Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Car Rental,

It was Sunday and I was bringing a friend to her church.  I dropped her off at the handicapped entrance.  As she pushed her walker up the ramp, I put the car in reverse and commenced to swing back to turn around.  That’s when my front bumper hit the church.

Yikes!  That church came out of nowhere!

My car turned out to have $ 1800 dollars damage to the front bumper and a scraped and dented driver’s side fender.  So my car is in the body shop and I am now driving a rental.

Now, the story: my experience with the rental is a sad tale.  It made me really feel old and out of touch.  The rental agency came and picked me up at the auto body shop. Nice and convenient!  I was told to turn the car on and off, all I had to do was step on the brake and push a button.

Push a button is how to turn a car on and off, nowadays.  Well, it worked to turn the car off, but a few hours later, I couldn’t get that button to turn the engine on. I stepped on the brake and then pushed the button.  I tried numerous times. And there was no manual in the glove compartment.  I gave up and called the rental company to ask what I was doing wrong.  The telephone number I was given was an “800” national number.  I was on hold for the national corporate office.  Then I was on hold for the state office.  Finally, I got my local office.  I explained the problem and was told not to step on the brake but to hold the brake down and turn the key.  That’s how one turns a car on, today.  I did that and it worked. 

Now I have to worry that my grandchildren can turn the car on.  I know.  I know.  I couldn’t do it, but you know children.  They’re smart that way.

It didn’t take me long to notice something else. The windshield wipers wouldn’t shut off.  I could see the markings on the lever indicating how fast the windshield wipers could wipe.  I had the indicator as low as it would go and the wipers still swiped the window every twenty seconds.  The lever wouldn’t turn anymore.

I had to telephone.  Again with the national corporate office, then the state office, and finally the office I needed.  This time, I asked for their local number.  I wrote it down.  By the way, the windshield wiper lever pushes in and pulls out.  Who knew?

After completing my errands, I received a message on my dashboard that I needed fuel.  Luckily, I was near a gas station.  I pulled in, as usual.  But after I got out, and walked around the car, I saw that I didn’t have a gas tank.  I walked around the car.  There it was, on the other side of the car.  Back in the car, step on the brake, hold the brake down and push the button.  I drove the vehicle around to another pump.  Although I now had the pump on the same side as the gas tank, I couldn’t open the damn door to insert the nozzle.  I tapped the door.  I knocked on the door.  I whacked the door and I tried to pry the door open.

Back in the car, I called the rental office again.  At least I didn’t have to jump through the circus hoops to get to my rental office. 

This time I was told there was a lever inside the car, under the dashboard.  And I didn’t have to step on it, or hold it down, or press a button.  All this required was to lift a lever.  So a child can start the car but one needs a degree in engineering design to find the bloody lever to open the fuel tank door. 
$50 lighter I could now go home.  I didn’t think I needed anything else.  I now got turning the car on and off down pat.  I could get the fuel tank door open.  I could turn off and on the windshield wipers, what else would I need?

The lights.  Nope, I will never drive this car at night.  There, problem solved.

As I got closer to home, I realized that I was freezing. How do I turn on the heat?  I twisted and turned some dials and saw an indicator gauge tell me that I had the heat to 90 degrees.  Well, it didn’t feel like it.  But it was warmer.  I think.  Maybe the heater just stinks. 

Do I dare put on the radio?  NO!  I’m having enough trouble with the heater, forget the radio.

But I am going to do one more thing.  I’m putting the telephone number of the rental agency on my cell phone’s speed dial.

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