PONDERING PREVARICATORS-"The truth shall set you free" comes from verse 8:32 of the Gospel of John and is attributed to Jesus Christ. Pontius Pilate had the philosopher's response in verse John 18:38: "What is truth?"
Is it just me or have you also noticed a shocking increase in the number of lies permeating all aspects of your daily life on an ever increasing basis? Recently, my day started off with a robocall from a woman offering me a deal on a vacation accommodation, since "you have stayed with us in the past." Problem: I never stayed with them in the past and had never heard of their company before. This is something that must be obvious to every person she calls; and this wasn't the first time she has called.
Is it me or is it just not a normal human reaction not to trust somebody you catch in a bald-faced lie during your first encounter? And it isn't even a lie that is expressed after some initial contact, but rather an intentional screwing from the get-go.
These robocalls continue in blatant violation of the law. Obviously, enough people are buying into whatever these con artists are selling to make it worth their while, which is in itself a pretty scary notion.
So now I go out to my mailbox to check my mail and have received the following equally truth-challenged missive from Toyota of Hollywood where I leased my car two years ago on a three year lease:
I wanted to drop you a quick note about purchasing your 2015 Toyota Prius C. I need it now and frankly I think you will be pleased with my aggressive offer. It's easy and you don't have to purchase anything! Talk to you soon.-Charlie Park
Not wanting to think that the term "honest car dealer" is an oxymoron, even though I have had good cause over the years to know that it is, I let my curiosity get the best of me in a shameless attempt to vindicate my low opinion of car dealers.
It didn’t take long to accomplish this. The robocall operator at the dealership now tells me that the salesman isn't in, but that I should leave my phone number (to assure that I will continue to be harassed in the future by more disingenuous and unwanted sales calls.)
So rather than leave my number, I call back the direct number of Hollywood Toyota and finally get to somebody in used car sales and purchasing; he tells me that there is no "aggressive offer" to buy back my leased car and that he is unaware of any Hollywood Toyota program in which I "don't have to purchase nothing." I thank him for his honesty about their dishonesty and hang up, after pointing out to him that Hollywood Toyota is the last place I would ever do any business in the future.
Again, wasn't my reaction predictable given the blatant lie that started the interaction? And I am truly at a loss in trying to understand why that salesman and Hollywood Toyota would do this in the first place, if they're trying to increase their bottom line. One would think that a truly honest car dealer would be such a novelty that customers would make a beeline to them -- but I guess I'm wrong.
So at day's end, when I sit down to watch the evening news I find that 632 jobs at Carrier Air Conditioning that candidate Trump said there is "100% chance he would save" are now going to Monterrey, Mexico, where the wages are $3.90 a day. I shouldn't have been surprised, given what has become the variable nature of truth.
My one regret is that I didn't have tapes of what transpired with the car dealership. But alas, they don't exist.
(Leonard Isenberg is a Los Angeles observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He was a second generation teacher at LAUSD and blogs at perdaily.com. Leonard can be reached at Lenny@perdaily.com) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.