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"I Told You So" - Livin' the Good Life

Feb. 1st, 2009

08:51 pm - "I Told You So"

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Below is my letter to the editor of our local newspaper in response to the closing of an offensively-gigantic car lot, sporting glaringly bright lights at night and displaying, it turns out, more cars than residents of a town this size could possibly buy. On this blog, I posted a letter I wrote about the Phelps Chevrolet dealership a year and a half, or so, ago when Phelps refused to comply with the lighting ordinance by not shielding his lights properly. He eventually caved under the pressure of public outrage. Several days ago, his business suddenly, and without explanation, closed its doors. The last car was hauled away without fanfare, and Mr. Phelps has not been available for comment. I tried not to say outright: "I told you so", but I'm sure you can detect it in my tone:

"So, it looks like Phelps Chevrolet is going under. I’m assuming it’s due to the failing economy and the difficulty customers have getting loans today. But, no one’s talking.
I’m sorry Mr. Phelps lost his business. I remember the day they were breaking ground for his massive car lot, and I wondered if the Morongo Basin could support it. Later, I remember driving by that brilliantly-lit car lot one night with my elderly father and he remarked in his typically outspoken way, “What in the world is that doing here in the desert? It doesn’t belong here!” Well, evidently he was right.
I do want to thank Mr. Phelps for finally complying with the town’s lighting ordinances and installing the proper shielding on his lights. It made a difference. I won’t miss seeing those lights, though. Instead, we will all be gaining a clearer view of the beautiful night sky in that particular spot. Enjoy it while you can.
I have a tip for those who are in the market for a new car. Four years ago, we bought a brand-new, high-efficiency Honda Civic off the Internet. It was a smooth and painless experience. There was no haggling involved and no hidden costs. We just put in an order for the exact make, model, and color of car we wanted and stated the price we were willing to pay. The car was then located and delivered to our door from a car lot in Ventura. We sat drinking coffee at our kitchen table with a polite and businesslike gentleman as we took care of the financial transaction. And though our town did not get the tax benefit of our purchase, we got exactly what we wanted for an excellent price. No local car lot was necessary."

This letter was edited by the newspaper, deleting much of the last paragraph. I assume they thought it sounded like too much of an advertisement for online shopping. But, I wanted to post it here in its entirety because the fact that a person can get a car so easily online now, thus eliminating the need for an ugly car lot in every town, was the whole point of the letter. At least maybe some of my blog readers can benefit from this information.