"Klotz" As In "Blood"

A Testament to the Insidious Impact of Florida Sunshine on Brain Matter

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Law and Auto

Filed under: News from the Nation's Dicktip — Steve @ 12:10 am

Gotta rent a car and drive to Orlando. Make my reservation at the local Alamo, Guido drops me off at the gate. Put my card in the machine, get my contract and directions to the mysterious vehicle (a “beige Mirage”? What’s that, an acid flashback?) in the huge parking lot. Get to the car, grab the key, walk around to the trunk, pop it open……

Damn! Looks like the last customer left his corpse in here.

Trudge back to the glittering chrome and glass building to change my contract, get another car, and what the hell, report the dead body. (“There’s no time for mourning, Sahib. It’s this hellish climate. We have to bury them fast.“)

It takes a while to attract the attention of a “customer service” agent. But he raises not an eyebrow when I tell him of my discovery. He just nods, reaches for the phone. Identifying himself by surname and desk position, he says something like, “Gotta 676 code black in forward lot”–glancing at the contract–“space 23, beige mirage plate number….” and hangs up.

We size each other up over the counter.

“You have a specific code for a customer discovering a corpse in the car?” I finally ask.

He hesitates ever so briefly. “Certainly,” he says, keeping a stiff upper corporate facade. “At Alamo Ft. Lauderdale we’re trained to handle all sorts of, um, eventualities.” He glances downward. “We’ll have the vehicle, er, serviced and ready for you in five minutes.”

I blink. “You’re not planning on calling the police?” I ask. “I mean, that’s not a missing golf bag in there, it’s a human body…and it’s pretty recent, too, or I would have smelled it across the lot.”

“Everything will be taken care of, sir,” he says, wincing slightly. “Beginning, of course, with your automobile needs. As soon as your car is, uh, serviced and readied”–he glances at his watch–“in fact…” He looks out the window behind him. “Aah! Here it is! Thank you for choosing Alamo!”

Sure enough, there’s what appears to be the same nondescript, neutral colored vehicle. That body must have disappeared faster than a Guatemalan labor leader.

I don’t know if I’m more appalled or curious. “I realize we’re in a banana republic,” I begin, “but even so, wouldn’t you agree that when a dead human body is discovered in a vehicle, there’s enough of a suggestion of a crime that the police might want to take a glance at it? I might be driving off a major piece of evidence in a murder investigation!”

“Of course, sir,” he oozes, professionally. “We’re appreciative of your concerns, but I assure you, we’re strictly adhering to established procedures and guidelines. The car is yours–I even updated the contract to allow three extra hours as compensation for the delay.” He manages a sickly smile that can’t mask his eyes’ insincerity: I imagine the removed corpse looks better. “And thank you again for choosing Alamo!”

Yeah. Alamo Rent-A-Hearse. I’m not having this. “Look,” I say, “this isn’t a lost suitcase we’re talking about. This is a body. A corpse. A stiff. Human fucking remains,” index finger rhythmically stabbing the counter. “You don’t just scoop it up, chuck it into a Hefty bag, vacuum the trunk, and drive the damn car off into the sunset.” I can’t even be sure they even vacuumed the trunk, actually. “There’s no way that car can be put back on the street before the authorities have a chance to check it out–and I’m not gonna answer questions later about making evidence vanish. You don’t wanna call the cops,” I brandish my cell phone. “Fine, but I will.”

He swallows, then drops his head an inch from the formica counter, and leaves it there for a full fifteen second interval, regrouping.

“It happens twice a month,” he states abruptly, head snapping up.

“What does?” I ask, somehow already knowing.

“A body in the trunk,” he hisses. “Twice a month. Usually we find it when the car is returned and serviced: this time I guess maintenance cut a corner and never looked in the trunk. It’s always pretty fresh. We called the Broward Sheriffs Office so much they don’t even come out any more. It’s always the same story. The body is never claimed, never even identified. No fingerprints or dental records on file. Death is usually caused by one well-placed bullet, or strangulation. Once it was poison, twice it was drowning.

“It’s not that nobody cares, it’s just that it’s so futile. And now it’s routine. We have a code for it, guidelines, a chapter in the personnel manual on handling it. There’s paperwork. BSO told us not to bother them unless there’s something irregular–that’s their word–just call the morgue after rush hour to avoid publicity. That’s all this is”–he’s practically whispering–“publicity Alamo wants to avoid. We don’t want channel 4 in here, or the papers, or–God forbid!–the National Enquirer! And it’s not just us–Hertz, Avis, Dollar, it’s all the rental agencies! His eyes are wide, pleading. “Now won’t you please be on your way?”

My turn to think for a moment. “Okay,” I say. “But listen. I can’t in good conscience drive that car. What else have you got?”

He straightens up, gently tugs his jacket. Magically, his features compose, facial lines vanish; the corporate quarter-smile reappears. “Yessir,” he says crisply. “Perhaps an upgrade. No charge, of course.” He punches up the computer. “A full-sized auto, such as a Buick LeSabre or other fine General Motors vehicle, is available, or perhaps an SUV……”

18 Responses to “Law and Auto”

  1. Al Capone Says:

    Let me ask you that as an impressed Al Capone: This story is true or you’re making it up? If I think of all the work the mafia did in the good old times to get rid of a body …

  2. Rollo Nickels Says:

    I call BULLSHIT!! I deal with Alamo all the damn time. No friggin’ way they give you an upgrade just for something minor like this.

  3. Mr Schwinnkle Says:

    I call bullshit too, not just this story but all of it. Klotzenburger is full of shit and I have known this for a long time. Two hookers found cut in 1/2 in a dumpster outside Pet Supermarket on US-1 my ASS!

  4. Otto Moe Beal Says:

    Yeah this strains credibility. Then again, it’s on record that BSO got into all sorts of trouble for under-reporting crime stats: maybe somebody made a deal with somebody and, well, somebody else slipped up? tranger things have happened in south Florida. And it took em years to finally arrest somebody for offing Gus Boulis.

  5. J Hoffa Says:

    So thats where I am

  6. Hollywood Hal Says:

    Mr Shnnickle: The story about a hooker found dead, in two pieces, inside the Pet Supermarket dumpster on Federal Highway at about Sheridan is true. I clearly remember the story reported in both the Herald and the Lauderdale paper, although I can’t seem to find it on either paper’s website now. What’s this got to do with Alamo?

  7. Ted End Says:

    I believe the story. I find things in rental cars all the time. One time I found an umbrella.  I still have it!

  8. Mr Schwinnkle Says:

    Hal what I am saying is the writer is full of Shit, his eyes are brown from it!

  9. B.F.D. Says:

    Oh like finding bodies in car trunks and dumpsters is something special rght. BFD!! Go to India where dead bodies lay all over the city streets all the time and nobody even thinks twice except to say BFD! Or haiti where the corpses get up out of their graves and walk to the market place. Ooooh dead bodies! BFD! BFD!!

  10. Kent Standit Says:

    Don’t know about everybody else, but after living in south Florida for a while, I see corpses everywhere I go. They drive cars, they wait tables, they serve at counters, they run the schools, and they post comments on blogs like this one. This blog, I mean. Not this comment. Shit. I’m outta here.

  11. Who do Voodoo Says:

    You got something against zombies?

  12. Mr Schwinnkle Says:

    Kent dead bodies dont wait tables they are the ones stealing the Sugar, Sweet and Low, salt and pepper, and anything else they can use from the Rascal House. They are sitting at the tables and looking through the steering wheel, not over it.

  13. gansibele Says:

    Kent, you must not have lived in South Florida for that long, or you would have remembered that another thing corpses do in Florida is vote in mayoral elections.

  14. Hanging Chad Says:

    I resent that, gansibele. Our election system throughout the state of Florida is fair, honest, accurate, and completely integrous. Oh, and Katherine Harris for Senate!

  15. Mr Schwinnkle Says:

    Have ya looked at the City of Hollywood Commisioners lately? Talk about dead plus 100 years!

  16. MadamI Says:

    Mr. Sinkhole, still stuck on those hookers are you!

  17. Beardsley Says:

    I’ve read this twice (and the comments). As usual, it’s well written (I liked “he oozes, professionally”). It’s also 100% fiction. Let’s get real. There’s no body in the trunk, let alone a code to alert maintenance, a chapter on procedure in the employee handbook, and a standing agreement with BSO on disposal. I am confident — I certainly hope — that anybody reading this would draw the same conclusion. Even “Ted End.”

    Good job. Keep it up.

  18. Mr Schwinnkle Says:

    No I am not but makes me not believe a damn thing that comes out of this blog writers mouth or what is typed. On the other hand IBDKING is stuck on those hookers. I wonder how many he is finding up there in Pahokee? I guess no one told him about the good lookin ones in Dania are cops and the ugly ones are hookers.

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