Our clothes dryer needs to be replaced after only 15 years of service, so we have been shopping for a new one.

At Fulford's, Paul N, Fulford stressed Maytag. "These people don't build an appliance to meet a price," he said to my wife."They build an appliance the way it ought to be built, and then price it accordingly." That appealed to my wife. She isn't paying the bill.

After a wife decides what she wants, it's up to the husband to buy the item for as little as he can. So I said to Fulford, "If we buy a Maytag, which I doubt because I'm too cheap to pay that much, and if we buy it from you, how much would you allow me in trade for the practically new dryer I now have?"

"I will haul away your practically new dryer for only $7," he said.

"You mean I have to pay you $7 to take it?" I asked.

"That's right," he said. "I have to pay that much to get rid of it."

"That's outrageous," I said. "I won't pay it."

Fulford closed his eyes for a moment. I think he was saying to himself, "Dear Lord, I realize there have to be certain number of kooks in the world, but why do you have to send so many of them to me?"

When he opened his eyes, he said politely, "I had another customer who reacted the same way you did. He said. 'Just deliver then new machine. I'll get rid of the old one myself.' And he did."

"How?" I asked.

Fulford said, "He put it out on his front lawn with a sign on it that said, 'For Sale, $75.' The next morning, it was gone."

A sad commentary on the times, but not much help for me. My dryer really isn't worth stealing. But don't tell Paul Fulford. I may still want to come back and bargain with him.