Grand Theft Auto

A Good Man – Chapter 22 – JohnA Passaro


Money is the best bait to fish for men.

Thomas Fuller


My car was leaking oil.

I debated about letting the buyer know.

I wanted $2,000 for the car so I figured I would start my asking price at $2,500, knowing that after learning about the oil leak the buyer would try and chew me down.

“$2,500 – not a problem,” the potential buyer said.

“You’re asking $2,500, but I’ll give you $3,000 if you leave your license plates on the car for a few days until I can register it. I’ll be back tomorrow with the money.”

Bill overheard some of the conversation I had with the potential buyer and he asked me, “Did you sell your car?”

After telling him about the extra $500 I unexpectedly made he said,

“I’m glad for you but something is not quite right.

You told him about the oil leak and instead of trying to chew you down in price he offered you $500 more?

Don’t take it. Only take the $2,500.

You really wanted $2,000, so you got an extra $500 already.”

“Yea, but now I can get an extra $1,000,” I said.

“Don’t be greedy. Trust me, something is fishy,” Bill said.

I asked him if he knew the buyers.

He did, and he didn’t give them a glowing endorsement.

“Make sure you get cash.”

The next day the two guys came back.

I informed them that I’d take the $2,500 instead of the $3,000 for the car.

“Are you sure about that? You’re leaving an easy $500 on the table. It’s just for a day,” they asked.

“I’m sure,” I said.

But I actually wasn’t sure.

I definitely could have used the extra $500 and I didn’t see how it could come back to hurt me by taking it.

The bait looked so appetizing,

It always does when you don’t see the hook.

I guess that’s the art of baiting a hook – to show the bait and to hide the hook.

However tempting the extra $500 seemed, Bill convinced me not to bite at the bait.

I reluctantly listened.

I completed the transaction making $500 less than I could have.

A few days went by.

I was sorting empties in the back of the store when I saw two gentlemen in suits approach Bill in the front of the store.

They talked for a few seconds and then Bill pointed towards me.

The two gentlemen in suits then started to move quickly toward me as if they expected me to run out the back of the store.

I didn’t.

I stood there frozen.

When the two guys in the suits realized I wasn’t going to run, they slowed down their pace.

“Are you John Passaro?” one detective asked.

“Yes – I – am, why?” I asked slowly.

“Do you own a 1976 Mustang?”

“I did.”

“What do you mean you did?” The other detective said.

“I sold it last week. Two guys came in and bought it on the spot.”

The officers weren’t convinced until I added,

“They offered me an extra $500 to leave the plates on the car for a few days until they could register it. But I didn’t take it.”

“That was the smartest thing you will ever do in your life, son.” The good detective said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“That car was used to hold up an OTB in Southampton last night.

Two masked men with assault rifles.

If you had left those plates on the car you would be coming with us.

For a long time.”


Read the next chapter – New Coke


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