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June 23, 2009


I arrived in Austin last night, here for a quick work visit.

I haven't been to the Austin airport in years, probably at least twenty years. The minute you step into this terminal, instantly you know you are Austin. Even the air has an Austin feel to it.

I found the rental car terminal, gave them my name and asked for my car.

I had reserverd a standard car, nothing fancy, this was a work trip after all.

The lady behind the desk said, "well, you've reserved a standard, but we don't have any standard cars available."

I'm tired.

Not thinking clearly.

Wondering what 'reserved' means if you show up and nothing is 'reserved.'

Maybe she felt sorry for me.

Maybe somehow she knew from the look on my face that I had spent all day Saturday in weather that should only be reserved for goat herders in the Sahara.

Maybe she knew my son had blurted out things that probably made Walt Disney turn over in his grave.

Maybe she has a second job as Madame Marie on the weekend and has a crystal ball.

Who knows. Who cares.

Because the next thing she said was, "but we do have a 2010 Camaro available if you don't want to wait for the mini van?"


Now she has my attention.

Mini van.


Mini van.


"I'll take the Camaro please."

A few minutes later I am standing in front of a car that would make my 16 year old son fall down on his knees in adoration.

Seriously. A 2010 Camaro? Everything I've driven in the last 16 years has had some sort of "mini" in the title-usually mini van. Mini-Suv.

None of them were very 'mini,' either.

And none of them looked like this car.

I walked up to the lady working outside and pointed to that Camaro and said, "Is THAT my car?"

She looked at my paperwork and said, "Yes, maam."

I said, "And I just get to get in that car and drive out of here?"

"Yes maam." (By now, I'm sure she's thinking I had one too many beers in the airport.)

I get in the car, which by the way, if you're used to driving things with 'mini' in the title, driving a sports car makes you feel like Fred Flintstone at first, not Mario Andretti.

I thought for sure at any second my rear end was going to be scraping the pavement, or that my head would pop out of the roof. It took some getting used to.

About 30 seconds, and I was good.

I learned two very valuable lessons from driving that car for 24 hours:

1.)Every mom should drive a sports car for a day. Rent one, borrow one, find one, but do it. It will make you feel young a lot quicker than trying to flay down on a bed and fit into skinny jeans. Especially if you've been driving mini vans around for years. I now have an idea for a great birthday gift for my girlfriends-rent them an awesome car for a day.

2.)No mom should ever let her teenage son drive one of these cars until they're at least 25 (the kid, not the mom.)

Before I was out of the parking garage, I called Tyler to tell him what had happened.

Stone silence. "You're in what?"

He instantly recovers from the shock and says, "Mom, have you hit the gas, I mean really HIT THE GAS?"

I said, "I am in the parking garage. If I hit the gas I am going to go flying off the third floor and land on a parking bus."

"Mom, when you get on the highway, you have to PUNCH it."

In that second, he instantly erased every ounce of guilt I had about not purchasing him a new sports car, or even an old sports car, when he turned 16 a few weeks ago. The 1995 Honda Civic he inherited suddenly became the perfect car for my new, young, male driver.

Punch it? Ha. Go and ahead and punch it in that Honda and let me know what happens.

Actually, don't do that-you might blow the engine out and then the Honda will be history.

As I headed back to the airport tonight to return the car, a young guy pulled up next to me at at a stop light and revved his engine.

I looked over my sunglasses at him and revved mine right back. Should I do it?

The light turned green.

Just kidding. But it sure was fun while it lasted.

And I'll put away that $300 I had set aside for Botox.


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