Asking Price

Asking price: (n) the price at which something is offered for sale.dictionary with letter A

Never set your mind or heart to what you’re determined to get before you go shopping.


Because you will always end up screwed on either the price or the quality of your purchase. Your desire will overcome your good sense.

I do not speak in theory. I have so many examples of my whim overtaking my common sense and dragging the both of us off to “stupid land” that I wouldn’t even know where to start.

But for the sake of brevity, let me focus on one beautiful May afternoon about twenty years ago, when I decided I wanted to buy a “fancy-looking car.” I desired to appear affluent (minus the bank account).

So feeling over-confident about my negotiation skills, I headed off to a local used car dealership, perusing the lot for the auto of my choice, doing everything that is customary, short of kicking the tires.

The owner of the establishment–a tall gentleman with a bright-colored tie and a Texas drawl–came up to me and I began my wheeling and dealing before he even got a chance to speak a word.

I was not a rube, nor had I recently been on any turnip truck.

I knew the ropes.

So instead of inquiring of this fellow what the price was on a Grand Marquis I was eyeballing, I leaped in and told him what I was going to pay for it, thinking that it must be much more in asking price, and that I was setting myself up for a great deal.

I failed to notice the small smile that came across his face when he heard my numerical offer. What I noted were his eyebrows, which quickly furrowed, passing on the impression that he was in great consternation over considering my low offer for such a high premium Mercury.

He suggested that the price should be a little bit higher, and proffered a couple of numbers, but I stood firm–and in no time at all, we were in his office, signing papers.

I couldn’t help but gloat, especially after my signature was on the form and I knew the rich-looking car was mine.

It was at this point that the salesman, possessing very little actual conscience, discovered a few remnants, apparently had taken a liking to me, and so choked up one little fact about the car that may have missed my brilliant observance.

He said, “You do know that 172,000 miles on the odometer is the actual mileage, right?”

Well, I didn’t, but pretended I did, because I was in the throes of a prideful lunacy.

So long story short, his conscience did not last very long. He shook my hand and I drove exactly thirty-one miles before my car broke down.

Since it was sold “as is,” any hopes of retrieving my money…well, was.

Gone, that is.

There were a few times that this car was a blessing, but more what you might call “tin-tank prodigal son.”

Since then I’ve learned to never be too sure of what you want.

And certainly, find out the asking price before you negotiate your final deal.


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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix


Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Airport: (n) a complex of runways and buildings for the takeoff, landing and maintenance of civil aircraft with facilities for passengers.

My first visit to the airport was when I was eighteen years old, flying off to Arizona to retrieve my girlfriend from exile by her parents to a status of once again being my partner and eventually, wife.

The airport was deliciously frightening and glorious at the same time.

It was many years later before I flew in an airplane again. I was twenty-four years old, jetting off to Nashville to work on a musical project with a famous female country songwriter, and I felt like I had the wings of Mercury, surrounded by the gods of Olympus.

Much later I went to airports with my traveling companion to tour the country, sharing from one of my books and cruising through the air with the greatest of ease.

And then came 9/11.

Now, I don’t know exactly what Osama bin Laden envisioned to be the result of his vicious and treacherous plan. Certainly he ended up killing three thousand human souls. But I do feel he also put to death the great American love affair with airports, traveling and zooming through the atmosphere from one destination to another.

For the casualties of 9/11 continue:

  • It’s in our economy
  • It’s in our mistrust
  • It’s in our bungling of foreign affairs
  • It is the chip on our shoulder–proclaiming ourselves “great” without providing the goods and services to confirm the assertion

The American airport today has all the appeal of a Middle-Eastern open market on a hot desert day. It is inconvenient, pushy and unapologetic for both its prices and its surroundings.

Because I believe in my country, I think eventually we will grow tired of restrictions, anxiety and succumbing to the whims of a madman who planned our defeat in his cave in Afghanistan.

Bin Laden is dead and buried in the deep blue sea.

Maybe we can muster the courage to make traveling a commercial and private pleasure again instead of a gauntlet of endurance, athletic and patient perseverance.



Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AActive: (adj.) 1.of a person engaging or ready to engage in physically energetic pursuits 2. working; operative: e.g. the mill was active until 1970

I was so glad s I thought of it.

About nine months ago my knees started bothering me.

I have mistreated them profusely, being very active with my large frame–lifting, traveling, playing tennis and all sorts of physical exertions which my knees never actually signed on for.

When I realized I was no longer going to be able to run and goof around on them anymore without having a surgeon go in to rip my legs apart, disabling me for months, I was glad I saw the young man in Washington, D.C. who served as a courier between the Capitol and the White House. It was his job to get messages written on paper transferred as quickly as possible from one place to another. You know how he decided to do it?

Roller blades.

It was a magnificent sight. Even though he was completely young and healthy, he still realized that walking and running were insufficient to the need, and would result in exhaustion at the end of the day. So he glided along on his wheels, weaving in and out of foot traffic, cruising to his destination.

And it looked like he was having the time of his life, while performing a meaningful duty.


  • They made his life possible.
  • They made his life easier.
  • They allowed him to do his job well.

So my desire to be active, even though my knees have chosen retirement,  was made possible because of the vision of that young Mercury, zooming through the avenues of our nation’s Capital, came to my mind. Therefore I wasn’t nearly as frightened about getting some wheels of my own when I needed to get somewhere quickly.

I haven’t given up on walking. I’ve just given up on being stubborn.

If wheels will get me to where I can deliver the message that needs to be heard, then thank God for remaining active.

And by the way, thank God for the cave man who discovered the miracle.