Wednesday, April 19, 2006

KC And The Sunshine Man

I was in Philofaxer's home town, Kansas City, for work on Monday for a chunk of the day. It was a strange place for me, a lifelong East Coaster, to be sure. A lot of people my 10 hours there I met were creepily nice. And curious.

I needed a rental car, which is how I found myself talking to...

Him: Hey, I'm Marcus (sticks out hand). Welcome to Enterprise.
Joseph K: (stares at hand, reluctantly shakes it)
Marcus: So, where are you coming from?
JK: Washington.
M: Wow, and you came all the way here, huh?
JK: Yep.
M: Where do you work?
JK: _______________
M: Cool.
M: So, any __________ I'd know about?
JK: I couldn't really talk about it.
M: Understand, Understand. So, how long ---
JK: Marcus, buddy, listen I'm in a hurry. If you don't mind.

I couldn't tell if Marcus was being nosy or nice. Both troubled me. My colleague said to me in the car ride to our meeting,"You know, Joseph, when I think of the midwest, I think of two things: nice people and meth. I know now I'm part right."

"You can keep it to yourself if you confirm the second part of that formulation."

Fast forward six hours later. Same place, the car rental place. A youngish woman, I'd guess 21 or 22 is there to receive the car.

Her: Hi, I'm Kim.
K: So, you have a good trip.
JK: Yeah.
K: Awesome, that is great.
JK: (unloading bags)

Then, it got weird. She was printing out my receipt, and she leaned in towards me. A whiff of her citrusy perfume hit my nose. She was a cute girl, maybe a smidge thick. The reason why this mattered was the way she was looking at me. Very flirty, half smiles.

"So, you know. Sometimes around here, we, uh, like to make sure the customers are 100% happy. So, have you been, uh, 100% satisfied?"

Frankly, I had no idea what to make of this. Two options:

1. Tell her the truth. This was the worst Ford Focus I have ever rented. And, that is saying something because it was the fifth Ford Focus I've gotten from a rental agency. And watch her flounder.

2. Say I was 90% satisfied and see if it got me upgraded to a hummer.

I went with a third option. "It was fine."

"Well good," Kim said.

At the airport a little later, my colleague came back from the Starbucks and said to me, "Man, people really are all friendly. Now there is a person in Kansas City who knows my son's favorite color is green."

"You have a kid?"


Blogger Natalia said...

You elitist Northeasterner you! ;))))))

5:40 PM  

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