I'm not picky. I'm a cancer. I'll make anything work for the good of the group. I don't send food back, I believe in inexpensive wine, I don't change putters every three weeks. I have boxers with holes, t-shirts with stains. (I know--you're wishing I stopped at "three weeks.")
But when I showed up at the Avis counter in Raleigh and the man behind the window handed me the keys and pointed at my car, I had to pause.
"That's my car?"
"Yes," the man said. And he was excited about it. "The red one. It's brand new. It only has 26 miles on it."
There it was. In all of it's brand new glory. A Chrysler PTCruiser. As red as the core of the earth. If this guy wasn't so excited for me I would've immediately asked for a switch. But no. In my mind, even as the customer in this case, I was willing to drive this burst of brightness off the lot just so I didn't break this man's core. And so I did. And I didn't get two turns into the trip before I wanted to kick myself, which I would've done if I had the legroom.
Was it really that bad? I'm just shy of 6'-2", which isn't ridiculously tall, and I had to duck to look out the windshield. (The windshield is what we look out of in order to navigate the vehicle. I mean, really?)
The only reason I didn't turn around is the fact that I was only needing to go directly to Pinehurst and back (a two-hour round trip). I knew that once I was in the comfortable confines of the only place better than Disneyland, which is DonaldRossland, I could park it and use shuttles, bikes or walk to where I was going on property.
And so I drove on. And even with a severe head tilt, I had a positive thought. I realized this was as close as I'd get to driving a fire engine, a boyhood dream left behind in the rear view mirror of life. And we all had it. Which is why we all laughed until we cried when Kramer got to drive the back of the fire truck in the episode of Seinfeld.
The only other thoughts I had, as I dropped it off and tossed the attendant the keys as I boarded the shuttle for home: Who in the Lord's name designed this monstrosity? Who approved the design? Who rolled it off the assembly line and thought they'd sell this thing? And why are we bailing out the collective crowd of idiots? Cars like that is why Detroit died. And it's cars like that, that I believe they deserved to die.
Harsh, I know. And this is coming from a cancer.