Let’s do something new. Instead of me babbling on, and then excusing myself while I digress, lets just start off digressing, which is not really digression if I was never in the middle of something. Anyway, there were times in my life I didn’t do my homework, didn’t prepare for class, and definitely didn’t study for a test. The end result; “it” didn’t end well. There was the time I was going back to school at night taking an Architectural History course. Sometimes I would stay after class to chat with the teacher on something I found interesting. During one such discussion, the teacher and I were going back and forth with a passionate exchange of ideas. The teacher displayed the same interest in the idea at hand, and was obviously thrilled to have a student engaged in her class. At this time she said “Zulu, that’s a brilliant insight and……” Suddenly she lost her words, and stared at me in confusion. I was thinking my massive intellect (well,…it’s my blog) had overtaken her, and she was searching for clarity when she blurted out; “HEY…two weeks ago you got a 20 on my quiz; 20 out of a Hundred….a 20!!! If that’s not bad enough, last week you fell asleep during the filmstrip on the bishop’s quarry and began to snore!” ……..Whoops……BUSTED……exit stage right!!
Anyway, this time I did do my homework, but there always seems to be one place on this planet that no amount of planning, preparation, or studying seems to help me; the counter at the rental car company; let’s just say some random “national car rental company (he,he).”
I hate the idea, but I have made peace with it; if you drop off the car at a different place than you picked it up, you pay extra regardless that so many times you’re doing them a favor because they need that car at the other place anyway. If you rent a car for a week, it’s a fairly good rate, but if you go one day over “one week” the prices climb exponentially. Who made a week the King? Out of nowhere, the agent metaphorically slaps me with it; “would you like the additional insurance?” Arrrggg….; POP QUIZ!! In my exhausting vacation planning, I always forget to do the research on this question. Do I need the extra? Will my insurance cover. Does my credit card cover the upgrade? In the end, I usually take it, and my blood starts to boil as I realize I am being taking on a “rental ride.” The worst part; I know I’m being fleeced not by some “stone-cold, stealth, copper trader with an angelical face in the souk market of Casablanca,” but by a man just repeating what is told to repeat. Again, my own fault for not studying. At this point, my blood pressure has taken the vision from one of my eyes, and as I start to lose consciousness, I pull myself back to the conversation as the agent is trying to rent my ski buddy a GPS, 5 minutes after we declined the GPS option, and begged him to sell us a good old paper map which by his expression had no idea what it was. “So” he said; “how many drivers will there be?” Two I said, thinking he needed to see both our license’s. “That will be $15 extra per day” he said. With my last gasp of breath, I stuttered “Why?” Different drivers; more wear and tear on the car he said. I couldn’t resist; “do you mean to tell me that every driver who rents this car after me, and after them, and after the next person keeps getting $15 tacked on because they are different from me? He gave me the “I only work here look.” I instantly felt bad for him, but not his company. I was disappointed in myself for not preparing, and for getting annoyed with the agent. I told myself I was so fortunate to be here in the first place, and if I don’t find the perspective now, my whole vacation would be ruined. I sighed, took the keys, and walked out the door. Ultimatly, the car was a peach to drive, and the sting of the rental bill should wear off in a few years.
For the record, that Architectural Teacher paid me to wire her new basement lights “on the side,” and gave me a grade of “A” for the semester.
Ahhhh,……..studying is overrated!