Dr. Beads

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Car Wars -- Revenge of the Pithed

Long before I gave up on trying to find sense in the auto rental business, I made phone reservations for a car with manual transmission. (Feel free to throw popcorn at the screen now.)

I showed up at the rental agency, ready to roll up the highway. I went through the volumes of paperwork (declining the optional and overpriced collision insurance), then took the keys and went out to the lot, where I found – wait for it – a car with automatic transmission.

I returned to the rental office and objected. It turned out that all the agents thought that the location of the transmission control stick thingy (between the two front seats) meant that it was a manual transmission (as in “four on the floor”). In fact, the agency had no cars with manual transmission.

I objected again, with the rationale that I was not accustomed to driving an automatic, and that I’d be at higher risk for a collision with such a car.

The agent looked me in the eye and said, “Well, then, are you sure you don’t want the collision insurance?”


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