The Black Hole
by Jerry Guarino
Sometimes you walk right
into the devils lair and dont realize
it until its too late. What may seem like a
perfectly safe activity can turn into a nightmare
that can last for years. We have all fallen into
this trap. Thousands of messages have drugged us
into the belief that this is a place of refuge, a
haven in the midst of chaos, a respite from the
storm of life. This false sense of security has
sent millions into the abyss. Very few have
survived a visit here and even fewer have had
Welcome, son. Im Sam Wakowski. Whats
your name? Don hesitantly offered his hand.
The manager took Dons hand firmly and
pulled it in a little. Good to meet you Don.
Thanks for coming in today. How can I help you?
Dons guard was up. My lease is ending
and Id like to start a new one.
Sam smiled, not pausing long enough to give Don
time to think. Always a good idea. Let me
show you something a little better for a guy like
you. They walked right past the base model
to the Eclipse coupe. Not married Don? I
could tell. This is what you should be driving.
Don looked at the price tag. Whoa. I dont
have that kind of money.
Don slid into the sports car, wrapped his hands
around the custom leather grip and closed his
eyes. The smell was intoxicating. Don could
imagine a lithe coed in the passenger seat,
twenty something, with jeans and a Danskin top
under a loose cardigan. How much a month?
Sam rubbed his thumb and finger. We can
take your car in, pay it off and make a new lease
work for you.
The next week Don opened a letter from the dealer.
They wanted to renegotiate the terms of his
contract. They wanted to increase his monthly
lease by $100. He ignored the letter(s). The next
month they started calling him. Finally they sent
a certified letter-threatening lawsuit. Either
sign the new contract or return the car. That
morning, at 5am, Don drove the new car into the
lot, slid the keys into the service slot and
hiked over to the BART station to go to work. The
coed would have to wait.
More letters, more calls. Don was having trouble
sleeping but he had to end this. He called the
dealer. Sam answered. Don, yes thank you
for calling. We just want to sort this out, let
us all move on. Don agreed to come in. He
sat in the managers office, on the swivel
chair that didnt swivel. He started to
perspire. In the corner was a sign that read:
signed contracts are final. Consumers may not
change the terms of their agreement after
they have taken possession of the vehicle.
Don, we want to put
this behind us so were prepared to make a
deal. You can still take the new car with the new
lease or you can take back your trade in and
Don was puzzled. But I returned the car.
Your letter said if I return the car, its
Sam was getting testy. But returning the
new car means you have to take back your trade in.
Now Don was feeling his heartbeat. But I
have a signed contract releasing me from the
trade in and your sign says...
But Sam cut him off. Im sorry, thats
the way it works. Sam reached over and
touched his arm. Listen, you dont
want to make this legal. You cant win.
Don was feeling short of breath. Ill
think about it.
Sam looked like the proverbial cat that swallowed
the canary. Sure, take a day or two. Well
clean up your old car or have the new one ready
Don met with an attorney but was told that it
would cost him thousands of dollars to fight it
and most firms wouldnt bother with such a
small case. He left crestfallen with no idea what
to do. He decided to plea his case to a legal
website where dozens of law firms may review it.
The tall blonde walked into the dealership, sat
down in the chair and crossed her legs. Her face
was perfect and her body was even better. The
blue blazer over a white blouse, the grey, wool
pleated skirt, the white stockings and navy blue
high heels turned every head in the place. Her
hair didnt just shine; it sparkled. When
she opened her lips, her smile rendered the men
immobile. Every man in the place was locked in
his own private fantasy; even the female customer
service manager was drawn like a Klingon ship
caught in a tractor beam.
The manager straightened his tie, tucked at his
belt and sat across from her. With the false hope
of an amateur against Mohammed Ali, he glided
toward her. He had no chance. Everyone knew it
but him. How can I help you sweetheart?
The blonde leaned forward, revealing some
cleavage and opening her mouth a little more,
then said with a low, slow voice. Whats
your name sailor?
Sam was visibly tense, but he stammered. Sam
Wakowski, gorgeous. And you
Ready for the close, she flipped her hair back,
winked and replied. Serving you with a
lawsuit. Then she silently laughed and
walked out the door.
Sam opened the subpoena. Class action suit
for fraudulent and misleading business practices
against Sam Wakowski of Mantup Motors, Burlingame,
California and their partners on behalf of five
hundred seventy four (574) plaintiffs. This
seeks a judgment of $40,000,000.00. Etc, etc
and so on. Sam clutched his chest and fell to the