call it bartering, trading, horse-trading or just plain old begging. After all
is said and done, you tried to buy it cheaper than it was priced. That is just
plain old American tradition. |
A good trade is where both parties walk
off thinking they beat the other in the transaction. Here are a couple of transactions
I heard that stand out in my mind.
Two cattlemen in Colorado started early
one morning trying to arrive at a price on some livestock. As the day wore on,
they chewed a complete package of Day’s Work Chewing Tobacco, broke for lunch
and began whittling on sticks found beneath the shade tree where they were sitting.
With little progress made by 4 o’clock, one broke out a pint of whiskey.
By 6 o’clock the Day’s Work and whiskey were gone and they were down to about
$100 difference on a $3,000 trade.
As darkness approached, neither was
moving in his offer until one man misjudged and sliced a finger deep while whittling.
The other loaded him up and rushed him to the hospital, where stitches were needed
to close the wound. As they left the doctor’s office, the wounded man held out
his good hand and said, “Since we burned your gasoline getting here and back home,
I’ll take your offer and say, ‘We got a trade.’” Neither lost face in the final
standing by at a garage sale once, I witnesses the following trade. A man was
looking at an old rusty electric iron he knew did not work. It had a 25-cent price
tag. He carried the “piece of junk with history” to the lady who was selling the
iron. “Ma’am, could you take a little less for this old iron?” She looked him
square in the eye and said, “Mister, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. If you are that
cheap minded, I will give you the iron for free.”
The man’s mouth fell
open in surprise, and he looked stricken as he replied. “Ma’am, that’s cheap enough
and I got the money, but I promised my old daddy on his deathbed that I would
never purchase anything without trying to (negotiate) the price. He said he would
return and haunt me.” The lady frowned in thought as she pondered the deal. The
man said, “I know the price is free so would you give me a dime just for hauling
off the iron? That would clear me with my old daddy.”
The lady thought
a moment and answered, “I am not going to pay you a dime to haul off a free iron.
Your old daddy can go to hell!” The man answered right back, “How did you know
where he was?” Still not a hint of a smile from either on the ridiculous trade
Finally she said, “I will not pay you a dime to haul
off the iron, however, I will pay you a dime if you leave and don’t return.” He
smiled, held out his hand for the dime, then shook her hand in the finalization
of the deal. Then, both sat down on the edge of the porch and laughed until tears
came to their eyes. I still don’t know whether they knew each other or not, but
it was worth it to hear two talented traders at their best.
Trew - November
8, 2011 column
Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He can be reached at 806-779-3164,
by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For books see delberttrew.com. His column appears weekly.
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