Rental or Resident?

Long ago and far away, I used to live about 15 minutes from the ski town I work in now and regularly commuted through the quaint little town. Every year starting around this time I would play a little game I invented called "Count the Tour Buses". Totals would go up exponentially the closer we came to October and Fall Foliage.

This year, I find myself playing a different, more challenging game. It's called "Rental or Resident?" It's easy to pick out the out-of-state tourists who drive their own vehicles; the license plates aren't green. But for those visitors renting cars at the local airport and driving around the state, it gets a little more tricky. But here's what I noticed:

1. Late model cars with not a speck of dirt, dust or rust on them anywhere: Rental

2. Any car made before 2008, covered in dust, with a windshield covered in bug guts and missing at least one hubcap: My car Resident

3. Any car made after 2008, sparkling clean, roaring down the interstate at 90 mph, weaving in and out of traffic like he was in some kind of action movie: Rental

4. After stopping for a red light, when it turns green it takes at least 30 seconds before the car starts inching forward: Resident (possibly one of the most annoying habits of Vermont drivers ever, and I AM one).

5. Any Vermont car going 43 in a 50 zone: Rental. Exception: If it is an early model truck held together with duct tape and wishful thinking or farm equipment: Resident

6. A car is pulled over by the side of the road yet still taking up half the lane, and all the occupants are taking pictures of the sunset/cow/moose: Rental

7. A car with a Vermont license plate pulls into the Ben & Jerry's Factory for the tour: Rental. Exception: Resident driver with at least one non-resident in the car. The tour was only cool to Vermonters when B&J was an actual Vermont business owned by two hippies with a hankering. Now that it's owned by Unilever, Vermonters don't care.

8. A car toodling along the road at a fair clip suddenly and without warning turns on to a different road. When you drive by, you see a "Garage Sale" sign: Resident

9. A car toodling along the road at a fair clip suddenly and without warning turns on to a different road. When you drive by, you see the "Lake Champlain Chocolates" sign: Rental

10. A car with a Vermont plate parked in a decent spot in my quaint little ski town: Rental. All the locals who work there are parked out in the boonies behind the hotels/shops/restaurants and hoof it in.

Obviously, my commute in and out of the area is long enough where I have this kind of time on my hands...

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