Best Of 2021

Gollum, Used Car Salesman

Welcome, Master, to Misty Mountain Quality Automotives! How may Sméagol serve Master on this fine day?

 

Master is tired, Master is weary. Master has suffered through a never-ending, soul-wrenching quest for the best bargain in all Middle Earth. Master comes to us on foot, but today, Master’s luck finally changes!

 

They stole the ring from us – but they can never steal our passion for matching qualified buyers with the used vehicles of their dark, prophetic dreams! Show him the 2007 Ford Taurus, Precious! 

 

Yes, look Master! A mid-sized family sedan that gets 25 miles to the gallon!



 

Filthy hobbitses owned it, rubbing filthy hobbit feet all over the carpets, ruining the interior with their nasty habit of smoking pipe-weed with the windows up! We soaked the whole thing, tops to bottoms, with Febreeze – but when you close your eyes you still smell feets and Southfarthing leaf!

 

Um, yes – or something sportier, that’s what Master seeks. Like this 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse with chromed-out grilles and a rear wing spoiler!

 

We found it in an orc den, orcses revving its engine, orcses challenging Uruk-hai to drag races in the bits of the Fangorn Forest they had razed to the ground. Everything burned, Precious! BURNED! The transmission was shifting sticky when they abandoned it, but the sawdust we ran through made her purr like Smaug the Terrible!

 

Silence, my love! I mean – ha ha, just a little joke from my better half! Sméagol’d have gladly owned such a car, back when Sméagol himself was a carefree hobbit. But Master can walk away with it today, for $199/month and no money down!

 

Or what has it got in its pocketses?

 

Yes, we accept cash, credit, or any kind of magical cursed trinket! We see Master eyeing that snappy little 1998 lime green Volkswagen Beetle. A beauty she is, Master, given to an elf maiden on her sixteenth birthday!

 

The electrical damage caused when she was chased by the Nazgûl and forced to drive through a river was extensive! Just like the permanent damage done to Cousin Déagol when he found our birthday present at the bottom of a river, but wanted it for his own! 

 

Nonsense, Master, don’t listen to him! Listen to Sméagol… Behold! The Great Eye has cast his gaze on this 1984 Dodge Ram van! He sees the custom Hawaiian sunset paint job and already imagines it sitting in his driveway in Mordor!

 

He also smells the brake fluid we sloshed over the engine to try and lubricate away a funny clicking sound! He wants this van that backfires only at every other stoplight! He calls to it! He is searching for it, but he must never have it! Master must take it!

 

Quiet, now, quiet! Master wants to know how much Sméagol wants for the 2004 Lincoln Towncar hydraulic lowrider?

 

This car is NOT for sale! Precious installed those jumpy-jumpies himself. Precious washes it. Precious sleeps in it. Precious keeps juicy, raw fish in the trunk of it! This car belongs to us, it is OURS! 

 

It is time! Time to lure them up to her lair in the caverns near Cirith Ungol. She’s always hungry, hungry for the blood of those looking for incomparable deals! They will go, Precious! They will go to her…and never come BAAAAACK!

 

GOLLUM, GOLLUM!

 

No, wait, please come back, Master! Sméagol would never lead you astray! Sméagol knows Master’s burden, the burden of searching for the one true deal – one deal to rule them all!

 

Like this fairly-priced compact car whose hood might burst into flames like the blazing Balrog when you push the engine past 55 on the highway! Or this 1997 Cadillac DeVille with just under 500,000 miles and a punctured muffler that makes her sound like the screaming Witch-king of Angmar, but a velvet teal upholstery any dwarf would weep for! He can have it for $2,995 – for that price they are practically stealing it!  

 

No, my love, NO! How many times must we go through this – the customers are not stealing anything!

 

Oh, Master – perhaps we are not the savvy sales creatures we once were. Perhaps we should retire from this life of the hard sell, this life of uncertainty. Our soul is tormented by the whims of the market –

 

– and the sneaky mind-changing of wicked, tricksy customers!

 

Perhaps it’s best if Master comes back another time. If we’re lucky, he will take the day off – every Tuesday we’ve got a carousel for the kids and rabbit soup for the adults!

 

Filthy stuff! GOLLUM, GOLLUM!

 

Take Sméagol’s card, just in case.

 

Toss yourself into the molten lava pit at the foot of Mount Doom! End your tortured existence! See you in the bowels of hobbit hell!

 

Or see you next week! We’ve got a couple of real beauties coming onto the lot – totally orc-blood free and priced to own!

by Jenn Knott

Jenn Knott

Jenn Knott is a comedy writer based in Bavaria, Germany who’s written for publications like McSweeney’s, The American Bystander, The Belladonna, Slackjaw, & Points in Case. She really hopes you’re doing ok. Find her on Twitter @jkusesherwords or at jennknott.com.