Ask me to describe a vehicle and I’m likely to say something like “the blue car” or “the red pickup.” Lyle, on the other hand, can identify at a glance the make and model of practically anything on the road, and often the year. Our girls are pretty good at it, too, having picked it up from their dad. I just don’t pay that much attention. And with all the neutral shades– grays and beiges– so popular right now, “the greige rig” works for me! (“Rig” is the generic term in our part of the country for any vehicle.)
You need that background for the story I’m about to tell.
I had reserved a mini-van for my convention this weekend, as I needed a way to transport my display materials from my hotel where they were shipped, to the convention venue. I took the shuttle from the airport to the car rental place. I got all the paperwork taken car of and the girl behind the counter handed me the keys. “It’s the gold Dodge Caravan out the door to my left,” she said.
So I went out the door to her left, expecting to find a gold mini-van waiting for me. Um. No. Apparently, they don’t pull your car up to the door for you at this rental place. There was a whole parking lot full of vehicles. What does a Dodge Caravan look like? I wondered. It’s a mini-van, anyway. I know that much. The problem is, some mini-vans look like small SUVs. Well, it’s gold. I can surely find a gold mini-van. I knew the vehicle with the Toyota logo wouldn’t be it. (Having owned Toyotas for years, I do recognize their logo.) So I casually strolled along the rows of cars trying to identify one that could be a Dodge in some shade of gold.
A-ha! There was one labeled “Dodge Caravan” right across the back. And yeah, I suppose that could be called gold. So I walked up to it and clicked my key to unlock the door. Nothin’. Hmmm. I compared the number on my paperwork to the number on the windshield. Nope. Not it after all.
Where could it be?
By this time, I’m afraid my “casual stroll” had evolved more of a “lost wanderer” effect. About then, a guy who worked at the rental place came along. “Are you having trouble?” he asked.
I had to admit it. “Um. Yeah. I don’t know makes and models very well, and I can’t find the car I’ve rented.”
He looked at my paperwork, and then asked for the key. He clicked the panic button and immediately another “gold” Dodge Caravan (that I had already walked right past) started honking.
I was chagrined. “I don’t know why I didn’t think of that,” I said as I thanked him.
But I ask you. Would you call the car pictured above “gold”?
To me, it’s just another shade of greige.