We’re paid up members of the working class. It happened on our way back from Yuma and a visit to Gail’s Dad. We stopped, as usual, in Mesquite Nevada. It’s the halfway point between Yuma and our home in Salt Lake, and a place to rest and to spend any money we still have left.
I picked up the keys to our room at the front desk, consulted the map of the identical buildings that make up the Virgin River Resort complex, got back in the car and made the two-minute drive to our room in 10 minutes.
I got out of the car and handed the key to our room to my wife, and then pushed the button to open the trunk. I wish I would have taken the key from the ignition to open it, but I pushed the button opening it remotely. The trunk popped open. I got out of the car, took the suitcases out, set them on the ground and closed the trunk. I went to the driver’s door pushed the button to engage the locks and closed it. The key was still inside.
We decided to call a locksmith, pay the price, and then bitch about it on our way home. I consulted the phone book in the room and found the one listing for a locksmith, and called. I explained the problem, gave him our room number, he repeated it, and said he would be there in 45 minutes.
He arrived right on time in his Ford 250 pickup.
“I’m a Chevy man,” I said. I was just making conversation, trying to connect in some way.
He looked at my car, an Infiniti. “You have a truck?” he said.
I didn’t get his point for a minute and then realized that if I was a Chevy guy and my car was an Infiniti I must have a Chevy truck.
“Well, no” I admitted. “When I was younger I liked Chevrolets. The 1955 Bel Air was my favorite.”
” And now you drive a foreign car,” he said. The emphasis was on foreign.
” I do,” I said, a little sheepishly.
His wife was sitting in the cab of the truck. She was staring at the back of my car. I followed her gaze and then looked back at her.
“End Corporate Rule,” she said, pointing at my bumper sticker.
“Right,” I said reading from the sticker “End Corporate Rule, Reclaim Democracy.” I smiled.
She gave me a you-dont-think-you’re-one-of-us look and said, “You don’t look too working class to me.”
“What?” I said.
“You look more like one of them corporate rulers,” she said.
“Oh no,” I said, “I’m very sympathetic to the working class.”
“That’s why you drive—she spit it out, her venomous tongue flickering—an Infiniti.”
Her husband finished unlocking the car. “There you go,” he said, “that’ll be $60.00.”
I handed him three twenties.
“Thanks,” I said.
My wife and I watched as they drove away.
“Do you think he overcharged us,” she said.
“I don’t think so,” I said. “Sixty dollars seems about right to me, $40.00 for the service, and $20.00 for our union dues.”