By on May 30, 2015


“Let me show you how this works,” Danger Girl laughed, as we descended the stairs in the airport parking garage. I call her Danger Girl because

0. I keep putting her in danger, sometimes mortal;
1. She soloed in a Cessna before she turned seventeen;
2. She has certain other dangerous habits that, this being a different kind of publication than it was in days past, cannot be discussed in the full and frank fashion with which it was once my delight to oppress our more delicate readers.

She’d told me that we were renting a Camry. I was happy about this. I like renting Camrys. But as we walked towards a line of cars that clearly included Camrys, Danger Girl took a sharp right turn towards a black Challenger in what I was pretty sure was the rental return lane. “I can take any car I want,” she informed me, “so I’m going to take this one.” I loaded our luggage into the wide, flat, Seventies-style trunk as she fired up the Pentastar and adjusted the seat. “Off we go!” she laughed, and we drove up two levels of a circular ramp and out into the warm California night.

As we entered the freeway, something occurred to me.

“Hey… aren’t you supposed to, like, tell somebody you’re taking this car?”

Danger Girl’s response was measured. “I… suppose… that maybe we should have passed some kind of security gate. But I do this all the time. I just take whatever car I want and then my company pays for it.”

“Have you ever just driven a car out without talking to anyone?” There was a long pause.

“Maybe, possibly, not.”

“Should I call the rental agency?”

“If you want.” I called the rental agency. There were three options in the automated system. None of them corresponded to reporting a self-stolen car. So I pressed the third option.

“Blah-blah Car Rental, this is LaQueesha speaking.” I’m not making that up; it was her name.

“Yes, ah, I picked up a rental car from the airport and nobody asked me for any ID or had me sign anything.”

“Can I get the identifying number on the car?” I read it to her.

“Sir, I’m showing that car as being in our inventory.”

“Well, that’s because I drove it out and nobody stopped me.”

“Well, I am showing that we still have it.”

“Well, I,” I responded in somewhat irritated fashion, “am showing that it is driving down the 405.”

“What do you want me to do about that, sir?”

“Could you, I don’t know, maybe put it in your computer that it wasn’t stolen? That we’re bringing it back?”

“I’ll have to connect you to the rental office to do that.”

“Then connect me.” And the phone promptly bleeped to inform me that the other party had hung up.

“I wouldn’t worry about it,” Danger Girl said, “it’s a black Challenger, they won’t be looking for it.”

“Baby,” I whined in response, “cops like pulling over black Challengers so much they don’t even care which one it is!

“I don’t know what you’re moaning about. I’m the one driving, not you.”

“I’m an accomplice! Plus, this is California! They’ll arrest me for stare-raping you into doing it or something!”

“This thing’s pretty fast,” Danger Girl noted, as the speedometer swung past ’70’ on the four-lane surface street. “But I can’t see out of it at all.”

“Then why are you going so fast?”

“In case they’re looking for us.” I dialed the rental car company again. And got Omar. Who also hung up on me.

“Well, I want to have a drink,” Danger Girl exclaimed, “so I think we should give it to these valet people.”

* * *
In the morning, we fetched the Challenger back from the valet. There were no cops waiting to bust us. Having spent half of my life in imminent expectation that either the police or the film crew from “Cheaters” would appear around the next corner, I didn’t truly relax until we were away from the hotel and back on the freeway, where Danger Girl accelerated to a steady eighty-in-a-fifty-five.

“You cannot,” I explained, as if to a child, “operate a stolen car with this degree of recklessness.”

“Hey!” she exclaimed. “It’s another Challenger just like us!” And in truth I’d seen four black rental V6 Challys that day already.


This one was being driven by a Hispanic fellow with a face tattoo. I instructed DG to stick close to him as we traveled to the parking garage where my car was stored, figuring that the LAPD, given the choice between pulling over a blonde girl in a North Face jacket or a Mexican with a face tattoo, would choose the latter, even if the license plate on the APB matched the former.

We retrieved my car without difficulty and Danger Girl had an idea. “Hey. There’s an airport here, too,” she said, with the same kind of wonder a child might display while playing SimCity. “Let’s leave the car at the rental office.” We pulled up in convoy and she drove in without me. Two young black women awaited her.

“Girls,” DG chirped, “this car is from another airport. They just let me take it. I’m giving it back.”

You just took it!” responded the lot attendants, in tuneful unison. I could read their minds from a distance. This is what these blonde bitches get up to! They steal cars! And don’t nobody stop them!

“I just took it!” DG responded. “Would you like it back?”

“Well,” one of the attendants responded, scanning it half-heartedly, “It don’t be showing up in the system.”

“So,” DG prompted, “it’s like this never happened! Do I have to pay you anything?”

“I guess not,” the taller of the two replied.

“Well then. Goodbye!”

“Goodbye!” the lot girls said, again in tuneful unison. DG hopped into the passenger seat of my car. Behind her, I could hear one attendant say to the other,

“She just took the car.”

“Surely,” I opined, as the three-cylinder engine roared to life behind me and we pulled away, “there will be consequences for this.” And yet there were not.


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102 Comments on “The Night That Danger Girl Stole A Black Challenger From The Airport...”

  • avatar

    Ha – who’da thought it…?

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Are you trying to make everyone here depressed for not having such an interesting life and knowing such cool people?

    • 0 avatar

      Be depressed about it, or take it as Jack throwing down the gauntlet.

      It’s Saturday night, so which is it gonna be?

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        Not to come off too much like the various parodies of myself on the Internet, but I believe that every member of the B&B is capable of closing the deal with some young woman this very night.

        Especially the female members of the B&B.

        Put your lipstick on and get it done, girls.

        • 0 avatar

          Instead of grabbing a few drinks and testing out the hot tub with my wife, I was tending to a 2 year old that covered the floor in her room with vomit. After that hot mess, no one is really in the mood. Capable but unwilling.

        • 0 avatar

          I spent the weekend with a young red head who drives her own 6 speed Challenger – so challenge accepted.

        • 0 avatar

          There’s a downside to the bad girls sometimes. Equal Karma, I suppose. Maybe the downside just hits redheads. Paging Miss Lohan?

          A couple of years ago the bad girl at work I was hooking up with had her car impounded overnight, and I spent the rest of the weekend attempting to help her find it as it contained a crate with a small canine passenger. She had annoyed her roommate enough with said dog that it lived in the car, I suppose. We eventually retrieved the dog, but she was unwilling to pay off the fines, and acquired another loaner corolla from her family. This one she promptly drove to her new bf’s place and right out of my life (temporarily).

          Did I learn from this? Not really…

    • 0 avatar

      Every single day you make a choice

      • 0 avatar

        “I gain no deeper knowledge about myself, no new understanding can be extracted from my telling. There has been no reason for me to tell you any of this. This confession has meant nothing…”

    • 0 avatar

      Having an interesting life isn’t all that hard. It just requires a little effort and a certain willingness to try new things. Jack’s difference is that he writes about his.

      And, while soloing is a real thrill, once your instructor signs you off, it’s not all that dangerous unless you do something really stupid. My first solo was completely uneventful from a risk/danger perspective.

  • avatar

    Danger Girl. Likes black Challengers. And a drink.

    Please PM me with her number.

  • avatar
    Mr. K

    BFD she got a pilots license at 17. Yawn.

    Ok, I’ll bite Jack – what car has 3 cylinders behind you?
    Malfunctioning Porsche?

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      I figure it was a Smartie.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      She didn’t and doesn’t have a pilot’s license.

      Is the name clearer now?

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. K

        Not to beat a dead horse too much more but…

        It only takes 8-12 hours to solo for most people. Flying, piloting, is not some mystical skill.

        Like me, I’d venture most people here watched their parents and others drive very closely for years from the right seat, and most of us here, like me, just sat down and drove just fine when we finally got those papers.

        Perhaps, like me others had thousands of safe, paperless miles under their belts before they went to the appropriate agency for the appropriate papers, after ‘rigorous’ testing.

        Image the advantage in learning to fly that kids who have had the opportunity to do dozens or scores of right seat hours have.

        Flying is a skill, and it takes time to learn but it’s just another relatively simple skill that, like closing the deal with a young woman, can be accomplished by just about everyone here who is physically capable.

        I think driving around LA at 80 in a black Challenger with no papers is much more deserving of DG’s moniker, as are other proclivities alluded to, rather then then soloing a trainer.

        Perhaps, if you are good, Jack, DG will ‘borrow’ a C150 and initiate you into a certain club…unless that Cessna she soled in was a tweet…

      • 0 avatar

        Hey Jack! Google is not proving to be my friend, when trying to find Cessnas other than planes, even when omitting certain aeronautically related keywords.

        Yet I fail to see how, if she had soloed in a Cessna plane without a license, that that information would make the name clearer, whether “the” name was hers or the vehicle she soloed in.

        I am usually fairly good at unraveling your word puzzles, if I care enough to spend some time digging, instead of waiting for someone from the B&B to solve it for me.

        But I, for one, am willing to throw in the towel, and plead for a few more details.

        Thought they do not have to begin with “Dear Penthouse, I never thought…”. However, SoCal weather probably also precludes “It was a night not fit for man nor beast,…” that famous comedic entree.

        So how about please keeping us from wracking our brains any longer, and instead do a bit more of a reveal, even if only in the form of a clue of the day.

        You don’t have to narrow it down enough to clearly identify who she is, but a bit more detail would make this interesting tale of adventure, as it seems to border on a male + female version of “Fear and Loathing in Southern California”, minus an LE convention and the bats.

        Come on, Jack, please stop teasing us and throw us a few more tidbits, at the least.

        As a side note, after having run down some of the better work of the past on TTAC, especially yours and Farago’s, I can understand why you feel a chill has descended across the landscape of TTAC.

        For example, I never had the time or the interest to obtain a clear detailed picture of the exact nature of where Ford was at in its attempts to build up Lincoln, other than by killing Mercury, until I read some of the infamous details of TTAC’s earlier takes on the MKZ and Lincold QA (or lack thereof).

        And that kind of information is one of the two main reasons I have become a new regular reader of TTAC. The other is the usually intelligent interchange between the majority of the writing staff and the B&B. (Though I used to think B&B stood for Best and Brightest, but now sometimes wonder if it is Baruth and Babes, a theme that is infinitely more interesting, even if less graphic, than “Dear Penthouse”.

        Keep on fighting the good fight, Jack. It is a bright spot in my, and I’m sure that of many people’s, days.

    • 0 avatar

      “what car has 3 cylinders behind you?”

      I’m guessing that was a tease that Jack will be telling us of his exploits in a BMW i8 in the not-so-distant future.

    • 0 avatar

      …1967 europa S1A with a T595 engine swap, of course: i mean, like, *duh*!..

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      Come on, folks. We all know Jack was driving a first gen Honda Insight in reverse because Soichiro’s engineers had a Colin Chapman-esque single-purpose focus on eliminating excess mass. Colin’s maxim is equally applicable to dating, and I admire Jack’s consistent messaging.

      As any bonehead knows, reverse is taller than first and second in those things, so you simply execute a quick J-turn once you’re doing about 40 to squeeze out another 0.3 MPGs.

      Plus, the IMA battery delivers enough power to keep a few amps running all night long.

    • 0 avatar

      Mr. K,

      Maybe a Ford 1L Ecoboost. It’s a 3 pot turbo with manual 6 speed. I acquired one recently. While it goes pretty good, it might not hang with that challenger.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. K

        May 31st, 2015 at 10:36 am

        Mr. K,

        Maybe a Ford 1L Ecoboost. It’s a 3 pot turbo with manual 6 speed. I acquired one recently. While it goes pretty good, it might not hang with that challenger.

        GMat, Jack said the engine started behind him – my first thought was the Fiesta…

  • avatar

    Attention all lefties: Trigger Warning Credits on Aisle 11!

  • avatar

    “She has certain other dangerous habits that, this being a different kind of publication than it was in days past, cannot be discussed in the full and frank fashion with which it was once my delight to oppress our more delicate reader”

    Aint that the truth. I think the current management is clueless and detached from reality.

    • 0 avatar


    • 0 avatar

      Maybe I’m missing something since this is the only auto site I frequent, what exactly is it thats wrong with the management?

      The guys and gals that write the articles and post the news here certainly don’t seem to be holding the site back, if anything it’s getting increasingly better with time.

    • 0 avatar

      Seconded. For all his occasional arrogance, Jack’s still definitely one of the best writers in this business, and VS is only hurting itself by trying to make him all family-friendly like. It’s like contracting Sebastien Loeb and making him teach driver’s ed.
      What made this site different from other car-centric outlets was that TTAC had personalities who didn’t backtrack or second-guess their statements even if they were not popular (Derek) or managed to imbue a lot of personal, even if controversial, insights and experiences into a story and still manage to keep it on topic (Jack). The toning down of this site is now so apparent it’s ridiculous. Look, VS, there’s a lot of sterile, inoffensive car sites on the net. Many of them have a budget trumping that of yours. I’m fairly sure most of them have better access to press cars as well. How are you going to compete with them? The personalities and the pull-no-punches style used to be TTAC’s USP. What is it now? You still have talented journalists, you still have our trust, but right now I’m afraid you’ll screw it up as well. And let me tell you, if the most engaging (by reply count) content that you produce is Doug DeM’s articles, then boy is it going downhill.

      And Jack, VS might not like your style, but HYH ain’t TTAC, and I hope you remember that. Just keep them stories coming.

      • 0 avatar

        I can forgive anyone with a little arrogance if his walk matches his talk. Jack can pull this off.

      • 0 avatar

        “One of the best”

        One of the?

        The rightful heir to LJK Setright.

        • 0 avatar

          That must be the thousandth time that that Setright fellow is mentioned. Seems like his writing ain’t half bad, is it? I guess I’ll have to add one more name to my recommended-to-read list.

      • 0 avatar

        Regarding arrogance and JB…it ain’t bragging if you can do it. And Jack definitely seems to travel down paths that match his swashbuckling style and his swashbuckling stories.

        The only way I think I wouldn’t like JB in real life, is if he and I were both trying to run down the same alpha female at the same time. In that case it would be “game on”. Otherwise, at a different point in my life, if I found myself in the same bar with him, I suspect I would have bought him a shot of tequila, or similar, as a mark of respect and an invitation to friendship. One helluva dude, by any measure.

        A virtual “Kanpai!”, Jack.

      • 0 avatar

        I completely agree. I have been reading Jack’s writing for years now and he never gets old. I hope he can continue to write with no filter very soon.

    • 0 avatar

      +1. I am glad someone like Jack is saying the management of the site has reduced the quality. Hopefully Mark will take note.

      • 0 avatar

        I find it funny I’m being pointed at for restricting the voice of writers on TTAC. Since coming on board, I’ve done nothing to restrict the words of those who make TTAC their home, Jack included. He can write what he wants. I’m not here to censor him.

        Aside from directing news, I’ve not told anyone what to write, though I have suggested topics to writers. Nor have I told anyone certain topics are off limits.

        Edit: removed horrible double negative caused by multiple re-edits.

        • 0 avatar

          I, for one, am absolutely not pointing the finger at you. I enjoy the fact that you reply, comment, engage with us, and I think, given time and freedom, you have a lot to give to this site. Sure, I was a bit worried when you said in your first post here that your aim is to make this site more less controversial, more manufacturer-friendly or something along the lines of it, but right now I’m just hoping that you won’t hold yourself back when you see some BS coming from the manufacturers/legislators/whoever else. That’s what differentiated TTAC from other sites which contained little more than rephrased press kits in which every single car had premium this and soft touch that. I hope you’ll remember that, and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.
          It might be seen as incongruent of me to say so but I still stand by my comments about VS. Without getting into detail, I think some of the negative developments on the site are caused by neither Derek nor Mark but by V to the S’s policies. Well, here’s hoping they’ll see the light at last.

          • 0 avatar

            “I enjoy the fact that you reply, comment, engage with us, and I think, given time and freedom, you have a lot to give to this site.”

            And I plan on giving more. Tweaks are being made behind the scenes to allow that to happen. Since I came to TTAC, I’ve been swamped with the “boring” tasks which has limited my time for writing. Soon, hopefully, that will change.

            “Sure, I was a bit worried when you said in your first post here that your aim is to make this site more less controversial, more manufacturer-friendly or something along the lines of it, but right now I’m just hoping that you won’t hold yourself back when you see some BS coming from the manufacturers/legislators/whoever else.”

            If I can clarify my first post: I never stated I wanted to make TTAC more manufacturer friendly. If anything, I want to give writers increased ability to dig up dirt and piss people off, but do it in a manner that’s indisputable. If we say something on these pages, we should be able to back it up to the point it can’t be refuted.

            “It might be seen as incongruent of me to say so but I still stand by my comments about VS. Without getting into detail, I think some of the negative developments on the site are caused by neither Derek nor Mark but by V to the S’s policies. Well, here’s hoping they’ll see the light at last.”

            Again, I can’t comment on the time before I came to TTAC, other than I know there’s a lot of history between VS and some current and former writers as well as the B&B. My job is to be the buffer in the middle. However, I’ve yet to buffer anything as there hasn’t been a need to do so.

        • 0 avatar

          Sometimes a chilling effect need not come either from directly above, nor from an explicit edict or policy. A chilling effect might even be misperceived.

          Perhaps some change in the environment might have been conveyed in an indirect but seemingly unmistakeable way to Jack.

          The only thing we can know for sure is that something has given Jack the impression that there might be invisible “bumpers” present now, that did not exist in the past.

          I doubt he is making that up out of whole cloth. But unless, and until, he feels inclined to stick his neck out further and elaborate, all we have is what seems to be a perception shared by others that somehow, things have been “tamed down”.

          Being relatively new to TTAC, having arrived around the time Jack’s role was metamorphosing, I can’t really see or feel what that change might be, much less what might be the cause of it.

          But to the extent that intelligent readers/commenters on this site seem to feel that such a change is perceptible, and not positive, it might be good to seek to find out what is leading to this feeling, and to seek to reverse the trend.

          However, all that I have said is of an abstract, almost algebraic, nature, as an assertion of the existence of something, without any ability to characterize either its exact nature or its source. But it would be good if someone could find a way to do whatever it might take to restore whatever it is that good longer-time members of this community seem to feel has been lost.

          In the meantime, I wish someone would give some concrete examples of things as they were, vs. what no longer seems to exist in the status quo.

          I do go back and read some of the older material, but I don’t even know if the entire corpus from earlier times is still online, or if what might have been deemed as now verboten has already been scrubbed from the site, so I don’t even know if it is possible to go back in time now and find what those differences might be. But to date, I have not seen anything clearcut that would support such an assertion of a chilling effect, yet I see intelligent commenters referring to its perceptibility.

          Does anyone care to try to shed any further light on this thus-far murky area?

      • 0 avatar

        I certainly haven’t been told to change how I write by Mark or VS and none of the other writers on the site have mentioned anything like that to me. Mark is a bit more of a hand’s on editor in that he makes more edits of my stuff than Derek did, but not as many as Farago. That’s pretty much the only difference along with the fact that he has a different personal voice than Derek.

        If someone had told our resident enfant terrible to tone it down, I’m pretty sure he would have told me about it.

        You guys are reading way more into things than really exist.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      I’m with Mark on this. TTAC seems to be better than ever.

      BS probably demanded graphic descriptions of shibari rope bondage for personal amusement and nothing else.

    • 0 avatar

      Or as I thought, “God damn it, don’t tease me, Baruth!”

      • 0 avatar

        I am sure at some point someone told Baruth to tone it down, which makes about as much sense as going to a prostitute for a hug.

        Thanks for the vote of confidence Baruth, I’ll always be certain I could snag a girl 10 years younger than me whether I’m 37 (about to be 38) or I’m 50.

  • avatar

    I have hardly ever had a positive rental experience. Please don’t say it is because I try to do everything right, and pay for it.

    • 0 avatar

      Being young and very attractive and/or a sociopath allows you to get away with away lot of things. Everybody else has to pay to play.

    • 0 avatar

      I just had one! This past Thursday – Sunday, in a well-equipped 2015 Cruze 2LT. But I shall never take cylinders more than four and displacement over 3 litres for granted again.

    • 0 avatar

      I lucked out a couple years ago… went in expecting a Cruze or Focus and was told that the Mustang would be only $20 more. This was the year Ford went HP- for HP with the V6 Camaro. My take-away was that if you can’t have fun with a 305-HP Mustang, you’re not trying hard enough.

      • 0 avatar

        When I went in there (rented an Intermediate Cruze or similar) after being relieved there were no old 200’s or Avengers in the parking lot, she grabbed the keys… the Buick keys… for the only Buick outside, a gold Regal.

        My mind went YAAAAAS. But then she put those away and got out Chevy keys, and I knew the Cruze was for me.

        But hey 3 full days rental was only $110, and I got 32MPG in PA mountainy driving with AC on at 70-75MPH.

  • avatar

    “Having spent half of my life in imminent expectation that either the police or the film crew from “Cheaters” would appear around the next corner…”

    ‘Cheaters’ is still going strong! It’s hosted by Clark James Gable, the grandson of Clark Gable.

    Mr C.J. Gable, according to wikipedia, did 10 days in jail after pleading guilty to pointing a laser at a police helicopter in 2011.

    • 0 avatar

      “Mr C.J. Gable, according to wikipedia, did 10 days in jail after pleading guilty to pointing a laser at a police helicopter in 2011.”

      Pew pew pew!

      • 0 avatar


        Oh how the Gable name has fallen. That makes me sad to learn he hosts that garbage show. Did the prior host get stabbed to death by an angry cholita?

  • avatar


  • avatar

    This is a much better site than Jalopnik (for example). Very informative without the snarky boy-racer vibe that lacks any historical knowledge or context. Attracts a more knowledgeable class of reader, as well.

  • avatar

    Ok, full details on reason #2 need to be posted on

    I’m waiting.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    I find this unpunished theft thoroughly believable.
    One, no staffer wants to acknowledge the missing car because it is work and risk for them that they can hopefully wait for someone else to get stuck with.
    Two, even if they do officially realize that they have a missing car, they are likely loathe to report it anytime soon. They’ll hope it turns up soon, like it did, and really not want to make an official report that the media could pick up on that admits that security is so lax that you can walk into the lot and take a car.
    Lastly, cops don’t much care about finding stolen goods anyway, and even if they did, it’s a low priority and low odds.

    I’m not a risk taker, so I won’t be replicating this but the bluff of taking and returning a car is totally plausible. I’m frankly a tad surprised that JB would give a virtual how-to here. I assume he can always claim it is fiction.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed, although how it got out of the lot, passed security, wasn’t detailed.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      As one of the suits who has to look into incidents like this, I can 100% confirm this post. And even if the employees in question had been Boy Scouts about it, at most it’s a write-up.

      As lean as modern companies (and police departments) run in staffing, there are just no resources for pursuing issues that end up costing the organization very little. To those of us in Compliance/Risk/HR-style roles, there was nothing surprising, for example, about the intruder who successfully reached the White House. Most security protocols are theater.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    Most rental car lots have security verifying paperwork at the exit gate. Exit from any other gate will result in ruptured tires.
    My guess is that DG payed for a camry and took a challenger with security not paying attention to paperwork.

    • 0 avatar

      There are many airports where this is entirely possible. Louisville, KY just to name one. At these airports, you get keys at the desk inside the building. But, if you walk out onto the lot, you could certainly find cars with keys in them and just drive off. You’d have to time it when the folks checking in the cars aren’t looking but again, at least in a few airports I’ve been that wouldn’t be rare luck. I would think that such a car with keys would have been one that hadn’t been checked in yet but perhaps it would be awaiting servicing or washing.

      • 0 avatar

        And clearly Danger Girl could keep a straight face and say that she thought the black Challenger was a black Camry. Had to believe, but harder to disprove.

        I once knew a woman something like that. Never lacked for my daily quotient of adrenaline the whole time we were together, and at that time, my quotient tended towards the high end of the bell curve.

        JB’s DG is probably drop dead gorgeous and up there on the IQ scale as well…that is usually the combination that breeds such statistical outliers.

        While I neither long for the return of those days or that girl, I am glad I once had the opportunity. If only for its educational value, though that is clearly self-deception. It was thrilling while it lasted, though it was doomed to crash and burn sooner or later.

        Imagine a veritable Little Annie Fanny with a genius IQ and an NYC upbringing. A challenge I was helpless to resist at the time, in my early thirties and fairly recently divorced.

        All the best, Jack…have fun and make hay while the sun shines.

        • 0 avatar
          Domestic Hearse

          Exactly. I’ve been at many smaller airports where the rental stock sits in a lot outside the rental door, past the lightly staffed row of rental companies indoors, and one can simply walk out, find a rental with the keys hanging in the ignition, toss one’s bag in the back said rental car and drive straight the f*** out the exit, which is always automated and more likely than not unmanned.

    • 0 avatar

      The rental car lots of most small airports are a joke. You could probably steal every car there and no one would notice and there are no walls, gates or booths or anyone to check you in or out. The airport in the town where my cousin lives probably has 10 people total in there at a time, maybe 20, passengers included.

  • avatar

    Maybe it’s just me, but I read “this being a different kind of publication than it was in days past” simply as meaning that Jack Baruth is no longer EIC and therefore he’s seen fit to pull in his leash a couple of centimeters; I’m pretty sure that had Mark Stevenson told him to back off, not only would this story not have appeared here, but we’d have heard about Stevenson’s presumed perfidy on Baruth’s own Web site.

    Besides, Jack still carries off that “This is what I want to be when I grow up” vibe, despite the fact that I’m 20 years older than he is.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Started out at LAX and ended up at John Wayne in Santa Barbra.

    The 3 cylinder car was a 2014 Ford Fiesta Sedan or Hatchback with a one litre EcoBoost.

    The woman, well, she’s seems like the dream to have for an exciting time, but a handful to marry.

    I also thought 405 was the busiest or one of the busiest highway in the US. This woman got balls doing 85.

  • avatar


  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    You typically can’t exit from a rental car entrance. They have these one-way spikes you drive over that will shred the tires if you go the opposite way over them.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      After some discussion with a few people, what we’ve come to believe is that part of the agency had been relocated to another part of the garage due to construction in the main rental area, thus opening up an exit that didn’t pass security.

    • 0 avatar

      There aren’t any rental gates here, unless you’re at the airport. Just an open lot where the cars sit all the time!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Danger Girl is a Ferrari Enzo.

    I married Safe Girl 28 happy years ago – more like a Camry, perhaps.

    We all want the Enzo, but the Camry goes the distance with less pain.

    And since I got tired of renting, I bought.

    • 0 avatar

      “Danger Girl” to me is a German car bought out of warranty.

      • 0 avatar

        Danger Girl sounds more like a Lambo Aventador or a Koenigsegg to me.

        Full speed ahead, Katy bar the door. Catch me if you can. Hop on, strap in and hold on for dear life. The ride ain’t over til it’s over.

        Marvelously engineered, and horribly over-powered for most applications, yet clearly most young and young-at-heart-men’s fantasy.

        I once passed up a chance to buy a brand new Harley XLCR because it was clear to me that I couldn’t afford both it and the newly-met Little Annie Fanny nee’ of Bronx HS of Science, who looked SOOO good in those $100+ sweaters she was prone to wearing, in large quantities, on a project manager’s 1970’s NYC salary.

        Clearly I could afford one of those lifestyles at that point in my life (or so I thought), but not both at the same time.

        I still waver, sometimes thinking the game was worth the candle, and other times almost knowing I should have taken the XLCR, modded it heavily, and turned it into a modern day Black Shadow. I seldom get the same answer to the question on successive days. The only thing I know is that when I finally met a woman who was more than her match, and only half the trouble, I figured perhaps that that was a sign. And besides, that time, I already had my then current version of big boy Hot Wheels, an 88 Thunderbird Sportcoupe 302 V8 with all the right options checked.

        That one has lasted for the last quarter of a century, and the Bird is now long gone, and while I miss it, I have no doubts that I have the better part of the deal. And with my only son thrown in as an additional prize, on top of that.

        But the Annie Fanny/XLCR conundrum (that IS the correct spelling, you dirty-minded ones out there) is the one that makes me wonder still. And my guess is that Jack will also be in a state of SMH somewhere down the line. Or, he may end up with the one he can’t stand, and can’t stand to lose. In that case, I hope he is as lucky as I was. She was, and is, more than a handful, but a handful I am more than happy to handle, however difficult that might be at any given moment.

        At the least, I’m never bored, in spite of seldom having to risk my *ss the way I used to when younger. As the reporter telegraphed to his editor as he declined a request/order to go into a dangerous combat zone: “Sorry. I only have one *”.

        And if I’m a cat, I only have one or two lives left. But the new one keeps me young. The old one nearly made an old man out of me well before my time.

        I used to resent her next boy-toy, but in time I came to feel sorry for him, as he was only the, as she used to say, “next victim”.

        Jack, if he makes it to a 100, will be like the old man, who on his 100th birthday was interviewed by a young reporter, who asked what he did to take care of himself in order to live that long. Instead he replied that he had led a life of debauchery for most of his life…wine, women and song, with cigars thrown in for good measure.

        When the followup question was asked “Weren’t you concerned that that might have shortened your life?”, the old man replied “I decided a long time ago that I would rather end up regretting what I did, than regretting what I didn’t.”

        That has been my philosophy, and it seems like it is also the operating principle for Jack.

        Rock on, Jack! A bit Falstaffian, perhaps, but boring? Never! Neither for him, or for us.

  • avatar

    I just want to know where you got a rental car off the premises with no gate or tire blowing spikes. You said garage so it isnt LGB though you could easily make off with a car from there. Was it SNA? Not that i have tried but the rental cars always seem to be secured in their little area pretty well.

    Ahh see your explanation above now that i refreshed the page.

    • 0 avatar

      Also depends on the airport. Most have the normal security booth with a gate and an employee. However smaller ones just have an open lot. Greensboro (GSO/PIT) is a prime example of the later. I’m a Hertz Gold Member but almost drove off in an Enterprise rental late one night completely by accident because they have that “grab any car in the row and go” system. There was nothing to stop me. Literally not-a-thing! It is a parking lot and after hours nobody is there. No gate, no employees, just a line of cars with keys sitting in them. Some are likely returns that have not been checked back in, thus you could (in theory) rent those on someone else’s dime. They don’t check ID when you return, they just confirm your name with the standard “How was the vehicle Mr. X? Did you fill it? Can we charge to the credit card on file?” So if you answer “fine, yes and yes” your done.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Perhaps Danger Girl doesn’t believe in using condoms.

  • avatar

    I am in tears reading this, this was great. More articles like this please.

  • avatar

    I really enjoyed the article. I feel the article was missing something. Perhaps if it began like this…

    Dear Penthouse forum, I never thought that I would be writing to you but….

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Arright, Johnny Barracuda. Lemme guess, this particular Danger Girl is Sydney Savage.

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