Anyway, I drop it off at the Volvo place in Dedham and now I've got yet another rental car- this time it's a Nissan Altima. Which is very nice. However, someone at Enterprise forgot to tell me something important about the car. I pulled out of the parking lot and wondered why the engine sounded so loud and then noticed that it was red lining, with RPMs around 6 and 7. I stopped at a light. Noise subsided. A number on the electronic display went from 3 to 1. Huh? Now I know very little about driving stick, but I do know that it involves RPMs. I look at the gearshift. It seems to have some plus and minus signs. I experiment and tap the gearshift. The car sounds a bit better. I tried again. Yep. That seemed to do the trick. For now.
I pull over into a parking lot to check out what the driver's manual has to say. I reached into the glove compartment and pull out... a DVD. Yep, the owner's manual is a DVD, which is not very helpful when driving down Route 1.
I made it to work, playing around with the shifter the whole time, and check out the Nissan website. Turns out the car is a a half-assed standard, not a true automatic. I also managed to find a non-DVD version of the user's manual. This was helpful, allowing me to figure out how to keep the car from sliding out of automatic and into standard (which seems to have been the problem this morning).
On a similar note, I swear my Volvo is it's own anti-theft device. No one in my neighborhood would want to steal it, since it would probably just break. (Not that a Volvo has the street value of a Lexus or Honda.)