Editorial: Lost in the Parking Lot

by | August 11, 2019 10:25 am

Last Updated: August 9, 2019 at 12:28 pm

The Mt. Hope Scrolls

By Bobby Jonte

Don’t you just love a rental car? Who doesn’t like to have a car that you don’t have be concerned about maintenance or how you drive it? The saying “Whip it like a rented mule” applies to rental cars. Most people think they can treat a rental car any way they want.

Now I’m an old guy that doesn’t drive fast like I did as an eighteen year old. Actually, I’m pretty easy on a car. Some of my friends are still waging the war against rental car companies. They are complaining about having to refuel the car and the high price of fuel if the car is returned empty. They yap about the insurance costs and everything else. It makes them mad that I don’t really have complaints anymore. This getting old has calmed me down.

I still have problems with rental cars just like everyone else, though. It is the simple problems that come along with getting a rental car. What does your car look like? I’ve parked in the same parking space at work for over twenty-five years. If I walk out and my car is not there, I’m surprised. If you get a rental car do you really know what it looks like? Just finding your rental car can be a challenge.

I just recently rented a car at an airport. Luckily, I walked right to my car. A woman was standing nearby and asked how she might find her car. She had been walking around and had no luck locating her vehicle. A guy riding with me told her to push her remote key and see if the lights on a vehicle lit up. She pushed the button and the lights illuminated the car she was standing beside.

We looked like geniuses and went on our way. Now comes the second part of rental car problems. How do you find out where you are going? The people at the rental counter had given the directions to leave the airport, turn onto the Old Highway, right after the dead mule and down the street for two point eight miles. “You can’t miss it.”

Well, they said a lot more things that I didn’t understand. The guy traveling with me started driving. Getting out of the airport can be harder than you think. We circled around some parking lots and finally seemed to be out of the airport. I saw a sign that appeared to be on the wrong side of the road. We must be headed the wrong way. He said that he didn’t pay any attention to road signs. He was just driving.

He did have something really special. He had a navigation app on his phone. If Christopher Columbus had one of these it wouldn’t have taken so long to find the new world. The woman on the phone kept telling us to make a legal U-turn. Finally, we made it to the parking lot of our destination. A quick check in and we were back trying to find where we parked the car. It was dark and we both had forgotten what kind of car we were driving. A little bit of wondering and a few clicks of the remote key and we were back in the car.

Now, we had to find our way in the dark. If you don’t read road signs, how do you find a restaurant? We got on the road with all the eating places. A few more wrong turns and we were on the right road. We got to a restaurant and after a quick meal we were back looking for the correct road and listening to the woman on the phone. You should be able to retrace your steps but that is harder than you think. We did make it back with only two more legal U-turns.

This time we parked the car right by the front door. That will at least make it easy to find in the morning. More adventure will come in part two.

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