Since poor Ninja Car was hit while parked, it costs me zero money to get it all fixed up. This includes the repairs AND a rental.
I’ve never had a rental car before, so my emotions on the subject are along the lines of “ehhhhh, it goes forward and backward, right?”
By a twist of luck, I ended up with what they called “an upgrade car.” A 2014 Toyota Camry SE. For those of you (like me) who know less than little about cars, my response was: “It’s red!”
- When I went in to work (three hours late) and mentioned the rental, my coworkers asked what kind of car it was and my response was, “It’s red!”
- When they asked if it was a Shevie, a Fjord, a Hon-day, or a B-yew-ick, my response was, “It’s red!”
- When my friend asked what the logo on the car looked like (a bunch of circles, a floppy circle, a oval-circle, a spiky lizard monster), my response was, “It’s red?”
Rules of Rentals
- Don’t break stuff.
- Don’t leave the state (that means no fleeing to non-extradition countries apparently).
- Return with the weirdly specific “just below half” gas level. Somehow.
- Don’t let other people break stuff, leave the state, waste gas, or otherwise drive the car.
- Make ten phone calls to make sure you have coverage on the vehicle.
- Forget to make the last important phone call. This one isn’t a rule… it’s just something I did.
- Forget how to pop open the gas cap. (There’s a button hiding on the floor.)
- Adjust all the mirrors. Repeatedly.
- Get confused by the zig-zag shaped gear shift. Experiment cautiously.
- Struggle to get the key out of the ignition. (Push, turn, then pull.)
- Ponder the purpose of getting three keys for one car, but having them on an inseparable chain.
- Play a game of “what type of a car is Rebecca driving based on her sole response of “red.”
- Leave work early even though the rental situation led to showing up late.
- Accidentally break the speed limit several times because the Red Rental is super smooth and likes to sneak up to 80 mph when the driver is focused on not getting smushed by semi trucks.
- Drive forty miles until learning how to turn on cruise control.
- Struggle to use cruise control.
- Poke at the magic screen until it plays music.
- Enjoy the musical stylings of static while driving between radio station locations.
- Drive half-way across the state, get dangerously close to Canada, and forget how to do all the buttons.
- Be afraid of all other cars on the road.
- Have absolutely no idea how to change the heat settings.
- Only make this discovery while in the middle of driving and it’s too dangerous to search the controls to figure it out.
- Be amazed by all the expensive details in the car (like the mpg dial).
- Wonder why cars have circular dials instead of horizontal progress bars which would save space and money.
- Wonder if you could abscond with this car and leave yours at the body shop forever. No one would notice, would they?
- Realize that Red Rental has 10% of the miles that Ninja Car has and is 13 years newer.
- After struggling with Red Rental, have a memory-flashback of Ninja Car, and sing a sad reminiscent song.
- Slide a little on the ice and have a MASSIVE CARDIAC EVENT.
- Arrive home, park in driveway, order all relatives to avoid fancy Red Rental.
- DO NOT LOSE THE KEYS. Wait, crapidycrapcrap. I put them in my pocket, right? Er… I’ve gotta go tear apart my coat real quickly.
Those are your 30 steps to having a rental car for the first time.