Remember the creepy stories about customers taking off in their rental car and having a HUGE snake fall from under the dash where it had been hiding. Or the HUGE snake that was curled up in the engine compartment. Or the HUGE snake that was sleeping in the trunk? Well, I do because that is just the creepiest thing to me. Confirms that yes, the monsters in the closet were real, that yes, the bogeyman is out there and yes, all kinds of fearful stuff is out there waiting to get at us.
Today as I reserved a car for my week in Maui at the end of the month I thought of my adventure with a creature in a rental car. The terrifying heart stopping incident that it was.
Arriving late in the afternoon in one of the many Jacksonvilles spread out across the map, I headed to the rental car counter in the airport, signed the papers and got the keys to my car for the weekend. And, “because you are nice, we gave you a complementary upgrade”. Can’t forget that part.
I did my walk around, popped the trunk, dropped my suitcase in and tossed my laptop case behind the driver’s seat. Adjusting the seat for my short legs, fixing the mirrors, ready to roll and I glanced around behind the passenger seat. And there it was. Sticking out from under the seat, only part of it, but enough to see that it was a large flattened dead frog. A hideous creature.
I slung back the seat belt bouncing the buckle off the window and barged back into the office.”There’s a big dead frog in my car, a really big dead frog. Give me another car!” I growled. I was clearly NOT a happy customer. There was a moment of stunned silence and then the agent stuttered, sputtered and turned to a lot guy and said “ah….will you help this lady”.
Storming back towards the car with him in my wake, I stab-pointed in the window. “See!! Don’t you guys clean the cars? How does a dead frog even end up in here?” He said “ah, lady…..look” as he picked up the frog by a big flattened stretched out frog leg, “it’s a toy”. Didn’t matter by this time. My heart was racing because I’ve read the articles and a dead frog is just a portent of worse to come as I glanced around anticipating the lunge of a constrictor towards me in my rental car panic state of mind.
He laughed at me, kind of ha ha -at -you-pathetic-lady-type laugh. So I told him the story about the articles and he really laughed. Told me he usually just finds gross food in the cars, gum wrappers, one time a hundred-dollar bill under the seat. As he turned to walk away with the frog I said, “hey can I keep that?” Finder’s keeper’s and all.
The frog rode around in the passenger seat for the weekend with me. It looked so gross, it was an icky toy, but it was good company and every time I looked at it, I was reminded not to take things so seriously. Sometimes we need that, but I still check my rental cars really well……. Oh, and I left it in the car for the next customer.