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.

"Fine."

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.

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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