One of the real hassles of moving around the country comes at the car rental counter.
I arrived in Iowa to a smiling, pimple-faced kid.
"We actually only have one vehicle," he said.
I thought of Seinfeld saying:
"You know how to take reservations. You don't know how to keep reservations."
"It's a Grand Caravan," he said.
(I have no idea which car is which).
"Does it have Sirius?" I asked.
"Yes!" He said.
The Grand Caravan is a freaking mini-van. I threw my crap in it and drove to the hotel. In the morning I made a discovery:
The Sirius radio didn't work.
I called the rental counter. I'm not real good at talking to customer service but I got it done without any F-bombs. They sent a new signal.
"Give it 15 minutes," he said.
An hour later, I called back. Again I tried to stay in control. They sent the signal again. No go. I called again. I wasn't thrilled about a 4-hour drive through Iowa, flipping channels between soybean and 🌽 talk.
"We can trade it out, just swing by the airport."
It would cost me a half an hour, but it would be worth it.
"You called about the radio, right?"
"Yes," I said, happy that he remembered. Hopefully this would go smoothly.
"Well, one problem. We don't have a car available right now. We should have one in 15-20 minutes. How's your trip going so far?"
He was smiling.
"How's my trip going so far? Dude," I said. "I didn't fly halfway across the country to shoot the shit and play let's rent a shitty car for two hours with you."
His smile faded and he ducked into the back room.
"Hi!" A young woman said. "I hear we are having some problems!"
Her smile was nauseating.
"WE ARE HAVING BIG-ASS PROBLEMS!"
There was an old man hanging by the counter. He started talking very softly to me, asking me questions about my life.
I knew he was trying to distract me and get me to relax.
And it worked.
I finally settled into a piece of crap car, but at least it had Sirius.
It never worked!!!
I returned the car in Kansas City.
"How'd the car work for you?" The pimple-faced kid asked.
"It was absolutely horrendous," I said.
But hey, I can tell you how the 🌽 and soybean futures are looking.
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