Used car dealerships have been justly famous for their fast talk and unsophisticated advertising, but their greatest salesmen were once genuine marvels of our culture. Part carnival barker, part magician, part traffic accident: the sincerest practitioners of this art inspired wonder and dark admiration as they daily transformed intelligent people into gullible customers, plopping them (almost without protest) behind the wheels of "one hundred percent guaranteed pre-owned vehicles," and going on to run up the price with a succession of worthless guarantees. Sadly, this marketplace, in which used-car salesmen once bartered with ferocity and cunning, daily diminishes under the pressures of the internet, where customers can go and find the exact car they want, in the exact color, and from the exact year, with an exact price. These dealerships, one successful owner mourns, are becoming less like bazars and more like parking lots, way stations for inventory absent any human connection. The next generation of used car salesmen will have a different character from their predecessors.
And that takes us to the theme we explore in our next episode...read more
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Watch out, Subway! Shirley is going into the sandwich-making business.
When Community returns Thursday (8/7c, NBC), Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) is taking the plunge... twice! Not only is she going to remarry Andre (Malcolm Jamal-Warner) but she's also going to put into practice those entrepreneurial skills she learned in the hallowed halls of Greendale. With Pierce (Chevy Chase) as a backer and the dean (Jim Rash) as the liaison, how could she fail?
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