Panic! At the wheel

I brought my car to the auto body shop this morning, as agreed, for extensive repairs to the rear bumper and taillight. That stanchion I backed into in the garage because I forgot it was there, didn’t move. My bumper did.

And so the process began. Everyone at the body shop, the insurance agent, and lastly the Enterprise rental people, were extraordinarily nice to me. I mean, the body shop man went promptly to my car to estimate the damage, returned and solicitously offered tea, coffee or water. He also called Enterprise to tell them they were late delivering my rental car.

I had selected, having been offered, the car I wished from Enterprise: a Chevy, small, compact. At Enterprise, after having been driven there, there was a round of handshaking, and when I sat down to wait for the rental car, an agent sat with me to chat. So odd and unexpected a courtesy, I thought. By then I had shaken hands six times.

The rental car, when it was ready, was not the small Chevy but a Jeep SUV, whose gigantic proportions frightened me. It’s easy to drive, said the agent. The step up was level with my knees, but I got in by clutching a…a…bar inside and scrambling up with my coat and purse and tote bag all askew. The agent further showed me that instead of a key, I was to push a button on the dash to start the car. How to unlock the gas tank? Another button on the door.

I drove home then, somewhat bemused that I had not scraped another car enroute nor misjudged distances between the SUV and car bumpers as I crept into the garage. I needed to switch on the lights but had forgotten to ask the agent how.

I don’t think I will be driving much until it is time to reclaim my own car. I’d rather call a taxi.


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