Monday, September 20, 2004

Various Odds & Ends Of My Recent Trip to Philadelphia

Impala vs. Deer

I never pay for Collision Damage Waiver when renting a car. In theory, your car insurance should cover everything except the deductible, and I usually use a Gold MasterCard, because that covers everything up to $25,000 valuation, which certainly includes the deductible. (I first found out about this when I was renting a car in Britain, where my domestic car insurance wouldn't apply.)

Well, this time around, the rental car guy at Enterprise was pushing a little, not unreasonably hard, so I took the CDW. It was only $18 a day, and I will be getting reimbursed for the travel expenses anyway. (If you've contributed money to the NRA Civil Rights Legal Defense Fund--that's where some of your funding goes.)

In spite of my worst fears of Philadelphia drivers deciding to play bumper cars with me, I had absolutely no problems--until the last day, about 100 miles north of Philly. I was coming out of the Jacobsburg State Historic Park, where the Henry Gun Factory was. A deer came running across the road at high speed, in a place where the trees are just about up to the road. I was going 50 mph, and there was no way to stop in time.

It made a terrible noise, broke headlights on the left, dented the hood in the middle, and removed the right sideview mirror. I felt really bad about this--deer are among the more beautiful wildlife, and this was a perfect doe. There are advantages to driving a full-sized car, however. In the battle between 4000 pounds of car and 120 pounds of deer, that momentum meant that I didn't lose control of the car, nor was the care undriveable. Having paid for the CDW, I didn't even have a deductible to pay.

Philadelphia Cheese Steak

I grew up in Santa Monica. In Venice, on Lincoln Blvd., there was a ratty little stand called Great Western Steak & Hoagie. They served their notion of a Philly Cheese Steak with a sign that said, "3000 miles to Philly. Eat here."

Having now sampled Philadelphia's versions of the cheese steak sandwich, including those produced by Pat's King of Steaks (who claim to have originated the concept in 1930), I can't say that the Venice version is any worse.

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