I wrote a few weeks back about the ease and convenience of renting cars for work trips.
And then the next morning I easily and conveniently drove my rental car right through an EZ pass entrance on the turnpike instead of the cash ticket lane, and racked up a forty one dollar and fifty cent toll even though I only drove eleven miles. Apparently when you exit without a ticket they charge you the price from the VERY FIRST ENTRANCE.
Literal highway robbery.
But, I decided to give renting another go, and my mom drove me over to Enterprise this afternoon to pick up a car for a work trip tomorrow. As we pulled into the lot, she scanned the available vehicles and announced her prediction. "There's not much here today. You will probably end up with that white minivan."
And then I walked into the rental office and Jake behind the counter said, "There's not much here today. How do you feel about that white minivan?"
"That would be fine I guess," I told him.
But then at the last second I added, "Is that all that's available?" because it doesn't hurt to ask.
"Let me check what's in the bay," he said, and walked over to the little garage area. I always thought that's where they washed the cars but evidently it's where they hide the luxurious options because Jake came back to the counter and said, "It's a Jaguar. Would that be okay?"
After checking to make sure it wouldn't cost any more than the standard (read: cheapest available) car that my nonprofit employer's Fiscal Hotline had approved, I set off in style in my very own Jaguar.
I parked the car in the street when I got home, and went inside and said to Matt, "Could you come outside real quick and make sure I parked close enough to the curb with MY JAG?"
The look he gave me resembled the one he gave me the other night when I laced up my sneakers and announced I was going to go for a run.
That is to say, complete and utter disbelief.
But he walked to the front door and what to his wondering eyes should appear but a shiny black Jaguar.
We went outside together because he wanted to see how many liters were in the engine and something about torque, and I wanted to read the manual for a few practical things like which buttons adjust the mirrors and how do I turn on the defroster?
On my drive home I'd noticed that behind the steering wheel there were two big buttons. One had a "+" and the other had a "-." Naturally I thought they were for the radio volume, so I pushed the + while I was at a red light and the car sounded like it was going to take off.
After I adjusted my mirrors and found the defroster, I said to Matt, "what do you think these big buttons behind the steering wheel are?"
"Oh those? Those are your paddle shifters."
It's official. I'm in over my head with all this luxury.
As I was upstairs packing my suitcase for my trip tonight, Matt came into the bedroom and said, "I've been doing some research and that car? It goes zero to sixty in 5.1 seconds."
Well, we will just see about that tomorrow morning as I merge onto the Pennsylvania turnpike.
Via the cash ticket lane, of course.