SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By Rodney Dial


October 01, 2009
Thursday PM

After my last letter regarding the pool I received phone calls, emails and had people stop me to comment on the letter. Only one of those I talked to still believed we should build the mega pool, and not renovate our existing facility.

That person's argument, like all the others by supporters was based on emotion, and ended with him saying "it's not all about dollars and cents", which I guess is code for "I don't care if it does raise my taxes". Anyway, in an attempt to better understand the mega-pool supporters, I thought it would be appropriate for me to give my own emotional response to this issue. I decided that I would create a skit and call it"The Devil Wears Pool-la". Enjoy..


by Rodney Dial


(Camera) Zoom to living room, average house in Ketchikan.

(Zig) Honey,.honey

(Jane) Yes, dear?

(Zig) It's Saturday, didn't you say we could go to the car dealer today and discuss our options regarding our old car? You know it's getting up there in the miles, and only has a few years of life left in it.

(Jane) Sure dear, let me get my coat.

(Camera) Couple walks to car in pouring rain. Drives to town and 20 minutes later arrives at Whitecliff Motors, the Tage Mahal of car dealerships. They are met by a friendly man in sales named Carlos.

(Carlos) Good morning, how may I help you today?

(Zig) My wife and I are concerned about our car, you see its kind of old and we want to see what our options are, because we always want reliable transportation.

(Carlos) Of course, but weren't you the folks that called about your car a few months ago?

(Jane) Yes, that was us, but back then your finance manager said to qualify for a new car loan would require that we get another part time job for the next ten years..we really weren't interested in that.

(Zig) That's right, you see we already work two full time jobs, and struggle to pay our taxes as simply would have been too much.

(Jane) But we saw your new advertisement that said we could get a new, bigger car on our current income, and we decided to see what you could do for us.

(Carlos) OK, let me have our service department take a look at your car to determine how I can best serve you.

(Camera) Time passes slowlythree hours later

(Carlos) Jane, Zig, we finished inspecting your car. As you know it is old, but my service manager says that it is still in working condition and has at least a few years of life left in it. If you are interested in guaranteeing that you always have a working car, you have a couple of options:

(Carlos) Option one, we replace the engine, power train and brakes, give a once-over to everything else, your car will be good for the next 100 thousand miles. The cost would be 11 thousand, which you can finance for a low payment for the next 10 years. We even have a loner car you can use while we are working on your car.

(Jane) Really?...a loaner car?

(Carlos) Absolutely, its parked over in Valley Park subdivision, we would have no problems getting it ready for you.

(Zig) What's our other option?

(Carlos) Option two is that we sell you a new car. Its bigger, and fancier, but it is expensive. According to my finance manager Mr. Dan, the cost is 23.5 thousand and only way we can get you into this vehicle, without you getting a second part time job, is to extend your loan for 30 years.

(Jane) 30 YEARS!!!, but won't the car wear out long before that?

(Carlos) Yes, the life of the new caris at best only 25 years. And I must be honest, this car is made by the same company that made the 1997 Gateway Recreational RV, and as you probably heard those units had to have their roofs replaced after 12 years.

(Jane) Carlos, I'm not feeling good about thiswhat about the gas mileage is the new car better? and what about the warranty.

(Carlos) Wellumsince the new car is bigger, the mileage is lessit will cost you more to operate. And the warranty isum, the same as if we rebuild your current car.

(Zig) Yes, but honey the new car is REALLY pretty, and the cup holders can accommodate twice as many drinks.AT THE SAME TIME!

(Jane) Carlos, my children have a skateboard holder installed in the trunk, can we get that with the new vehicle?

(Carlos) Yes, but my service manager says that will cost an extra $1300.00 dollars.

(Jane) Carlos, can we have a minute to discuss this in private?

(Carlos) Sure

(Camera) Out walks Carlos.Jane and Zig discuss their options.

(Zig) Jane, I really want know not everything is about dollars and cents. I really don't mind paying more for a shiny new car, even if we have to take the risk of getting a second job to pay our bills.

(Jane) Dear, the new car is nice for sure, but it does nothing that our current car doesn't already do. Think about it, or family size is decreasing, Jonnie grew up and moved away last year. You also don't have to drive Sally to school as much anymore.

(Zig) Oh, you're right, I almost forgot about the schedule change ever since school enrollment dropped 5%, last year.

(Jane) Besides, didn't your employer recently tell you that your pay was going to be cut 10% next year?

(Zig) Yes, and unfortunately he said yesterday the company will be struggling next year because so many cruise ships will not be coming to Ketchikanso I may have to take even a bigger pay cut.

(Jane) I'm sorry to be such a wet blanket, but our bills went up big time last year, and we are making less money. I just don't think that now is the best time to buy a new car.

(Camera) As the discussion continues, zoom to the finance office where a heated discussion is taking place between Carlos, and Finance Manager Dan.

(Dan) Carlos, I couldn't help overhearing your discussion with Jane and Zig.

(Carlos) Yes?

(Dan) Did I not tell you at the weekly meeting to push the new cars?

(Carlos) Yes sir, but they are concerned about the numbers. You initially told them that they would need to get a second part time job for the next 10 years to afford the car, and now you are telling them all they have to do is finance it for 30 years. The problem is they can't afford it, and car won't last that long.

(Dan) Not our concern.

(Carlos) Also, the bank is not happy about the deal. Apparently the family budget is up quite a bit over last year and because Zig works in tourism his pay will be less for the foreseeable future.

(Dan) But will the bank loan them money?

(Carlos) I supposebut the interest rate will be high because of their current financial situation.

(Dan) Once again,.. not our concern. If Jane and Zig need more money to pay their car loan they can always get another job.push the new car, or I will. Actually, I think I better come with you, let's go talk to them.

(Camera) Carlos and Dan walk to the waiting room, interrupting Jane and Zig in a heated discussion concerning the new car.

(Dan) What can I do to get you fine folks into a new car today?

(Jane) We just don't think we can afford a new car right now. Our finances are tight, Zig is taking a pay cutand, wellour old car will get us around just like a new one would.

(Dan) Did Carlos mention the cup holders? You know they are bigger right?

(Jane) Uh...yes. But the costthe loan length, the higher operating costs?

(Dan) Trust meyou can afford it.

(Zig) Jane, I think we should listen to him. After all, he is a finance manager, I would think he would know a little more about money than you would.

(Camera) Jane stares daggers at Zig, while Dan gets a devilish grin.

(Jane) You mean the same finance manager who told our friends their 2006 Chevy SCHOENBAR was going to cost them 9 thousand, that wound up costing them 20 thousand?

(Zig) What?

(Jane) The same finance manager who used to work for the State and tried to CONSOLIDATE the City and Borough Governments?

(Zig) Ohthat's right. Glad we decided not to do that; it would have cost us 2.2 million just this year.

(Jane) The same finance manager who oversaw the construction of WHITECLIFF Motors for 9.4 million, and doesn't even have the money to pay for it?

(Camera) Devilish grin on Dan now replaced with a scowl Carlos now has a grin

(Jane) The same finance manager who got into that bad land deal with the VENEER plant at Ward Cove?

(Jane) The one who increased his business operating expenses by 1.3 MILLION just this year?

(Zig) OKOK, I get it, but the new car is! you know that is my favorite color.

(Dan) Peopleplease. Let's focus on the car. What I really want you to think of is the Kidsyour Kids. Are you really willing to allow your kids to be seen in your old car? Think of how much better they will be driving in a new vehicle. In fact, I'm quite sure it will solve many of their problems.

(Jane) Actually Dan, we are thinking about our children. You see, we will not be working 30 years from nowwe will have long since retired. Our kids however, will be working, and if we buy the new car today they will be making the payments in the future. As you know, long before they can pay the loan off they will have to buy another car when this one wears out. I'm sorry, but we just can burden their future for a new fancy car.

(Jane) We will instead teach our children the importance of making good financial decisions, and the value of being happy with what you have..Carlos, please repair our current vehicle.

(Camera) Zoom to Dan who is steaming mad.Carlos who is happy.Zig who is crying.

And they all lived happily ever after, The End.

Epilog: Jane and Zig's car was completely rebuilt; Carlos was even able to add a few new car features including a bigger cup holder. They saved lots of money not buying a new vehicle. Not long after, Whitecliff motors went out of business when a process server, there to serve bankruptcy papers, slipped on the marble floors and stuck his head on CEO Kiffer's gold plated desk. The resulting lawsuit was more than they could handle. Carlos moved on to a new dealership and is doing quite well, and treats his customers with respect.


So what does everyone think of my play? Do you think First City Players will perform my skit at the Performing Art Bathrooms? :)

Please vote "No" October 6th.a 30 year bond for a 23.5 million dollar pool that will last (at most) 25 years is just insane. A no vote means refurbish our existing facility.


Disclaimer: Any similarities between the names in the play and those living or dead are purely coincidental.

Rodney Dial
Ketchikan, AK


Received September 28, 2009 - Published October 01, 2009


Related Viewpoint:

letterImportant Community Information By Rodney Dial

Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for letter publication.

SitNews ©2009
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska