Happy Trails And Mixed MetaphorsNovember 5, 2007 at 4:26 PM | Posted in Journal | 1 Comment
I love going on the road, but this trip is going to try me. In fact, I’m sure it will also convict me and sentence me. It’s not even the most obvious reason: We’re going to bring Detroit’s sister back with us. Is this an early Christmas present, I wonder?
Detroit asked me how I felt. Well, I’m not sure. But she knows her better, I said. If she thinks it will be . . doable, then it’s okay with me. And I owe her, because she willingly went with me to move in with *my* sister, and she didn’t even hardly complain. (There is a pause here for the sarcasm and irony to sink in.)
No, it has more to do with Nigel.
You see, we were going to rent a car. At first we thought we could fly. But, no, one of the reasons we are going is to bring Alex the rest of his stuff–guitar, amp, xbox, things like that. SO no plane.
Well, maybe we could take a train. As visions of John Candy danced through my head, we checked into it. It might work. It just might–It would be romantic, and less stressful. We could sit and talk, or read, let the miles roll by….."Ridin on the ‘City of New Orleans’–"
I was abrubtly rustled out of my comfortable fog by the Terms and Conditions. There is a limit to how much we could take with us on a train, also. John Candy popped like a bubble above my head.
Let’s just rent a car, then.
Yeah, "just" rent a car. As it turns out, "Terms and Conditions" is the bane of my existence. Why? Well, because:
You can rent a car with unlimited miles, but you can’t go out of this state or the states that border it.
If you have a round trip plane or train ticket, fine, but if you don’t we need a credit card for a deposit.
No credit card? Well that’s fine, we’ll simply take a cash deposit of 500 dollars or 3 times your rental fee, whichever is greater. Or your first born. We’ll just take it from your debit card. Give it here. Give it! Give it here! Now!
Would you like to upgrade your vehicle from a Segway to something with seats? It’s only an additional 75 dollars per day.
Of course you *need* the insurance. Otherwise we’re going to charge you for everything. You can pick up your car any time between yesterday and last Tuesday.
We went to all the travel sites, and the car rental sites. Detroit on her computer and I on mine, simultaneously, like engineers at mission control during the Apollo 13 crisis, trying to find a way to solve this problem. If only I had a slide rule–
We checked out HotWire. Their deal is, they give you a great price, but you don’t know with whom until you pay. Kind of like going on a blind date, and paying in advance for dinner before seeing if the other person is a troll. They had a great deal, pay in advance, but no mention of a deposit. Could it be?
I called. Yes, of course I know you can’t tell me with whom the deal is–nonetheless there is no mention of a deposit?
Yes of course there is a deposit, silly boy!
One place–I forget who at this point, and it doesn’t matter–had no deposit. "We’ll simply run a credit check–"
Aiy yi yi! I hung up before they could trace my call.
I had axed Jerry, my mechanic, about taking Nigel on a long trip. He said, "You know.. . . .I don’t know. I mean, it should be okay, barring any serious or major complications. I think."
Because of our financial situation, the option of taking Nigel has turned into the final solution. No money for a deposit–that should have occurred to me sooner. No credit available on my one lonely credit card. And I sure as shit don’t want a credit check done right now.
Nigel is 15 years old. But he has only 140 some-odd thousand miles. I say "only" because that averages out to about 10 thousand per year. That’s not much at all. Meanwhile, Fred, my 01 Ford Ranger, is six years old and has 150+ thousand miles. Most of them are mine; I’ve had him five years.
Other than these bearing and brake issues–which, to be fair, alot of it was my fault–other than that, he’s been fine. The engine runs great. I guess. My point is, for a Japanese car, that’s not alot of miles.
And we’re probably looking at 1600 miles round trip. When I lived in the country, that was less than three weeks worth of driving.
I guess my real concern is the weight, and what it may do to the suspension, and what it will do in terms of pushing the engine too hard.
On the way up, it’ll just be me and Detroit, and Alex’s stuff. I hope that won’t be too bad. Then the second leg is us three because Alex is going to ride with us, visiting family friends. And then. . .we pick up Detroit’s sister. All four of us in the tiny car? I hope it doesn’t splay to the ground. And then we drop of Alex and head back. The last leg is Detroit and her sister and I. I hope she’s not too heavy.
The part I’m most concerned about is when all four of us are in the car. And we’ll still have our personal luggage, such as it is. And the Sister’s emotional baggage.