Hundreds of dollars, hearing, "I'm the mommy! Stop telling me what to do!" and lightheaded-laughing later, we cart-careened to the rental car and unloaded, bulldozing groceries in to the back-seats and trunk like they were bowling balls.
My mom settled in the driver's seat and turned the key in the ignition. A car alarm simultaneously detonated like a car horn blizzard.
"Is that our car?" she asked, appearing as puzzled as I was when I saw Katie Couric's interview of Sarah Palin (CBS News - October 1, 2008).
My mom gaped the car door open. The alarm emanated from our car. She shut the door and turned the car off to eradicate the alarm. She was as embarrassed as I was when I peed my pants after a Junior High cross-country race and then had to pose in a photo that comprised the top runners. The photo was enlarged, framed, and positioned in a restaurant by my school that many students frequented.
"Mom, you must have hit the panic button on the key when you were starting the car," I said.
When she exerted to start the ignition again, the key locked. She couldn't remove the key. She could turn it but the car wouldn't start. My mom sighed, pronounced, "Oh, fine, you drive!" and flounced out of the car with the pomp of a circus performer.
I locked and unlocked the doors while my mom looked for the non-existent Car Manual. I persistently turned the key while she called the rental car agency for assistance. The office had closed ten minutes prior to our call. I sat and stared dumbly at the dashboard while my mom called AAA.
While waiting for AAA to arrive my stomach sprung rumblings reminiscent of an earthquake. It was almost 6:30pm and we hadn't eaten since noon. I mentally surveyed the food arsenal we had acquired and settled on Cheetos. I evicted myself from the car and retrieved the monster bag from the trunk, as excited by the prospect of crunchy cheese curls as I was by the concept of a handle of Jagermeister.
The AAA truck bawled up and a man resembling Bigfoot alighted. His endeavors to start the car duplicated my previous attempts. My mom and I stood outside the car talking.
"I'm going to open a beer if he doesn't get this going in three minutes," I declared. My mom laughed.
Two minutes and thirty-nine seconds later (I was timing), the engine rumbled to life. Bigfoot exited our rental car with a smile adorning his face.
The car had been in reverse. Thus, why we couldn't get it to turn on.
Mom exclaimed to Bigfoot, "You're a genius!" while throwing her arms in the air like a circus performer.
Me: "We are not."