I Think I Rented a Stolen Car…

I just returned from a four day adventure in Los Angeles with my compadre Jordan and it started in the most riveting (bad) way.  

I travel a lot, so I’ve got the logistics planning down to a tee:  1) Book the flight using a deal from Secret Flying or Google Flights, 2) Reserve a place to stay from AirBnb or Trip Advisor, and 3) Book a rental car from CarRentalSavers or Costco Travel.  This model has worked perfectly for the hundreds of times that I’ve traveled, but this time I wanted to have a more riveting (good) experience, so I took a different route with the rental car.

I heard about a car rental service called Turo, which was described as “the AirBnb for cars.” I gave it a try because the traditional car rental companies at LAX airport charged upwards of $350 for an Isetta-sized car.  I browsed the listings on Turo and saw a beautiful Infiniti Q60 for just $30 a day, so I decided to go for it.  I should have known that I was in for a riveting (bad) experience when the vehicle’s owner didn’t have a chin in his profile photo.

The flight to LA went swimmingly, except for the part when the pilot wanted to create a more riveting (bad) experience, so he SLAMMED the jet onto the tarmac upon landing, but that okay.  The Uber ride to the car lot also went perfectly because the Uber driver didn’t try to sell us his mixtape or try to convert us to Scientology.  But then when we went to the pick up the car from the lot where it was held, the attendant seemed to be very confused about the car’s existence. 

I told the attendant that I was there for the white Infiniti Q60 and he said “what Q60?”  I showed him the confirmation screen, gave him the confirmation number and I even showed him the picture of the chin-less car owner.  He said “hmmm…. let me look around.”  This is when things got riveting (bad).  

Attendant: “We don’t have that car.”
Me: “Where’d it go?”  
Attendant: “I don’t know.  I’ve never seen it.”  

I immediately called the chin-less man and said “where can I find the Infiniti Q60 that I rented?”
Chin-less: “Someone stole my password?”  
Me: “I don’t know… where is the car?”  
Chin-less: “My password.”
Me: “Password to what?”  
Chin-less: “Let me speak to the Turo boy.”  

I assumed that he was talking about the parking lot attendant, so I handed my phone over and they spoke for about 3 minutes. Then the “turo boy” hung up and told me “someone stole his password.”  
Me: “What does his password have to do with the car?”  
Turo Boy: “I don’t know. Stolen?”
What does that even mean?!?!
Me: “Where’s the car?”
Turo Boy: “I don’t know, but [the chin-less man] said that he will find another car and bring it to you at 1:30.”  

No way…I don’t want him to find me another stolen car… I want him to find this car….and his chin.

Instead of causing a riveting (bad) situation for everyone around me, I gently took an Uber to the Budget Car Rental counter and gently rented a compact car for more than twice the price of the stolen car.  When we walked to the parking lot, we found a gentle, bright red VW Beetle with a smile on its little face, eager to join us on our journey.  To make this riveting (bad) situation better, I noticed that this little gentle Beetle had “Turbo” written on the back.  A gentle car with the punch of a turbo!!!  It reminded me of myself in 7th grade when I was known as the quiet kid but still “accidentally” punched Sharif in the mouth when he threw me on the ground and hurt my back.

I was annoyed at this riveting (bad) situation, but then we went to In-N-Out and had a riveting (good) burger that immediately dissolved any ounce of upsettedness in my body. That’s when I was able to put things into perspective and realize that God was probably saving me from another disastrous situation with the car since my last run-in with a white Infiniti Q60 ended with me abandoning the car.

I really enjoyed turbo-ing around the town with the Beetle, and I especially liked the fact that I didn’t have to worry about driving around a stolen Infiniti from a shady, chin-less man who can’t keep track of his passwords.

Note: The profile photo that the man used was a photoshopped photo of himself and he doesn’t actually lack a chin. However, I don’t know how I looked at his profile photo and thought “YES! That’s the trustworthy chin-less face that I’d like to rent a car from!”