Now if you are a youngster and reading this, I didn't really mean that in the way you might think. Of course there is a Santa Clause from the North Pole! Everyone knows that. No I'm talking about something else that actually doesn't have anything to do with Santa. You know, one of those grown up things you really don't understand. I sure know I don't understand this!
At any rate I get this call on the phone a couple of days before Christmas. It was a guy who sounded very sincere as he talked on and on about the train collection that his Uncle had left him. He continued on about the fact that there were American Flyer and Lionel Trains. There had to be over 600 engines. All of it was from the pre and post war era.
I sort of sat there listening, trembling all over as he talked. He went on to say that he had been taking the sets off the shelves one by one and putting them in the set boxes. Why that very day he had put the original Canadian Pacific set away in the boxes, and other unbelievable treasures. The story got better and better and better as he continued telling me all about the collection that he wanted to sell to one individual for one price.
Now as I sat there listening in disbelief that he had actually called me, I had a feeling there was going to be a catch at some point. But no, as we talked it sounded more and more encouraging. He thought that there might be 400 to 500K in trains there, and needed a serious buyer. So to make things go more smooth and maybe actually get my foot in the door on this one I told him that it would be difficult to travel to look at the collection before the New Year was over, but would January 3rd work for him. Of course he agreed, and things started to sound very good.
That is until he said that he would require cash because he didn't want the IRS to know about the transaction! I gulped, and tried to remember if I still owned that armored car that I used to use to go to coin shows or not! This roller coaster ride was starting to go down hill again.
At this point I became pretty disillusioned knowing that a deal this big using cash would be a big problem in many ways. But I kept the appointment anyway and got his phone number.
I had my doubts whether my banker and accountant would approve, but to my surprise they both told me as long as I got a receipt and took the funds from my bank and could trace where they came from it was something that was doable. Now at this point I was getting excited again.
So I decided to get a check list of things to go over the guy and if he agreed to them, I would certainly give him a visit.
And wouldn't you know it, the phone number he had given me was a wrong number. Now at first I thought maybe I had transposed some numbers or something. And I called directory assistance, tried reverse number lookup on the Internet, and did just about everything possible to try to get back to the guy. I was pulling my hair out and am now completely bald! By the time I learned that only police departments could find in-coming long distance phone numbers with a subpoena I was bedridden and incapable of eating. Now I just sit here in this wooden rocking chair saying over and over again, ‘There is no Santa Clause, There is no Santa Clause!"
Oh well, you can't say I didn't give it my best shot. I don't know if this guy was on the up and up, or possibly a hoax, or maybe he purposely gave me the wrong phone number for some other reason unknown to me. I just hope I didn't jot that phone number down wrong. That would have been a very, very bad transposition!
But it is now January 4th and he hasn't called to question why I never got back to him, so I suspect something was wrong in Denmark as they say. So if some guy calls you from the Sandusky - Cleveland, Ohio area and tells you he has a big collection for sale, but will only take cash, would you please tell him the IRS is now looking for him? :) But I have a feeling that this is just going to be another one of those screwy mysteries that haunt me every night. I wish I'd stop waking up in the middle of the night screaming at the top of my lungs. It's really bothering my neighbors!
So that's a couple that have run through our fingers. We're due and we will get the next one that comes along! (I hope so, I can't take much more of this missing the big one stuff though!)
By the way, there really is a Santa Clause!
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