I used to travel quite a bit so I have every express rental car membership there is. You know...you give them all your info beforehand and get your Wizard, Fastbreak or whatever card from them. Then, when you rent a car, you just show up, grab the keys and go.
Great idea. Except it never works that way. Like...ever. They always want to see your credit card, driver's license and a urine sample. What's that all about? And then..they want a "local" phone number where I'll be staying??
This makes no sense. I can see the airlines needing to call me to tell me the flight's been cancelled or whatever. But if I bring the car back, then the rental company has no reason to be calling me. And if I don't bring the car back? Well, there are only a few reason's for that:
A) I've stolen it. - At this point, calling me isn't going to do too much. I'll probably just hang up.
B) I'm lost and can't find my way back to the airport. - Tough to find me at the local number if I'm working my way through Flatbush trying to find La Guardia
C) I'm dead - Self explanatory
In any case, they don't need to reach me unless they plan on telling me that Jennifer Garner is going to be on Letterman with Ashley Judd hosting.
Next item? Seinfeld was so right when he said they're good about taking the reservation, they're just not good at HOLDING the reservation. I rent a mid-size car almost every time. Yet, when I arrive, only the Chicago Bears team bus is left in the garage. This sort of upgrade used to constitute an adventure when I was young and stupid. (Ok, when I was young anway). Now, with gas prices at 1 million dollars a gallon, it's not so cool. Plus, chicks do not dig the Buick Century. I've checked.
Lastly...as I'm returning the car, there's a sign that reminds me to check for items I may have left in the car. You know, illegal narcotics. Small children. My glock. Whatever. The kicker is that this sign is illustrated for those who can't read English. (This is a good thing for just about everyone in some of the departments where I work.) So you see pictures of keys, glasses, wallets etc. Then I notice something. It shows an area where illustrated is a picture of a cassette tape, then a compact disc..then..wait for it...a VINYL LP!!
Now, I know my memory isn't flawless, but how did I miss those cars that had a TURNTABLE installed in them? I can just see driving down the road, trying to drop the needle on the Beatles "White Album" or "Convoy" by C.W. McCall. Potholes would be a bitch.
If Avis is having a lot of trouble with people leaving their 12" records in rental cars, I would like to pull up a stool and hear the story behind that.