austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I see your eye's a funny kind of yellow

The rental car I'd got isn't one which turns the headlights on automatically at dusk, like my parents' Toyota Something does; nor does it turn the lights on and off if you just leave the headlights on, like mine does. I would forget about this, particularly when turning on the windshield wipers, but the worst instance of it was when I was pulling out of the White Castle parking lot after dark and forgot the headlights at all. I realized this when I got away from the brilliance of the parking lot, and turned them on at the traffic light just after. Also, coincidentally, just as a police car pulled up to the cross street.

Well, they stopped me, and asked for my license and insurance. It turned out among the many slips of paper in the glove compartment none was insurance for that car. They asked for my rental agreement. I had left it home; turns out you're supposed to keep that with you. They asked where I'd got the rental car (Newark airport's Avis) and why it had a Georgia plate. That's what they gave me, is all I could say. They asked why I was driving with my sneakers off. This I could answer; it's just more comfortable. (I put them in the passenger's side floor, so they couldn't roll under any pedals.)

Although they seemed generally suspicious they let me go after just warning me to keep my rental car agreement with me while driving a rental car. And to be more mindful about my lights, which I'd like to note, I had realized before I even saw the police car came over.

Trivia: In 1938 IBM initially estimated that building Howard Aiken's electric tabulator would cost about $15,000; when they got a better idea of the complexity of the task, they raised the estimate to $100,000. Source: Jacquard's Web: How A Hand-Loom Led To The Birth Of The Information Age, James Essinger.

Currently Reading: R E Olds: Auto Industry Pioneer, George S May.


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