did not want ants in the deal.

After killing all I saw I shut the car up and headed back home. As I returned home and begin thinking more clearly I realized I should have bought ant spray and sprayed in the car. I should have moved it too.

By the time Dear Don got home I was in a tizzy.

I relayed the story in all its exaggerated glory and pleaded with him to “go back to town with me and help me.”

This time we took bug spray and headed back to town. As we each opened the doors ants were still swarming. We sprayed and killed and cleaned and did it some more.

Then Dear Don looked at the front of the car and spotted the problem. When parking the car initially I pulled too close to the grassy curb area and right on top of a fire ant bed. I disturbed them and in retribution they stormed my car. We immediately moved the car to another spot.

And with Dear Don at the helm of the second raid we thought we had successfully conquered the enemy.

The next morning we went to town earlier than our appointment with Mr. Buyer man, checked out the car and found all well.

So we are back to two vehicles and Dear Don is in his man truck and all is well.

Except I just remembered that I am now driving the ride that had the mouse in it a few weeks ago. Now what?

You get the picture.

(Contact Sherry at