So this morning was Monday. It turned out to be Monday all day long.
First thing I decided to take the car in for a quick emissions check because the tags are expired. One of the things I meant to do before we left for vacation, but you know how it goes. Kinda didn’t think about the fact that the check engine light had been on for a while. We’d had it looked at by our local shop and they told us that an oxygen sensor was out. “But you have two,” they said, “So you can drive it like this without any problems.”
Neither I nor The Lovely Rhonda really connected this with emissions testing, but it turns out we should have. The pimply faced teen at the emissions place smugly informed me that it failed because of the bad sensor. I wanted to smack him and yell, BUT IT HAS TWO SENSORS AND THE OTHER ONE WORKS! But, I held that in. I just said it inside, where it counts.
I took it directly to our local shop, again, and dropped it off for repair. How much for a new sensor, you ask? I asked the same thing. “Well, I won’t know until I look it up,” said Jack, “Could be a hundred dollars, could be six hundred.” Yikes.
Pretty soon the sullen rental car agency guy came to get me. “Sorry if I’m not all that talkative,” he eventually said. “I’m operating on about one hour of sleep.” Judging from his appearance and general demeanor, I’d say he must have spent the rest of the night smoking interesting things and playing PS3 games with his loser buddies, but I didn’t say that out loud either. We drove on in companionable silence while I wondered which utility pole Mr. No Sleepy was going to slam us into.
We arrived at the agency in due time and I was taken out to the parking lot to choose my trusty steed. Which ones are up for grabs? “Oh,” said the perky young lady clerk, “Anything from those two rows.” There was a few boring white sedans, a dark red Honda. And then I saw it. At the end. The black one.
“Uh, okay, um, I guess I’ll take that one over there, that one on the end,” I said, nonchalantly wiping a small amount of drool from the corner of my mouth.
“Oh, the Charger!” She turned to walk me back into the office. “That one’s very popular with the younger male drivers. Like, 24 to 29 years old age range. They always ask for that one too!”
After the walk-around and the signing of the papers — she even had the slack-jawed lot jockeys wash it again, because it needed it — I drove off in all my rented glory.
Friend(s), I was Walter Mitty for a day. I drove that thing like an extremely repressed boss. I took off slightly faster than average at stoplights and careened around corners on 3.95 wheels. I turned the Soft Rock Hits of the 80’s, 90’s and Today up rather louder than usual and enjoyed the deep bass, mainly because I couldn’t figure out how to turn it down. I even went several miles above the speed limit at times.
I know. I almost don’t know who I am anymore!
I posed a picture of the car on Facebook and TLR commented, “You’re the man. That is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.” She was in the minority though. All the really cool people thought it was neat.
This evening we dropped the rental car off before going to get my trusty old Mazda back. I dropped the keys into the key return thing at the rental car agency. They clunked down into the hollow armored post with an air of finality. I sighed and walked away to climb into the minivan.
(Hey, if she thinks it’s ugly maybe TLR won’t want to borrow it?)