Murderer Takes the Car in

Considering the less than stellar condition of your car, Mr. Slattery, my supervisor has requested that a vehicle inspection be performed prior to service. She wants to make sure all the preexisting damage to your car is documented so none of it is wrongfully attributed to our mechanics. I hope you don’t take it personally, sir. I’m sure you’re a stand-up guy, but please understand that we do need to look out for our employees.

Since we’re already over here why don’t we start with the passenger’s side of the car? I can see a few minor scuffs on the bottom of the front door here. A small ding on the backseat door handle. Okay. Now, to the front of the car. A light abrasion on the right side of the hood. Mmhmm. And…ooh. What are these thin lines? More fine scratches? Oh, nope. Just lots of long strands of brown hair tangled up in the grill. I wonder who these belong to. Yes, you’re right, Mr. Slattery. Probably no one important.

By the way, Mr. Slattery, you said that you desired a loaner car, correct? Okay, let me have them bring one around for you. Louis, can you bring around a courtesy car for Mr. Slattery here? Yes, the red Camaro is fine. Wait, what’s that, Mr. Slattery? Something less conspicuous? Sure. Perhaps in an ashen gray or navy blue. Darker? Maybe black would better suit your fancy. Black it is then. I’ll have Louis prepare a black Camar- A van? Why, yes, we do have some loaner vans. Customers hardly ever request them, but we can certainly accommodate your preferences.

Louis, fetch the black van for Mr. Slattery, please. Taking the kids to soccer practice today, eh, sir? Excuse me? No, I’m afraid we don’t have any loaner vehicles without license plates.

Let us take a look at the driver’s side, shall we? This side is definitely the rougher of the two. There’s a significant forehead-size dent at the top of the door. Just below it, another forehead-size crack in the driver’s-side window, and on the door handle, there seems to be some crimson staining.

While these red blots appear to wipe away fairly easily, I’m afraid the rest of these damages will require considerable repair. Mr. Slattery, are you sure you only want us to change the oil? It’d take a few days, but our shop is well-equipped to fix your car’s other issues. Oh, you don’t have a few days. I see, you’re leaving town for a while. Well, I’d still recommend you don’t wait too long before getting these things fixed.

While I’m up here, I might as well check the mileage. Wow! Mr. Slattery, this car is long overdue for an oil change – like thousands of miles overdue. Frankly, I’m surprised the engine hasn’t given out on you yet! It’s a good thing you brought it in before you left for your trip. It would have been very unfortunate had your car broken down on your way up to the mountains. It’s so remote up there, I imagine it would be hard to procure aid.

Moving right along. Looks like your backseat door possesses some major blemishes as well. Two sets of five scratches running parallel along the length of the door. Wow! These feel really deep. Whatever clawed out these gashes must’ve really dug in hard.

And finally, the rear of the car. Ouch. One of your tail lights is completely smashed. Huh, it looks kind of like it was kicked out from the inside. Never seen that before. You won’t mind if I pop the trunk open and take a closer look at it will you, Mr. Slattery? You’re such a nice man. Thank you, kind sir.

Golly. That is so bizarre. How did you say your car got to be in such bad shape? Is that right? Kids playing ball in the cul-de-sac? If a bunch of kids were beating up my car like this, I’d give those brats a piece of my mind, but not you, Mr. Slattery. I admire your patience and restraint. Speaking of restraint, is that a bag of zip ties I see?

Ah, that reminds me. Mr. Slattery, please take any personal items with you before you leave. If you’re going to need anything from the car – perhaps this roll of duct tape or these blindfolds – please retrieve them now as they will not be accessible to you while the car is being serviced.

Well, that just about finishes the exterior inspection – all preexisting impairments have been reported. Mr. Slattery, I just need your signature here…and here. Thank you. You can get the keys to your courtesy vehicle from Louis over there, and we will call you as soon as the service on your car has been completed.

Come again? Yes, I would try the Orchard Supply down the street, right past the police station. I imagine they sell any number of gloves and shovels. You’re very welcome, Mr. Slattery. See you in a few hours.

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