Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Life With Comic Books: Part # 181

A brief introduction:

My name is Paul Howley. Some people have called me the "luckiest man in the comic book business" but that all changed as of January 9th 2001, when our son, Adam Howley, died.

The current cast of characters:
Paul Howley: age 46
Mal Howley: age 46
Adam Howley: my son, age 21
Cassy Howley: my daughter, age 17


Shortly after Adam’s fatal car accident we decided to buy a safer car for Cassandra to drive. It was time to replace our old Dodge Caravan anyway, so Mal and I went to shop for new car for Cassandra. We went to the local Toyota-Ford dealership and picked out a 2001 Ford Escape. It was a cute-looking, small SUV that we thought Cassy would enjoy driving. We called Cassy and asked her to meet us at the Irwin Zone dealership on her way home from school. By the time we had arrived there, Cassy had already decided that she didn’t like the Ford Escape at all. She had been talking with the salesman and he had just gone to bring up a new Toyota Highlander SUV. When it pulled up, Cassy loved it. It was much larger than the Ford Escape and it had lots of nice features. The only problem was that it was priced nearly $10,000 more than the Ford.

While Cassy enthusiastically urged us to buy the Toyota Highlander, I negotiated with the salesman, Noah. I had recently bought a new Toyota Camry from Noah and he was willing reduce the price but we were pretty far apart price-wise. Noah explained that this was the first year for the Highlander and these cars were in high demand with very few available. After a short time, it became clear that we were not able to put this deal together. When I made my final offer of $27,500 Noah checked with the sales manager and they declined my offer. I told Noah to consider my offer if anything changed because I’d really like to buy the car. Cassy was very disappointed, but she realized the car was far more expensive than the Ford Escape so we’d have to keep looking for a new car.

A few days later, during breakfast, Cassy and I were talking about the Highlander. She said, “Dad, you should reconsider your offer for the Toyota. You didn’t make the offer based on anything other than a made-up price. Can’t you call them back and make a deal?” I realized she was probably right so I agreed to call the dealership later that day. Cassy went off to school hoping that she’d get this new car.

About an hour later, Noah called me to see if I was still interested in buying the Highlander at the price I had offered. He explained that another dealership had requested that his dealership trade the car to them because they had someone interested in it. Rather than lose the sale to me, they decided to accept my offer. I went down that same day and bought the car. I was lucky. My patience paid off and now we’d feel more comfortable with Cassy driving this safer car.

A few days later, Mal remembered Adam’s “prediction” that we would buy Cassy a new car.

Within a year, the Ford Escape had over a dozen factory recalls. The Toyota Highlander was recognized by Consumer Reports as the “best” mid-sized SUV.

Next chapter: One Voice.


  1. It would have been so much more convenient for all concerned for Cassy to get the "wrong" vehicle. I seriously believe that not only did Adam see his prediction come true, but that he probably had a hand in the choice that was made.