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"Dun t'buy it."
"But I want it!"
"Are you rich?"
"Dun t'buy it."
"But I'm in love with the car, Charlie."
"So marry it. But dun t'buy it."
I brought the car to Charlie's shop. He contemplated it dubiously. He stuck a finger up the tail pipe and looked at the black smudge that resulted. Dubiously. He lifted the hood, picked up a yard-long stick of wood, pressed one end to the engine and the other to his ear, and listened, dubiously. The stethoscope effect, I thought to myself cheerily, admiring Charlie. "What do you think of her, Charlie?" He arched his eyebrows, hunched his shoulders and curled down the corners of his mouth, all dubiously. "It runs," he said. Then he walked away.
For a modest investment of $2,000 I became what is known in some quarters as a Bugattiste. I experienced instantly what might be described, in transcendental terms, as the "novitiate's bends." I finally had my hands on the Ultimate Automobile. And I felt I now stood in the presence of some Final Revelation.
The Bugatti did everything in its power to encourage this deception—by continuing to run, for example. In buying it I had also become a member of what must be the world's most exclusive key club. The ignition keys of most of the later-model cars are identical. A distinct touch! Un vrai beau geste! What owner of a Bugatti would conceivably make off with another's machine?