The ABIB

The ABIB

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Praise the Lord...

I got my car back! Oh happy day! What a joy it is to be driving once again in a REAL car that doesn't smell like stale urine for the first five minutes after turning on the air conditioner. In a car that doesn't prompt people to hum the "Sanford and Son" theme song whenever I drive up. In a car that actually has working shock absorbers that keep every little crack in the road from feeling like a full-on kidney punch.

Aaaahhhhh....so nice. It was really great returning the Enterprise Rent-A-Hoopdee, too. I got the obligatory:

"And how was the car?"

"It was terrible."

"What?" I was a little surprised to see just how startled the Enterprise employee was when I told him that piece of truthiness.

"Well, it was dirty, it smelled pretty bad alot of the time, and I'm now wearing a hernia truss as a result of repeated jolts to my back from the "suspension" in the car."

"Hmmmm...so sorry to hear that."

"Yeah, well."

Nothing more, no offers of any compensation for my trouble, but in all honesty I didn't make any demands either. And the part about the hernia truss? I threw that out there to him just for dramatic effect. I mean, have you ever seen one of those scary-ass things? Yikes. I just wanted to get the hell out of there and conclude this sordid chapter in my vehicular life. My beautiful smelling and looking car was out there waiting for me, it's silver paint twinkling in the sun idling patiently like the loyal, comfortable, excellent little conveyance that it is. Such a relief. And just think of all the free time I have back now that I no longer work for Enteprise Car Rental!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Apparently I Now Work for Enterprise Car Rental

So a couple of weeks ago my car was rear-ended getting onto the Baltimore beltway and now it's in the shop getting fixed until they feel like giving it back to me. Car repair guys: the frenemies you love to hate. But that's another post. This post is all about getting a rental car to tide you over until your real car is fixed. My insurance pays a pittance daily for me to rent a car from Enterprise Car Rental, a company that has apparently figured out, brilliantly I might add, how to run a business that not only generates easy income, but also gets it's customers to perform the work that any other business' actual employees would be expected to do. To wit: I got the car that was deemed covered under my pittance of a rental allowance and, no surprises here, it was a run-down, tiny, kinda scuzzy (lots of old spills of what I don't want to know staining all the upholstery and black spots of unknown origin or identity on the ceiling [black mold is a strong contender]), make that VERY scuzzy Hyundai Accent. With fucking CRANK windows and manual door locks. Really, Enterprise? Really?

So anyway, I picked it up and drove off the lot already feeling the beginnings of a headache induced by the atomically powerful odor of whatever industrial cleaning agent they used to expunge Lord knows what from the interior of this car. So basically I'm driving around in a hoopdee that smells 24/7 like the inside of a gas station restroom. YAY! I'm already planning how I'm going to call the repair garage hourly with escalating outrage that my CAR ISN'T READY YET, when I turn on the windshield washer to get some shit off the windshield only to find that the passenger side wiper blade is literally hanging off the frame in shreds. What the FUCK!? So now I've got those incredibly ANNOYING streaks that come from a wiper blade that isn't quite making total contact with the glass and the weather man is calling for storms. I'm in a pickle, aren't I? I figure I'll head home and deal with it tomorrow because by now my head is thrumming and I can't feel my nose.

So, brand new day I call Enterprise and in my best, most polite professional voice explain my windshield wiper dilemma and ask what should be done? I'm told to bring it in the NEXT day at 4:00 PM (apparently the only people that hold jobs are the desk jockeys at fucking Enterprise Car Rental but I need my wiper blade replaced so...) and they'll be sure to get it fixed right up. Praying it doesn't rain I plan MY schedule around Enterprise's bewildering timetable because, well, I have to.

Next day, at the appointed time, I drive the little rattletrap onto the Enterprise lot and head on into the waiting room. Nobody is apparently all that busy but I still wait a good five minutes for someone to acknowledge my presence. When they do it's as if I just then walked in because I get a cheerful, bright:

"Well, hello there! Welcome to Enterprise, how can I help you?"

Uh, OK. I explain that I had called ahead and that I'm the one driving the "car" with a shredded wiper blade. Here's what went down:

"OK, well I can switch you out to another vehicle or you can drive down the street to the Firestone place just past the next traffic light and get them to install a new wiper blade."

"Excuse me but the car's right out front; can't you just install a new blade here?"

Now she's getting a little annoyed with my lack of understanding of just how much (or how little) Enterprise actually does to keep it's vehicle fleet in good repair. Listening to her I'm starting to worry about other things...like the brakes.

"Oh, no, no, no, we don't actually SERVICE the cars here. That's done somewhere else. So do you want to swap out to another car or just drive on down the street?"

"Well, if I take another car will I be charged for getting the gas tank from one half to three quarters full which is where it was when I picked the car up?" As I ask this I'm looking at the little white board whose numbers are clearly updated with an erasable pen daily on just what that gas will cost me per gallon, Enterprise-style. I see that today's special price is posted at $5.25 a gallon. I just drove past at least three gas stations posting prices around $3.45 a gallon. Oh, Enterprise, you silly goofballs! You can take your fucking gas prices and go fuck yourselves.

"Oh, yeah. You'd be charged the gas for getting it back to where it was." This followed by a tight, "customer service is SO annoying", smile.

"So just to be clear: my two choices are either I get another car and pay the gas cost, which I see is $5.25 a gallon, or I drive it myself down the street and get the wiper blades replaced?"

"That's correct; of course we'll pay Firestone for the wiper blades."

"I see...well then I guess I'm driving down to Firestone."

She walked away from the counter, made a 30 second phone call to someone at Firestone and told me I could just go ahead down there.

Out I went, back to the rank, scuzzy hoopdee, and drove it, on MY TIME, down to the Firestone station where they replaced the wiper blades and sent me on my way. Thanks Enterprise Car Rental for letting ME help YOU do your fucking JOB because everyone knows just how critical that job is and that, in comparison to the criticality of your job, just how insignificant MY PERSONAL TIME is. Yeah, thanks for that.

So there you have it. I don't remember putting in the application. I don't remember ever being interviewed by anyone but apparently I am now a low-level, car-shuttling jackass who works FOR FREE for Enterprise Car Rental. Folks, it don't get any better than that.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Story That Should Have Ended In A Classic Spit-Take

You know the kind I mean: the movie character takes a sip of some nameless drink just before hearing some kind of shockingly funny/surprising/angering news and forcefully sprays said nameless drink all over whoever/whatever is directly in front of them? Yeah, the classic "spit take". Now that we have that out of the way I'd like to bring your attention to an outrage...OUTRAGE...that I just read about. Some fool of a woman went to a Philadelphia area Dunkin' Donuts (or as I affectionately call it "Dunky Doo" co-opting the Bollywood phrasing that my BELOVED Pinky uses when taking my daily coffee order at the local DD squawk box) and alleges she ordered a coffee with artificial sweetener, only to find out, after drinking most of it down, that it was POISONOUS sugar in her coffee not the artificial kind as requested. She drank most, but not all, of it down and began to feel dizzy and light-headed and took herself immediately to the emergency room. Of course, something was WRONG WITH THE COFFEE and as an alleged diabetic she was convinced that Dunkin' Donuts had tried to kill her and now owed her an unspecified but sure to be ginormous sum of money in restitution for her terrible, terrible suffering.

Join me in this won't you: OH! BITCH! PLEASE! Now don't get me wrong: I fully understand the seriousness of consuming sugar when it is medically contraindicated, but even a DOCTOR will tell you that, as a diabetic, a few ounces of sugared coffee aren't going to put you into full-on sugar coma status. Plus, bitch knew to save some of the offending drink so that her ambulance-chasing, on TV at 2AM "lawyer" would be able to have it tested to bring serious scientific evidence to the slam-dunk case against the evil corporate drones that willfully tried to kill his client. Now I know that the world is filled with venal people, many of whom are always waiting for the chance to make a quick buck but this is just plain crazy. This is a client that Jackie Chiles would be salivating over. And I especially draw the line at this kind of unsubstantiated mud being slung at MY DUNKY DOO!!!

Anyone who has EVER tasted artificial sweetner in ANYTHING knows for a fact that it is NOT SUGAR. Likewise, if you're used to the taste of artificial sweetner, which I'm sure this constantly-on-the-edge-of-diabetic-disaster gal must be, you know at the first taste that it is SUGAR. Excuse me, but where does this numbskull's personal responsibility enter into the equation? I've mistakenly gotten sugar in my morning coffee order, immediately recognized the flavor as sugar, and returned for the correct order. NO BIG DEAL! So now, in addition to warning me that my hot coffee order is indeed likely to be hot, I'm going to have to read the disclaimer that it might also contain, entirely by mistake, of course: sugar.

I guess what I hate the most about stories like this is that we've reached this place where anything, from sipping a hot liquid to using a hair dryer, have to be filled with written (and in the case of the hair dryer) illustrated, warnings meant to disabuse the stupidest and most dully unaware amongst us, of the potential for disaster. My hairdryer says: DON'T USE THIS IN A BATHTUB FULL OF WATER OR YOU'LL GET ELECTROCUTED!! Just in case the person can't read there are pictures of said hair dryer falling into a tub full of water with horrible, gigantic lightning bolts aiming directly for the poor soul who just wanted to save some time and dry his/her hair WHILE BATHING!

See, to me the fact that we have to warn people who don't know that when they order a HOT COFFEE THAT IT WILL BE HOT, and that when they BATHE THEY SHOULDN'T USE ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES, we've all gone downhill and it needs to stop. I figure, if someone has to be told that "the delicious beverage they are about to enjoy is hot" or not to use a hair dryer while showering, they should be culled from the herd. Let them use that hair dryer while bathing, get fried and be done with it. Do we really need that DNA around anymore? I'm thinking maybe it's run it's course, you know? Who takes a shower and dries their hair? It doesn't even make crazy-person sense.

So anyway, I'll be hoping to see in a few months time, that this frivolous lawsuit was dismissed by a clear-thinking judge and that this avaricious harpy has been reduced to opening pickle jars at the local supermarket so that she can say she slipped on pickle juice and wrenched her back. But sadly I'm thinking that Dunkin' Donuts will settle out of court thus empowering all of the other pea-brained ninnies out there concocting their own exploits in easy money at 2AM while surfing home shopping channels. If I knew where she was I'd send her a year's supply of Splenda and tell the jackass to just order her coffee black and sweeten it herself. But you can't sue anyone for that, now can you?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ripped From The Headlines!

Hi all: read this headline today in my local Baltimore paper and immediately went to the porcelain altar, so of course I figured: why not write about it, ABIB? Here goes: "STDs and seniors: Aging baby boomers help lead to a rise in rate of diseases. From 2005 to 2009 the number of reported cases of syphilis and chlamydia among those 55 and older increased 43 percent according to an Orlando Sentinel analysis of data." All together now: EWWWWWWWWWW!! How many things are wrong with that string of words? Let me try and point them out:

1. The words "STD" and "seniors" should never, ever, ever appear in a sentence together unless it's about the most recent "Senior Week at the Beach" event.

2. "Aging baby boomers". Helluva nerve on the (probably) young whippersnapper that wrote that copy. Don't they know that the words "aging" and "baby boomers" should NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BE UTTERED IN THE SAME SENTENCE? Modern science invented Restalyn, Botox and all manner of cosmetic surgical enhancements specifically so that- LISTEN UP FUCKING WHIPPERSNAPPERS - baby boomers NEVER! FUCKING! AGE!!

3. Finally the expression "help to lead a rise in rate of diseases". Is it just me or does the phrasing "help to lead..." kind of affix a somewhat positive connotation to what is to follow, namely that we old fuckers (apparently LITERALLY) are "helping to lead" to a rise in FUCK BUGS (Oh Lord I hope crabs isn't on the list!). Um...not to put too fine a point on it, but stuff like: syphilis, herpes, chlamydia and genital warts and...well I just can't go on it's too....GROSS!!

So this is a whole, entire article about Gran and Gramps (or the guy she's blowing since Gramps died last year) hanging out in the retirement community and doing the nasty way too much with way too little attention to the minor detail of NOT SPREADING AROUND GRODY SEXUAL SHIT!

So help me out here...what this incredibly informative article is telling me is that all of us old-ass "boomer/seniors" are somewhat sadly, nay, pathetically, fucking around without a care in the world not to mention a fucking CONDOM and in so doing are "helping" to bring about a resurgence in all of these ICKY...conditions. Sorry but that's just DIGUSTING. The article goes on to explain how as we age and our immune systems begin to not work so great, we NATURALLY begin to become more susceptible to all manner of bodily affronts, including those transmitted through a good, old fashioned blowjob when you've just had gum surgery and your sutures aren't done...suturing. Really? Is that what we've come to? When did worrying about a broken hip become worrying about a broken dental dam and some seriously messed-up Grampa jizz? It's all too horrifying to think about.

The only saving grace is that, judging by the fact that this data was collected in Orlando, this epidemic shouldn't spread. After all, as any uncomfortable conversation with your Bubbe about her "Sexy Seniors" class will tell you, old fuckers in Florida only fuck other old fuckers in Florida so hopefully this cesspool will be self-contained. Other than that I figure it's every person for themselves. I recommend a rule of thumb as follows (and to co-opt a baby boomer trope from days gone by): don't trust anyone that can take out their teeth.