I got to Hertz and told the gal at the counter my name and stuff and she told me that since I had a debit card (as opposed to a credit card, which I don't posses), they would have to run a credit check. My tear ducts reacted but my tear damn remained steadfast as I told her my credit sucks (thank you, divorce) and I thought all I had to do was have $200 in my account. She said no. I just gave her a look of desperation and I was trying to come up with alternative forms of transportation to the reunion which was 2 hours from the airport. I simply could not afford anything else. I thought I'd have to beg my dad for more help when he arrived to the same airport in six or seven hours. The woman then informed me that some of the other car rental places didn't do credit checks. I mumbled something like "yeah, but. . ." and my thought continued while my tongue failed, "this is already paid for [I'd gotten a heck of a combo deal for 3 roundtrips + car rental). I can't afford an extra car rental."
Something changed in the air and the woman looked at her screen and said, "Priceline doesn't do credit checks, so you're good." I really did detect a shift in the atmosphere and therefore I think she bestowed mercy on me and somehow bypassed the credit check part, and the "priceline doesn't do credit checks" was a line of crap, but lovely merciful crap.
So I got my car (a silver cobalt for those who care -- I don't) and loaded my kids and gear and they were SO cranky and SO tired and hungry and I was tired and hungry and stressed and we were all miserable and we headed back to the airport to retrieve the carseats. I was happy to see that parking was free for 30 minutes or less. I had to wake up my kids, who had conked during the seven minutes of travel, and they were not happy to have to walk back to the airport. Poor Anna was so tired of walking. After a long and miserable experience of carseat retrieval, we finally got back to the car. Kids were crying again, still exhausted and still hungry. I got to the gate and smugly gave the woman my parking ticket, knowing it would be free. "That'll be two dollars," she said.
Two dollars really isn't anything to choke about, but I really did almost choke on my spit. "I was gone more than thirty minutes?" She checked her screen and informed me that I had been parked for 31 minutes. WHATEVER! FINE, here's your $2 you stingy wicked witch of the midwest! Yeah, that's what I told her.
I was a little mean (I sighed angrily and set my jaw as I handed her the cash while refusing to make eye contact) and I feel bad about that. It wasn't her fault that she had to charge me for one minute. Probably not, anyway.
I told the kids how awesome they were being and encouraged them to sleep and they did.