When my Element — my 10-year-old, 245,000-miles-on-it Element — ran into a deer two weeks ago, I was crestfallen. Though I was able to drive it home, the damage was bad, and I assumed that our insurance company would total the best car I’ve ever owned.
But as I found out just a day later, the Element would not only be fixed but that I had a generous allowance for a rental car for the duration of the repairs. Happy that this process would be relatively painless, I called the closest Enterprise office and asked them to hold a small car — appropriate for city driving and, especially, city parking — that I’d pick up after work.
And that’s where this story really begins.
I filled out the paperwork at Enterprise and waited anxiously while the guy disappeared in back to bring my car around. And as it turned out, my request for a small car got me this instead.
Yes. That’s a white 2016 Dodge Charger. And if there was a car that represented the complete opposite of everything that is me, it might be a white 2016 Dodge Charger.
I actually asked the guy at Enterprise if he had … pretty much anything else available. I have to drive in the city, I told him, and finding on-street parking in that thing will pretty much be a nightmare. Sorry, the kid said, that’s what we have.
Still shaking my head, I climbed into the black leather driver’s seat, hit the start button — only push to start for Uncle Crappy from now on, boys and girls — and powered up McKnight Road and through the North Hills.
To Giant Eagle.
Especially at first, I was conflicted about this car. There is no question: It’s niiiiiiice. Brand new, just 1,100 miles. And man, it wants to go. In short, it’s a fun ride.
But let’s go back to the part about me so not being a white Dodge Charger person. That guy is a bit more of a yinzer than I am. He listens to WDVE. He had a mullet when he was younger, but his hair has grown up (some). He wears camp shirts and nice loafers with no socks. Now that I think of it, he is a younger version of this guy:
And that’s fine. But it’s not me.
I’ve had fun with the Charger — there are some interesting back roads not terribly far from our house is all I’ll say about that — but our time is drawing to a close. It sounds like the Element — my 10-year-old, 245,000-miles-on-it Element — is going to be fixed up, fully inspected and ready to pick up on Wednesday. It’s a different kind of fun, to be sure, but I’m going to be awfully happy to be back in a car that fits me.