Adventures in rental cars...chapter 2
One would think that washing rental cars would be boring, mundane, monotonous, hand-chapping work. And actually, that's a pretty accurate description of my job right now. My days consist of a never ending stream of run-of-the-mill cars, one after the other. I walk into the garage, and descend down the slippery spiral ramp to the basement level, away from fresh air, sunshine, and pretty much anyone who speaks English. I'll then grab the keys to a Mitsubishi Galant or Chrysler Sebring and get started.
Hose it down. Scrub it with a brush. Rinse. Drive it back to the vacuum cleaner. Vacuum. Dust. Throw out all the shit people leave behind in rental cars (soon to be the subject of a blog). Gas it up if necessary. Fill out the ready tag. Drive it to the 8th floor. Grab the keys to a Pontiac Grand Am. Do it all over again. Grab the keys to a Chevrolet Malibu Classic.
Lather, rinse, and repeat.
One must find some sort of entertainment in an environment like this, and I, with my internal wiring the way it is, somehow find ways to amuse myself during the day. At the ground level of the garage, there are two attendants, one to let you out of the basement, the other to let you into the upper levels. Generally, they're grumpy old guys who will roll their eyes at you if you are missing a ticket or don't have your scanner card to let yourself out. Then they have to actually WORK and fill out a form and take down the license plate number of the car (for security reasons, presumably...I, for one, feel no safer than if they just hit a button and just fucking let me out of the goddamn garage without drama).
However, there is one fellow who works there who is an absolute ray of sunshine in the concrete mausoleum known as the Downtown Center Garage at O'Farrell and Mason Streets. I'm not sure what his name is, something decidedly un-masculine like Aubrey or Carroll, but I see him in the afternoons when I take cars upstairs to the 8th floor after I prep them. He's in his mid-60's, with a shock of white hair and sparkling blue eyes set in a round, jovial face. I, for one, have a nagging suspicion he's a notorious Big Gay Homosexual, and I wouldn't be surprised if he turned out to be some sort of super-pervert who dresses up in a muumuu, fantasizes about altar boys, and eats jello while listening to Tony Orlando and Dawn in his comfortable suburban home in Walnut Creek, California. There are a few reasons for this, the biggest being his inclination to undress me with his eyes every time I pass by his booth. That and I can just spot a perv from a mile away.
Hey, a skunk knows his own scent.
He's a strange, borderline campy fella, with a penchant for ocean liners and vodka. My kind of guy. He loves to chat with me, and every time I have to get a ticket from him he pulls out a picture book of ocean liners, with images of long-scrapped ladies such as the Queen Elizabeth, the Normandy, and of course, the Lusitania. I'll sit there and shoot the shit with him for a few minutes, until an impatient tourist starts honking behind me and I have to run along. We usually discuss art deco ships and buildings, the travesty of the Normandy tragedy (for some reason he never tires of ranting about that), and of course, our favorite vodkas and how we like to consume them.
He loves Grey Goose, which just happens to be my vodka of choice. Today I told him about one of my favorite cocktails, a Drew Barrymore. When I mentioned the name, he said, "I have a feeling this is going to be humorous."
A Drew Barrymore is a cocktail invented by my friend Genevieve, a notorious San Francisco bartender. It consists of a simple Shirley Temple, spiked with a generous amount of vodka when nobody is looking. Grey Goose is always preferred, but Absolut will do in a pinch. This made him laugh uncontrollably and got him on a cocktail roll, reciting his favorite cocktails (something I have heard many, many times before...it's our Friday afternoon banter). So he asked me, "So, Chad, how do YOU like your vodka?"
I smiled and blurted out the absolute (Absolut...har-dee-har-har) first thing that came to mind.
"Up my butt."
His eyes flew open, followed by his mouth, upon which he threw his hands and immediately started giggling like a 7th grade Catholic school girl from South Euclid, Ohio, eyes sparkling in the afternoon sunlight. Still giggling uncontrollably, he punched the button that raised the gate and I drove up the ramp in a black Nissan 350Z convertible (one of the "specialty" rentals in our fleet), blasting "Open Your Heart" by Madonna, which just happened to be on the radio that very moment.
It was a very, very gay moment, one that set the precedent for the rest of the afternoon.
A few minutes later, I rolled up in a Chrysler Voyager minivan. He smiled at me, equilibrium not quite regained after my last comment. I turned around and yelled at my imaginary bratty kids in the back seat, smacking one of them and telling them they're all going to be put up for adoption. He loves it when I do random shit like that. You should see me when I'm in the Cadillac Escalade.
Fo real. Shoo.
Anyway, I had just had an arguement with the nasty troll who is supposed to let me out of the basement. For some reason, he had a chip on his shoulder this afternoon and ignored me for a few minutes while I blew my horn over and over, waiting for him to Just Fucking Let Me Out Of The Goddamn Garage. I was feeling snarky at this point, and told my friend I wanted to break a fucking bottle over that asshole's head.
"A bottle of what?" he asked.
"My own urine," I replied matter-of-factly.
Oh, he was so not prepared for that. Speaking of urine, I was convinced he'd be standing in a puddle of it, seeing how he reacted to that statement. He giggled, guffawed, and flapped his arms wildly, and totally popped a boner. I couldn't help but notice it, as he was standing next to the car and his crotch was at eye-level behind the wheel of a Porsche Boxter (another one of the bijou rentals we have).
Like I said...you've gotta keep things interesting.