Friday, January 29, 2010

On the road again: Austin, day 5

You have to love an airport that has a Salt Lick sitting next to an Amy's. For my lunch today, I succumbed to the allure of the former but was able to resist the latter, though for a few minutes it was touch and go.

As I was returning my rental Malibu, I couldn't help but remark to the nice guy working the counter that this car had been the biggest POS I'd ever rented. He acknowledged that it was and apologized. He then explained that the only reason that it and many of its brethren and a whole bunch of Impalas were in service was the Toyota recall. They had pulled all their Toyotas and were checking them for stuck gas pedals. So, as Inspector Clouseau would say, the mystery is solved, and I am no longer annoyed at Dollar for giving me that vehicle. (Of course, they could have garnered more good will by telling me the reason in advance, but I can see why they wouldn't want to criticize their older cars to everyone.)

Through the wonder of airplane bandwidth, which I already consider as essential and as God-given a right as high-fat ice cream, I am writing this entry from the plane home from DFW. We seem to be running right ahead of, and at times directly in, the bad weather that's heading to Raleigh, so at times the choppiness is intense. Fortunately, I couldn't possibly go anywhere, because I'm squished against the wall by a seatmate who looks like a bearded Brock Lesnar gone to seed after packing down a hundred pounds of ice cream and BBQ. My back aches from sitting curled in my seat, but there is no way my shoulders and his can fit in the available space. At least I have an exit row, which is good fortune considering the flight was oversold by seventeen poor folks who are now unlikely to make it to Raleigh.

For those who don't follow our weather, which frankly would normally include me, we are supposed to get a whole lot of winter stuff on the ground--snow, ice, yuck--in the next two days. Raleigh closes down at the mention of snow, and this forecast is pretty hardcore, so I expect to be housebound for a couple of days. Fortunately, we have food, and the generator keeps the water and, crucially, the computers and Internet connection running, so we should be good.

I'll sign off now and post this from the air, just because I can. How cool is that?


John Lambshead said...

Toyota are our third most popular brand after Ford, Vauxhall (GM), and Peugot-Citroen.

Their reputation is for bland, boring, overpriced but very reliable.

That rep is shot - the reliable bit anyway. All sorts has come out of the woodwork.

Mark said...

My experience with Toyotas, including my current Prius, has always been very good. This screw-up has certainly hurt them everywhere.


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