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Saturday, December 29, 2012

All I got for Christmas was a 2013 Camaro

A yellow 2013 Camaro like mine. (Please see photo below.) Does it not remind you of an angry, smiling (?) tiger ready to gobble you up?/General Motors
At the car rental desk Christmas Eve, the agent took quite a long time doing my paperwork.  Hmmmmm, I wondered, what's up?

He said something about gas mileage, and I said “Oh, it’s no never mind. I’m not going far. I can handle it.”
I always rent the smallest, cheapest car I can get, and Christmas was no different.

Down the counter was another customer talking with an agent who told him the only vehicle left was a pick-up truck.

 “A pick-up truck?” asked the customer incredulously. “What’s it look like?”

 “It’s a pick-up truck.” said the agent. “It looks like a pick-up truck. It acts like a pick-up truck.  It drives like a pick-up truck. What do you think it looks like?" At that time of day and without cars to rent, the hired help could be surly.

 "It seats four.”

The guy took it.

This was the Orlando International Airport, after all, where car rentals are at a premium at Christmastime, what with all the tourists from the brrrrr north coming down to partake of Disney World and all the other area worlds.

I had not even plucked down any money on my credit card to make my reservation ahead of time, but I was a past customer which might have helped. This was E-Z Car Rental, far cheaper than the big name rental companies. I go for the cut-rate deals.

And I got one!

For the cut-rate “economy” price, how would you like a brand new with temporary tag, bright yellow 2013 Camaro? I ain’t talkin’ no wispy Williamsburg dainty yellow. I am talking SCREAMING bright yellow. As in Sun Yellow, the kind that blinds you when you look at it.  (GM calls it "Rally Yellow," and it costs more to get it!)

Would you go for that, sister? Would you? Could you?  Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! I was supposed to drive it?

The car had more many lights, push buttons, and turning knobs than a 747, and I would know since I’ve driven neither.
It had a camera which showed you what was behind you when you backed-up and it beeped at you if you got too close to anything, and sent messages if the area was unsafe. “Be mindful of your surroundings” or something like that. Whew!
The windows in the back seat (a two-door) were smaller than Little Caesar’s pizza slices, in other words, non-functional for a driver like me who uses them constantly to change lanes and who can't see to drive at night. 
Yes, it was night, but fortunately, in Orlando, Florida, the lights never go out since it’s always party-time, and I was hoping no dragster would challenge me to a race on Interstate 4 like what happened to me in Colorado when I was driving my son’s Z a few years back.
In the Camaro I was unable to find the button or clip or anything on the rearview mirror to dim the cars’ lights behind me since I can't see to drive at night, but I did spot three little buttons on the bottom of the mirror (!) and pressed the red one.
The radio was blaring, and the name of the artist and the song showed on the television screen (!) below the radio, and you could select the type of music you wanted to scan (jazz, blues, classics, HEAT (?)).  Cool. I could get used to this, but this noise conflicted with the man’s voice which immediately spoke to me from somewhere….the ceiling? A phone? The cloud. It must have been the cloud.
“Hello,” he said. “This is OnStar. How may I help you?”
I had not mastered the art of turning down the radio volume being that it was night and I can't see to drive at night, and the dash was a blur while I cruised the highway, trying to figure out where the lanes were. 
Uuuhhhhhh, uhhhhhhh, I stammered. I was just trying to figure out how to drive the car since it’s a rental and that’s okay, I can figure it out, I told him, fearing E-Z Car Rental would charge me $50 for the call.
The Camaro had stereo sound and a phone logo on the rear-view mirror, too, which I am certain made telephone calls upon command. I was afraid to press and find out ($50?). The car probably had a coffee maker which dispensed Starbux, but again, I was afraid to push any more buttons since talking heads were coming out of the upholstery and floorboards. There was likely a microwave, but I never found it. I know there was Internet somewhere.
Besides, it was time to check in to my cut-rate motel where I was immediately shocked throughout my body once I got to my room and reached up under the lamp shade to turn on the light and stuck my fingers in a broken socket.  Pop!  Crack!  Bang!  Sizzle, sizzle was the music my body made all right night (it rhymes).  The motel was rather unusual since "guests" roamed around the halls and lobby in bare feet and at breakfast, came down in their pajamas.  Actually, I think Kayak got the place mixed up with a mental ward and somehow I got in.

With rental cars, it always takes me the longest time to figure out how to open the gas gauge to insert fuel. So when I slid in the car the next morning (only too glad to find it in one piece without damage by the patients in the scary parking lot which the Camaro did not like one bit, beeping about the lack of a secure neighborhood), I remembered to look for that blooming button to pop open the gas gauge, but it was nowhere, and I was too afraid to push buttons. The roof might fly off and then where would I be?
The manual?  The manual?  Who takes time to read a manual? Well, duh!
I called E-Z which did not return my call.
One of the other buttons on the rearview mirror was blue so I pressed it, and immediately another male answered: “This is car service” or something like that. “How may I help you?” (Do you have escort service? Just kidding! Hahahahaha.)
Uhhhh, uhhhhh, I stammered. I am trying to find the button to open the gas gauge. Do you know where it is? “No," he said, "but I can connect you with GM.” Oh, that’s okay, I said, fearing a $50 charge to talk with GM. Maybe the fee would be doubled since it was Christmas.
I drove to my sister’s who called her neighbors to announce a space ship had landed in her yard.
The neighbors came right over, being males and all excited about cars (who cares?), but they couldn’t find the gas gauge pop button either.
We all circled the car and went round and round, and my sister says “Here it is!” pointing to the gas gauge. I know where the gas gauge is, I said, but where’s the button to open it? She pressed on the bright yellow circle. Voila! Open, sesame. Big deal!

It is scary to drive a new car and worry about hitting something or something hitting you. I never exceeded the speed limit although the engine wanted to run.
Later, my son said: “I don’t suppose it had manual shift, did it?” 
“How much horsepower?”
This car runs on an engine, I told him. Horses had nothing to do with it. 

There was nobody happier to turn a car loose than I was at the rental return. The gas mileage was really not bad, and thank goodness, E-Z did not charge me for all those phone calls. Give me an economical, dented old car any day, but at E-Z, they treat you right. Highly recommended!
My 2013 Camaro/patricia leslie
All I want for Christmas is a yellow spaceship
A yellow space ship
A yellow spaceship
All I want for Christmas is a yellow spaceship

So I can race….down the interstate!

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