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Squid #492
(published June 24, 2010)
Ask the Giant Squid: Rental Pain
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Giant Squid,

Are rental cars a good idea?

Matty Zoran

Hey Matty. Rob here. (Who the fuck calls themselves "Matty"? Jarwaun, delete this bit when you publish. In fact, delete everything in the parenthesis. I needs to think aloud as I work and some of this shit ain't meant for publication. I mean, I ain't sayin' the name "Matty" is gay or anything, but if it were a person it'd be pretty fucking gay.)

So the Squid is still off on assignment doing some sort of guest blogging thing. He's over at the fiction collective this week. I have no idea why he went there in person—I mean—he knows how the internets work an all. He knows they aren't a truck, but a series of tubes. (Is that joke too old? Is that shit still funny? Whenever I hear old Senator Alaska's voice shouting that in Congress I laugh, but still.) The guy spends all day on the Interwebs doing whatever and still he feels the need to go physically be in the Fiction Directorate's offices. Like that fuckin makes sense somehow.

Whatever. It means I can listen to what I want on the radio. No one is going to fight me for control of the TV in the Boom Boom room. (Call of Duty at 3pm, J?) And no one is going to have shitty psychotic monkeys threaten me with razors or triplet crabs mumble nonsense at me or robotic spiders inject me with hallucinogens. I can come in late, split early. It's great, but in exchange I get to answer the mailbag. So here I am.

So Matty man, Matt-man, Matthew-san. Rental cars. Are they a good idea? (What the fuck does that even mean? Why do people look at a site that is advice from a Giant Squid and ask about rental cars? Is this dude just fuckin' goin' to every site on the Web and asking this question?) Like for our culture? Sure, why not? You gotta get places and if you don't have your own car, or maybe it's broken and in the shop, or maybe you came home and found some douche had smashed in the driver's side window even though the door doesn't even like lock right in the first place and if they had tried the handle it would've opened and in the end they didn't even take anything since the stereo you have is so old it only plays cassettes and there's a Stones tape that's been jammed in there since maybe 1993 and it only plays and plays and flips and plays some more and those guys that broke into your car and smashed that window, which is goin' to cost you like $500 at the garage and you're not sure if that's a good deal or a rip off and the only mechanic you personally know is off on his summer fucking holiday to Fire Island or South Beach or some other gay party Mecca or Ibiza or whatever and isn't returning your calls at all and so you ask that mechanic if $500 is fair and he gives you this look like you just asked how his mother was in bed, like clearly he'd know the answer, and he doesn't say anything just stares at you over his cheap Wal-Mart glasses with like the fury of Hell burning in his guts until you agree to the $500 and walk out and immediately feel like biggest goddamn pussy on the Earth (How's your Moms, Jarwaun?). In a situation like that, rental cars are a pretty good idea.

But then you get to the rental car place and it's out on some access road next to the freeway and your friend drops you off on the way to his work and doesn't stick around and you realize that if you don't get a rental car here you're fuckin' walkin' home on the side of the highway and breathin' fumes an shit. And as you open the door the bald guy and the chubby grandma type behind the counter take one look at your ripped pants and they see you have no car waiting for you and they know they have you over a barrel. (What the hell does that even mean? Over a barrel? Is that related to shooting fish in a barrel? Or is like in Robin Hood—the Kevin Costner one—when they tie Christian Slater to the barrel so he can be executed? Do you even know who Costner and Slater are? Fuck, I'm old. Molly would know. Stupid Summer vacations.) And they tell you that all their mid-range and, like, micro-cars are reserved despite the lot being choked with Kias and Hondas and Fits and that Yaris thing and so you can choose from the SUV or the Hummer or the SUV Hummer or the sports car or the goddamn Lincoln and all of those options run triple or quadruple what you wanted to pay. And then they tack on insurance and even though you have auto insurance you forgot to bring proof of it and they claim there is a law or a policy or something that says you need to drive off their lot with proof of insurance and just saying, emphatically, with spittle on your lips, that you do have that fuckin' slip back in the glovebox of your 1993 Camry with the Stones tape (Hot Rocks, volume 1. Not that you know who the Rolling Stones are, you fifteen-year-old fuck.) is not enough for them and so the bill gets increased by $30 a day and you leave that lot in a Ford Prolapse or Chevy Emoticon or some car you've never heard of kicking yourself for all of it, every fucking thing you've ever done.


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