SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - It was a great night for sleeping at SFO until a "thirty something" couple from Boston, Massachusetts threw a major fit at a low level car rental employee's kiosk at SFO at 2:00 in the morning.
The sleepy car rental guy, who had unfortunately drawn the night shift, was unable to give the exhausted couple the white Nissan Altima they had reserved ahead of time from their home in cold, snowy Boston. Because the couple's flight was five hours overdue out of Logan, all the practical rental cars were gone.
"But," said the rental guy, "I do have a sweet Mustang convertible you could rent."
At that point, all hell broke loose! The couple were indignant that they were given an impractical car to use for a trip that would eventually lead to Yosemite. After an intense and heated conversation about the negative ramifications of using such an unsuitable car, they turned their ire on the rental guy.
"We are going to be driving over dirt roads, through wilderness filled with wild animals! A convertible Mustang is totally unacceptable!" shouted the overwrought husband.
"I can't have my long hair blowing in the wind! It will get split-ends!" exclaimed the wife.
The rental guy, wanting to go back to sleep, and wondering if the security guys were even awake, decided not to react to their indignation and instead laid on some low level sales pressure. Exasperated, the husband finally turned to his wife to let her make the final decision.
Frustrated by the unexpected turn of events so soon in their trip, the tired wife had already left the area to throw away some trash. Oh well, the husband thought irritably. It was late, they were both exhausted, so he felt forced into renting the totally inappropriate Mustang.
Sighing deeply, the husband reluctantly signed off on the paperwork and the couple wearily headed to the parking garage. Watching them leave, the rental car guy gave a sigh of relief that he only had 5 hours left on his shift, and went back to sleep.
THE REST OF THE STORY:
When the couple finally reached the parking garage where hundreds of unrented cars were lined up, there in the midst, in all its iridescent midnight blue splendor, was the dreaded Mustang. So totally different than the Altima they had anticipated driving. It was 2:30 in morning and they still had to drive to the East Bay for the night. They got in the car and discussed what a bummer it was to have to use this purplish jelly bean-colored car on their California trip.
The next day, heading down I-5 toward San Diego about sunset, they decided to pull over to put the convertible top down, figuring they might as well use it since it was a feature on the car.
After reentering traffic, the mood in the car instantly changed. First, they were simply terrified because they had never ridden in a convertible before. They thought their possessions would start flying out of the front and back seats. Once they realized that wasn't going to happen, the advantages of a convertible started to become very clear.
"Wow, this is absolutely great!" they enthused to each other as they felt the cool air passing over them, the sun's rays warming the tops of their heads as they rode in their "sweet" topless ride.
"That car rental guy really did us a favor!" exclaimed the husband.
"We should have given him a generous tip!" agreed the wife.
With the sun dipping in to the Pacific, the Mustang headed south, just in time for the first stars of the evening to appear.
"Have you ever noticed how many stars there are in the sky?" asked the husband as he reveled in the beauty revealed in the darkness overhead.
"Not until now," said the wife, finally thanking God the Altima had already been rented.