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Rent-a-Car and a Friend in Robinson

Is is practical to live in the suburbs without owning a car? Columnist Gab Bonesso has some personal experiences to share!

I spent the better part of 2012 not owning a car. For many suburbanites this idea does not compute. I wish I could tell you the reason for not owning a car was my decision to go green. I wish that it had more to do with a personal philosophy rather than a lack of funds. But alas. I am the embodiment of a freelance artist.

You may not agree, but I think being a freelance artist without a car is sometimes arguably more difficult than someone who has a steady job. With a steady job your schedule is concrete. You can make alternate arrangements whether it be by bus, bike, foot or cab.

As a freelance artist you can literally get a call and have to be somewhere in an hour and if you are not available then you don’t get the gig.  As the old saying goes, “that’s show business”.

I was very lucky that throughout the year my older sister was beyond accommodating by letting me use her car when I had to work. She and I would go over our mutual schedules for the week and she would do everything in her power to make her car available. I don’t know what I would have done without her. 

It is gratifying and annoying to get a sudden out-of-the-blue call for work.  Initially I thought the answer was taking a taxi.  One trip to the south side of Pittsburgh and $100 later I knew I needed another option.

My mother had heard about a deal at Enterprise Rent-a-Car where you could get a car for the entire weekend for only $9.99 a day. 

I called them and they said that special was available on weekends, which seemed like a really great deal considering the price of the cab!

I became a regular customer at the Campbell's Run Road location. Very regular.  I started renting cars on weekends the way most people go to the movies. It was like I got to pretend to be somebody else each weekend. I even started renting cars on weekends when I didn’t have to work. 

It wasn’t just the rental car.  Oddly enough, I made a new friend.  There was this guy who would always come to pick me up to get the car. His name was Robert Frost  (like the poet). He was the coolest guy ever. He fought in Korea, he flew fighter planes, he was in a rock band that traveled the country when he was only 16. He volunteers with the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township, and he adores his wife and stepson.

He’s just a charmer.  Sadly, the last time I was in Enterprise I told everyone that I was looking at buying a car. Bob literally gasped and said, “No! Well you’ll still come in and visit, right?”

I am sad to say that I have yet to go visit my friend Bob. I don’t know why the minute you go back to owning a car it seems like you never have free time. I guess because your friends start expecting you to show up at things again.

I think Enterprise should consider running a special on renting Bob for an afternoon. I would pay double the money to hear a couple more of his awesome stories. Plus, think of the new branding: Enterprise Rent-a-Car and maybe a-Friend!

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