While Chris Randall takes on the considerable task of booking shows, I’m working on procuring a van suitable for touring. We’re going to buy a van rather than rent one, because it’s just more cost-effective under the circumstances. So I’ve been scanning the classifieds and other sources, looking for something appropriate.
What I didn’t know when I began this process was that there’s some sort of Vast Conspiracy in place, whose sole purpose appears to be to prevent me from buying the van for this tour.
The first van I found wasn’t registered or insured, which was a problem, as I wanted to drive it over to a mechanic to have it inspected. Long story short, after several discussions with the seller I took it upon myself to get temporary registration and insurance for the van, as the seller was apparently too lazy or too disinterested to do this himself. Once I’d dealt with all of that, I called the seller to set up a time for the inspection. Guess what – the seller decides at the last possible opportunity that he’d rather not have it inspected after all. Or rather, that it can be inspected but not if the mechanic intends to do anything “invasive”. Invasive? You mean, like uh, inspecting the mechanical condition of the van, for example?? Hm, that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the transaction, now does it? I’m leaving out the semi-amusing part of the story wherein the seller tries to convince me that it’s crazy to want to have an independent third party do an inspection on his van, since it’s “perfectly fine”.
So, on to the next van. This time the seller lived a good 45 minutes away but I made the trek over there, since it seemed like the van fit the bill and was priced about right. I made sure to ask upfront this time if an inspection would be a problem. No problem, but what the seller didn’t tell me until I showed up was that hr couldn’t take the van anywhere to have it inspected until the following weekend (this was on a Monday). So I made an appointment to have it inspected the following Saturday. On Thursday I got a voice mail from the seller letting me know that he’d just sold the van out from under me. Nice one. If it weren’t so annoying, this would be laughable, since the seller had gone out of his way to tell me what an honest and fair person he was. I guess he was so busy being honest and fair that he didn’t have time to call me and say “hey, there’s someone else interested – let’s talk”. Ugh.
Every other van I’ve found so far that fits what I’m looking for, has been sold by the time I’ve called about it – including some that were sold the same morning they were listed. So for now, The Vast Conspiracy is up by a few points, but maybe their spies will overlook a listing and I’ll prevail.
I’m starting to have visions of hitchhiking across the country…
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