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Dude, Where’s My Car?

October 24, 2019

My lovely wife asked me if I knew what the little arrow next to the gas gauge in a car meant. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I’d known for years.

I drive a lot of different cars. Mostly, I drive sedans, small cars. Occasionally, I drive a sports car. I really have no choice.

I travel a lot for work. I get some say on the airlines (Closing in on that Gold Medallion status on Delta) and I get to pick the hotel. But, I have no control over the rental car. None. I show up and whatever keys they hand me are what I’m driving. It’s not a terrible deal. The company books those three themselves. I don’t have to worry about getting reimbersed for any of those three.

Of course, my company has a “standard” car they approve. It’s typically a compact car capable of holding four people. Sometimes I recognize the model. I drove a Camry recently. Other times I have no idea. Is there a car called an Echo? A Cube?

But, occasionally luck of the draw, or because I’m checking in late on a popular weekend, I end up with something else. There was two wonderful weeks in Kentucky where I won the luck of the draw and had a 2017 Ford Mustang. My manager ended up on the other end of the luck tree and got stuck in a minivan for the week.

So, on my current trip, I was expecting the standard compact car. As I checked in at the rental counter next to the luggage turnstiles, they told me the location, but not the type or even the color.

You’re in space E23.

They handed me a standard “keyless” key fob.

E23 was a ways away. In reality it probably was not, but after travelling all day, it seemed like it. I dragged my suitcase through the parking garage to aisle E and then counted the odd numbers on the righthand side.


I took a step back. E23 was empty. I looked around for my car. Weird since I didn’t actually know what my car looked like. But, I knew what it would sorta look like.

Nope. No Camarys or Echos or Cubes. I turned to make the (long) walk back to the reservation desk.

But, then I had an inspiration. The key fob. It had a pretty good range. All I had to do was hit the UNLOCK button and see which car flashed at me.

Except it didn’t work. As I hit the UNLOCK the only car that flashed was a full sized Nissan Titan pickup. And then it dawned on me that this was not an ordinary rental car. For whatever reason, the rental car gods decided I needed room for 5 AND a six foot bed to carry their lumber and construction supplies.


I did check in with the registration desk to insure they actually meant “E25” instead of “E23.” They blamed it on sloppy handwriting.

Oh, and the little arrow next to the gas guage points at which side of the car (or truck) the gas tank is on. The Nissan Titan has it on the left.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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