Friday, May 19, 2017

"How'd the Car Work For You?"

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.


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.

Guess what?

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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