As previously noted, we took Eddie Jetta up to the GEICO approved body shop in High Upper Freaking Northern Impassable Modesto, which is okay because it's the only shop in the area with GEICO's guarantee. They also work with the Enterprise rental joint around the corner, where we'd be renting a car to get us through the week without our ride. GEICO made us a reservation, Enterprise picked us up promptly, we got to their shop, and I knew when we walked in the door that we were in trouble.
How many rental car places have you been where there's a row of 20 chairs along the window? In how many of them were the chairs half-full or more? At 10:30 am?
You see, we had a reservation, but Enterprise didn't have any cars. There were about 8 people ahead of us, who had been waiting long enough that they had stopped complaining, and had begun to settle down and grow moss. They were getting cars from their downtown Modesto shop, and from Manteca, which is 30 miles away. They were shuttling people out to these places. After about 45 minutes' wait, we were approached by a poker-faced rental agent and office sub-manager named Rich, who offered us a cargo van for the time being, you know the type - the unmarked white windowless vans favored by child abductors.
So here's what you should do to while away a day in Modesto: set up an easy car rental reservation, and instead wind up with a pedophiliomobile to drive around on your errands, making jokes about who in the store would be a good option ("Hey, that mom isn't paying the slightest attention to her mewling brat, let's grab it!"). Then, having done all the errand-running Modesto can really accommodate (this is roughly three hours' worth, if you stretch it), run the sucker down the Crankster Freeway to Turlock, trade it in for a proper car down there, abandoning the van. Only 6 hours later, we're home from picking up a rental car. Voila! Day gone!