Life is a Highway, Part 3: Meet George Jetson

Driving is one of my favorite things to do.  I am a self-proclaimed car purist (ok, snob, elitist, whatever you want to call me) and I have very specific tastes.  So the idea of renting a car is generally pretty “meh” to me, because I don’t get the high performance I want without the high premium.

However, renting a car is easy, and sometimes a necessity.  In the past, I’ve had cars ranging from Hyundai Accents to a swanky Lincoln Navigator.  But walking down the aisle, searching for the perfect home away from hotel for a week, I felt overwhelmed and uncertain.  Then, I saw it.

Well, ok, I didn’t see IT, I saw it’s white twin, but Whitey had pleather seats, which made my inner purist turn up her nose and snootily walk away.  So instead, a few vehicles down, the unassuming slate-ish blue car sat quietly waiting to be chosen.  It was like Indiana Jones selecting the correct grail.

Photo from indygear.com

Photo from indygear.com

A quick overview noted cloth seats, very basic interior, no sunroof, and what would amount to being a nimble, peppy car with incredibly vast upgrades over the last Jetta I drove.

Behold, my chariot:

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A 2015 Jetta TSI SE.  This means it has a small engine, a turbo, and is one step up from the base model – heated seats, 16″ wheels, and Sirius radio that didn’t work…Oh yeah, and it was (like 99% of rental cars) automatic.  Still, it was ok.  It was a very decent car.

I believe cars name themselves.  So, the entire week, I could not figure out what this car was trying to say.  I asked it repeatedly what its name was, and only when sitting down to talk about it did this name come to me.  My Dear Readers, meet George Jetson.

Photo from cartoon-characters.com

Photo from cartoon-characters.com

He’s a reliable, practical, efficient, no-frills kind of guy, despite being a huge, giant, vast upgrade from last year’s model.  It’s like he came from the future!  (Or at least caught up to the present.)

George is quiet, unassuming, and at first glance, he doesn’t seem like there’d be much that’s special about him.  But get in, buckle up, and hit the button to start the engine, and you’re surprised.  He’s got pep, he’s got energy, he handles curves well (wink wink), and he just enjoys his purpose, which is to be driven.

Granted, George is easy – you don’t have to shift, or work a third pedal.  I suppose I like my cars like I like my men – they take a little more effort to get them going and to where you need to be, but in the end it’s worth it (about the journey and all that stuff) – and so I generally despise automatics.  Minimal effort, not really participating in driving the machine…So although George was equipped with an automatic transmission, it wasn’t a bad thing. He placated me at times and allowed me to get my Asian Tourist on, and take photos like this:

IMG_20150506_163712640

All in all, George was a pretty great companion to spend a week with.  We traversed many kinds of climates, many kinds of weather, and had a great adventure together.  He’s the guy with whom I drove off into the Great Beyond, and he was totally worth it.

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14 comments

    1. I KNOW! I felt so dirty 😦 George was a good sport about it, though. And this is America: the land of the free, home of the brave, and in subtext it is “location of the lazy drivers.” There are no manual rentals unless you’re paying $$$$$$. The color was ok, unassuming and sort of faded into the background. George was happy to play second fiddle to those landscapes.

      1. As someone who has rented cars in Europe many times and had to book WAY in advance and pay $$$$$$ for the privilege of driving an automatic: I feel your pain.

      1. You also have to pay his pimp around $375 to use him for a week. But I suppose that’s the going rate for the perfect gentleman, these days.

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