“They’re coming to
get you rent from you, Barbara.” – Johnny, Night of the Living Dead
Lookz into ourz eyez. Lookz deeply in2 themz! We’s own you!!!
The Mrs. and I have a standing argument. Actually we have about 457 standing arguments, but who’s counting? Anyhow, this particular argument can’t really be solved by Google®, though Google© does certainly put to rest most of the arguments that we have, such as who played first base for the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 1934 season. Strangely, we couldn’t find any records of that. (Hint: In 1934, the Los Angeles Dodgers started as a group of drunken athletic nuns in Cleveland who eschewed first base on religious reasons, deeming it “a base form of idolatry.”)
No, this is an argument that revolves around that great unknowable beast, human nature. I have long argued that the average accountant, after missing three square meals with no prospect of another in the foreseeable future will take off the wing tips, slip the surly bonds of civilization, shave his head into a Mohawk and slip into steel spike-studded-shoulder pads and begin chasing Mel Gibson because he wanted to gnaw on Mel’s spleen. The Mrs. disagrees, and thinks that the average accountant would just be a very hungry (but only slightly less polite) person, still civilized, still able to be polite and share.
After Hurricane Ike, The Mrs. claimed that the neighbors banding together and helping each other proved her point. “Nobody even glanced twice at your spleen,” The Mrs. said, “but then again, you’re no Mel Gibson.”
This week, I had a little experience that bolsters my point . . .
I travel on occasion for work, and when I get to my destination I rent a car. It’s much easier than walking. Mostly, picking up a rental car is like attracting a politician using dangling wads of cash as bait – easy. Delay in the airline schedule? Sure. Delay in airport security thanks to TSA? A given. Delay on a rental car? Nope.
This particular day, however, a car rental company whose name rhymes with “Mational” had my reservation. As I checked in for my rental, the clerk said there might be a delay. Oh, sure, I expected that delay might mean five minutes of me standing in the airport parking garage while I paced over chewing-gum encrusted concrete.
I arrived at the lower rental area booth – the one where elite (definition: not me) travelers whisk through the airport, not even stopping (somehow these elites manage to go to the bathroom without stopping on their way – I have this working theory that if you make enough money you never ever have to poop again), nay, merely pausing while the clerk tosses them their keys on the way to their car.
I arrived at a desolate wasteland, a garage meant to be stocked with cars, meant to be filled with people being whisked on their way, even non-elites like me. Now, you might think that from the term “wasteland” that the garage was empty. No. There were throngs of zombie-travelers milling about the counter, bumping into each other, groaning, looking for all the world like they expected the cars to spring from the ground like paparazzi when Obama’s (note: my spell check does not recognize this name) thong slips a bit at the beach.
This, I guess, is what you get when you rent virtual cars rather than real cars.
Finally it got uglier than a Hollywood divorce. One customer shook himself awake. “Listen, Miss, I’ve been waiting here an hour.”
The (young) clerk made the first mistake that people under stress make – she clammed up. It did make since, since she was busy ripping apart the furniture in the rental booth to nail across the windows in case the
The previously mentioned and now quite belligerent customer began again, “Miss, I will summon the evil powers of the CEO – you have no idea who I am . . .”
The clerk and the (theoretical) customer began circling each other. Somehow the customer had fashioned his toothbrush into a crude shiv, and the clerk prepared to defend herself with a stapler.
“Listen, mister, I don’t know who you are outside,” she gestured at the streams of sunlight pouring in through the parking garage exit with her stapler, “but you’re in my world now.”
Then a car arrived. Belligerence dropped from the face of the customer as if unexpected doughnuts were available at a corporate meeting.
Funny, but he got that car.
More and more zombies arrived, there were probably about seventeen (theoretical) customers milling about when my car arrived.
So, I stand by my statement. If people get utterly out of sorts when they can’t get a car for an hour, well, we’re about three meals away from kindergarten teachers abandoning their classes and naming themselves “Grongar, Duke Of Elm Street (1400 block).”
I am fearful for my spleen.