SHORT STORY: Rental Sting

SHORT STORY: Rental Sting

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Joe Pentos never let things skate. He cheated on his taxes. He kicked over his neighbour’s bins. When store clerks ignored him, he shoplifted. He yelled at other people’s children and flipped off pro-lifers and generally did as he pleased. In our work shop, he was a god. No one pushed him around, not even the boss man Barry. When Barry took Joe’s parking space, Joe took it right back, lifting the keys from Barry’s desk and saying, ‘Drink from my dick Barry.’ He could do that. Joe Pentos may have been a lowly car detailer but he was unfuckwithable.

So last week, when Joe saw the black Chrysler with all the blood smeared inside it, he went and found the client’s number and called him.

We all watched.

‘Is this Jimmy?’ he said into the phone.

Joe had no idea who Jimmy May was. Joe did not accept modern music.


We found out later that May had been high as hell when he rented from us. It was on the internet. He’d put his actual cell number down on the hire agreement.

‘You listen to me you lousy fuck,’ said Joe. ‘What you did to that car was wrong. A human being now has to clean it. *I* have to clean it. You know what a rental car is? It’s a metaphor for life, motherfucker. You get total control, just for a while, and then you get tiny little mistakes that cost you everything. It all adds up son, so use your head next time okay?’ and so on.

Eventually, there was a pause.

Then Joes screams, 'It doesn't matter who you are!'

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