Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Smoking/Car Aside

I have a story about smoking and rental cars.  It comes to mind because our car is in the shop, having the semi-hits-new-car repairs done.  The rental provided by our insurance company through Enterprise?

Reeks of smoke.

Not just smoke, mind you.  Smoke and about ten gallons of some Febreze-type substance.  Even from outside the car, we can smell this mix of smoke and fabric refresher. 

This is funny/embarrassing to us. See, back in 2005, just six months or so before we quit smoking, we rented a car and took a two-night trip up to Yellowstone.  It was a bare-bones trip heavily subsidised by my Mom, meant to give my poor niece and nephew a break from the disastrous divorce their parents were clawing through. 

Yes, we smoked with the kids in the car.  Yes, I absolutely understand what a crappy, awful, stupid thing that was.  We actually told ourselves that cracking the windows would somehow magically protect them.  I plead addiction, and accept blame for my actions.

After a few days of smoking up that car, we got it back home.  We then spent hours trying to de-stink the vehicle.  We vacuumed, carpet fresh-ed, vacuumed again, Febrezed, used cleaning wipes to wipe down all the vinyl and chrome spots, and even sprayed air freshener into the vents.  We used our carpet cleaner to shampoo the floors and floor mats, though we didn't dare shampoo the upholstery because we feared somehow staining or otherwise discoloring it.  Then we left the car windows rolled down overnight.  And we actually thought that they wouldn't know we'd smoked in the car.

For years, we've suspected that it must have been obvious, just judging by just how sharply invasive cigarette smoke is to us these days.  But now, with this rental car, we have evidence.  Someone has obviously gone through a lot of effort to cover up the smell of smoke in this car.  And it hasn't helped a bit.

We should have the new car back by next Monday.  What that accident is going to do to our insurance rates?  Well, I guess we'll know that come March.  Dang.

Hubby figures out that the rental car stereo is touch screen and nearly faints from joy.

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