Sunday, October 12, 2014

Me, with cars

So, during my trip to and after arriving at Milwaukee a week ago tonight, the only thing that didn't go smoothly was picking up the rental car. First the guy at the counter said they didn't have the compact we'd reserved and so he was giving us another car, showing me a picture of a sort of micro-car two-seater with so small a trunk it cdn't have held both our suitcases. So I asked for something bigger, like the car we'd reserved. He was happy to oblige, and after some delay I headed out to pick up the car, only to discover once I got the keys that (a) it was much bigger, being a four-door a good foot longer than our non-compact Honda Civic back home, plus (b) he'd charged me an extra $200 for an "upgrade". I returned the key, went back in, told him I wanted a compact, as originally requested. He said he could do that. More delay, then a new set of papers and I'm heading out into the garage when I check paperwork again and find it's now a $175 extra fee. I return once again the the desk and say I want the original little car he sent me: no upgrade, no extra fee: just what we originally reserved, at the price we reserved it for. Long delay, during which I read, studied maps, and the like. Finally he gives me the re-re-re-revised paperwork, for the original price, and I go outside to find he's given me --not the compact he promised, but a van.  A huge, wallowing, boat of a van.

To be specific, a Chevrolet Grand Caravan, more suitable for transporting the Van Trap Family than for letting Janice and I (and possibly another Coulter) bus around northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.  But by this time it's getting dark, and I have serious doubts about what horrors that person at the counter might visit on me, given another try. So I decide to sail the S. S. Enormous onto the interstate and try to get it to Marquette, where I promptly park it and drive it as little as possible over the next few days, until I go to pick up Janice at the airport on Friday and she quickly masters it.

End of story, except for two pictures.

Here's me and the van I wound up with, followed by the car we saw today at Edward's Apple Orchard (where I picked apples), which, if I had to drive a whale of a car, wd have been my choice: a 1938 Chevrolet.

Oh well. Better luck next time.

--John R.

No comments: