Faith, hope and charity.

My friend Ingrid, a theatre director, sent an exploratory, information-gathering email to a bunch of friends to research how we felt about faith. Questions include:
  • What does 'faith' mean to you?
  • What do you believe in?
  • What have you stopped believing in? Why?
  • What and/or who would you die for?

I feel I am about to explore all of these questions in more depth than usual because I just bought a car on the internet.

It all started when I first came to Merica. I saw a modestly proportioned jeepy, SUV-y, truck-type car called a Bronco II. It had a RED INTERIOR. It was love. That was 3 years ago.

I have casually glanced on craigslist over the passing time for a Bronco II in perfect shape for sale just around the corner from an elderly, god-fearing grandmother (one owner, non-smoker), but to no avail.

Until last Tuesday. I popped onto EBay. I searched. I found.

This particular car was being sold by a thing/person/email address called "Faith-Based Donations", from a place east of LA. When I found it, I read that it "could probably use a tune-up", and all the pictures told me a) it was red, inside and out (possibly with faux velour), b) both the doors and the hood open, c) it has a tape deck, and best of all, d) a deflate button.


My friends asked, "Why the fuck are you buying a car you've never seen from someone you know nothing about on a website????"

I replied, "Because it has a RED INTERIOR, dammit. Who gives a shit if it's a piece of crap? It might get me from A to B!! Insurance? Ha! I laugh in the face of it. I have faith."

This is where I fall from grace. I had no faith. I had desire. Hardly Buddhist to purchase an automobile, let alone a guzzling truck, let alone a red one.

So, D-Day was this morning at 10.18am.

I awoke at 9.38am. I'd been watching the auction through the week, and noticed that some poor chump had bid against himself a few times. Sucker, I thought.

Last night, I had dinner with Michele & Aaron, and was telling them about the car. Michele -- never one to sugar-coat anything particularly -- is one of those what-the-hell-are-you-thinking supportive friend types, who reminded me that I didn't even know if the car was running. I told her that I would call mysterious Faith-Based person in the morning and ask if it was running, and make sure that he had the Title all ready to rock. If he said no to either of those questions, I would step away.

9.45am. I flip a coin. Tails, I go for it. Heads, I don't. Tails it is.

9.46am. I call "Jack". He tells me it runs great, and he has the title.

I make coffee. Watch the auction page.

10.13am. 5 minutes to go. Fuck it! I'm in!

I start bidding. The (*&^@#$ EBay UI tells me that someone has bid higher than me, so, in the flurry of excitement/adrenalin/internet, time-constrained shopping I bid again. Ha! I'll raise you $100!!! Suckah!

I'm out-bid again! Darn! Another $100! Crush you!

Then I reload the main page, and even though I've just charged myself another couple of hundred, I can see now that I am actually the highest bidder.

Then previous bidder with pre-programmed bid pops in, raising me by another $50. It's only money I think to myself, and go AGAIN! Oh and then I bid against myself again because I was excited, and thought I was losing my dream car! Right in front of my face!!

Then, damn anonymous asshole with 462 purchases under his belt steps in and raises me, with about 30 seconds to go. I frantically try to reload, find the bloody BID button and go AGAIN, raising him a sneaky $25 at the very last minute. Assface! Get lost! This isn't YOUR DREAM.

And then it was over.

You've Won!, it said.

I may have raised a fist in victory, I can't remember. And, lo and behold, my money goes to charity and I get the car of my dreams. (Car of my dreams? Jesus. I'm assimilated.)

I am also the freshest member of the AAA, and I have to arrange getting the car to San Francisco because Mr. Faith-Based thought it might be more sensible to transport the car to me just in case anything went wrong. Oh, and I have to get a Californian license.