36. Mario's First Car

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When Mario was 19 years old, he bought his first car. It was a brand-new 1985 Toyota Corolla. He was on top of the world! It was beautiful, and was really fast and fun to drive. Living in Southern California without a car is not a good idea. The region is so spread out that it could take hours getting from one part of town to another if you use public transportation. You are not anyone in Los Angeles if you don't have a car, or at least that is what some people say.

Before that, Mario had never owned or bought a car in his life. His father warned him about the sales people. "Don't ever pay the asking price, son," he said. Mario looked at him with disbelief. "What do you take me for, dad?  I am not an idiot. I know not to pay the first offer," he screamed back. His dad offered to go with him to the car dealer, but Mario wanted to go alone. It was his money and his car, and he was determined to do this alone.

When Mario got to the car dealer, a nice man came up to him and asked if he wanted to take the car he was looking at for a test drive. Mario said, "Yes, of course."  So they went for a drive. Mario fell in love with the car and the salesman knew immediately that he was going to make some money. It turns out that you should never let a salesman know you're interested in anything you want to purchase. Mario didn't know how to negotiate and wound up paying too much for the car. He really didn't care, though. He owned his first car. When he told his dad what he paid for it, he thought his dad was going to be mad, but he just said, "That's okay, son. That same dealer ripped me off when I bought my first car, too."

      

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