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I Guess I Picked the Wrong Week to Start Renting Cars

I'm in the midst of a West Coast trip -- three days in the Bay Area and then a long weekend in Seattle.

I arrived at SFO Monday afternoon, picked up my rental car, and drove to my hotel in Emeryville, where we were doing motion capture work. About 90 minutes after checking in, I walked downstairs to head out, only to find that my car had been broken into (via a smashed side window) to get at the GPS system inside. A trip to the airport rental car facility and a few filled-out forms later, I had a new car.

Last night I arrived at SEA, picked up my rental car, and drove to my girlfriend's gym to meet her there for dinner. I had been on the road less than 10 minutes when, stopped in traffic, I was rear-ended. I got out of the car expecting the driver to apologize -- though you're never supposed to admit guilt in an accident, when you rear-end someone, it's always your fault, so no sense holding back the apology. Instead, I got, "You stopped and made me hit you! Why did you stop like that?" Right. My car wasn't damaged much, but his front end was well-crumpled. A police officer showed up quite quickly and efficiently, took stock of the vehicles, wrote up a report, and then, as he gave copies to us both, explained to the other driver that he'd be receiving a ticket for the collision.

As best as I can recall, I haven't had a car broken into since the early 1990s, and I haven't been in an accident since 1998. Both those streaks ended in the span of about two days. To paraphrase Lloyd Bridges, I guess I picked the wrong week to start renting cars.


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