Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Apparently They Don't Speak English in Texas

I'm driving a rental car for approximately the next 11 days. How do I know it's 11 days? Because the body shop told me so. I'm not going to go into a whole lot of detail about why I have a rental car because it's stupid and embarrassing and really doesn't reflect well on me in the end, but suffice to say my own car needs about $3,000 worth of work and I'll be driving someone else's for the next week and a half. End of story.

Anyway, my momma didn't raise (much of) a fool, so when I switched car insurance companies last year I got myself some rental car coverage, which I'm really happy about because 11 days worth of rental car really adds up. Like, around $400 worth adds up. On top of my $500 deductible. So I feel downright thrifty in hindsight.

When I reserved my rental last week the guy on the phone asked me what kind of car I drove. "A Honda Fit," I said. "You know, a hatchback."
"So what kind of car do you want to reserve?" he asked.
"Something compact. You know, not big." I really did think I was being specific enough.

This is what I got Monday morning.


"Not big."

That, my friends, is a Ford F150. With a crew cab. Because only by Texas standards would a four-door pickup truck be considered "compact." It's like the guy making my reservation and I weren't even speaking the same language.


When I first saw this monster, I informed the woman at the desk that I didn't want it. In fact, I said, "I don't want it." She informed me that it was all they had, which confused me, seeing as how I had a reservation for something "not big." "Compact," even. She didn't seem nearly as confused as I was, and suggested I take it for the day and swap it out after 5pm. Since we were apparently unable to communicate in a shared language, I just went along with it.


After work I returned the big black behemoth for something more reasonable for daily commuting, as opposed to, say, hauling livestock. They gave me a Chevy Impala, and it felt downright zippy compared to the beast of a truck I'd been driving around all day. 


Also not "compact," but closer.
The Impala will even start itself, which is a little too Knight Rider for my taste. But, being a stranger in this strange Texas land (even after nearly eight years), I'm not going to complain anymore. I'm clearly never going to understand this state, no matter how long I live here. I'm just glad to be driving something that I can actually park in a single (non-compact) parking space.

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