Sunday, October 6, 2013

Car Wars, Episode II: Return of the Lunacy

When we last saw Bernie and Susan, they were handling the red tape following Bernie's car accident. 

Fast forward to today - time to return the rental car, clean out the personal items in the totalled car, and move on with life.  Simple!

First stop - gas station!  Fill up the rental car - gotta return it with a full tank.  Simple!

Stop at the pump.  Turn off the car.  Pull out the key.

Uh oh.

Yes friends, the key broke off in the ignition.  I kid you not. Gas station attendants tried to get it out, but nope it was not budging. So there we are stuck in the gas station with a rental car that we cannot return. 

Luckily, I was driving my son in law's car so I kept going to the garage where the old car was, emptied it out, and returned.

Then the drama of the keystuckintheignition got ugly.

Bernie called the rental company.  He told them what happened, and that we were on our way to return the car anyway, so they could just come and take it.  No problem!  We will come with a tow truck, they said, and you can just sign something and go home.  Yay!  Simple!

Not so simple.  After waiting about 1/2 hour, Bernie calls again (see, we have learned how to be Israelis - if someone says they're coming in 1/2 hour,  it means they have just decided to have a long lunch, go on vacation, and find a new job - in other words, they're not coming - it's a secret code.)

So the second call he gets someone else who gives him a different answer, "Oh!  no problem we will bring another rental car to you!"  No, he says, I don't WANT another rental car, I want you to take this one, I was on my way to return it to you.

Another 1/2 hour..  Another call.  Another person.  Another explanation. Another answer.

Finally someone shows up.  In a car.  Not a tow truck.  Where is the tow truck, Bernie asks?  Why do you need a tow truck, don't you need another rental car? 

Explanation once again.  Then the rental car guy tries to get the key out.  Guess what, it doesn't come out.  Then the rental car guy sees that the windows are open.  Hmmmm... better close the windows if we have to keep this car here for a day or so.  But....oh...the car has actually been "on" this whole time since the key was never removed, so now the battery is dead.  This means that they can't even close the windows and push the car off to the side in a safe place.  The rental car guy wrings his hands.  The gas station guy says, "Um, you're in a gas station, we can give it a hot shot."  the rental car guy is skeptical but lets the gas station guy try.  DUH.  It works.  Windows are closed.

Now what?  It seems to my husband that he only needs to go back to the rental car place and sign something, but the rental car guy needs to have a lengthy conversation with his boss before this happens. 

Finally they get to the rental car place.  The lady behind the counter has to hear the story 5 times before she gets it.  Then she says, "OK, that's 1000 shekel for the broken key."

Seriously, you can't make up stuff like this.

Bernie finally loses it and says, "OK, guys, I'm walking out of here - you gave me a car with a broken key and now you want ME to pay for it."  He walks out.

We shall see what happens, and I'll be sure to keep you informed - watch this space for Car Wars, Episode III:  The Israeli Adventure.