Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Raccoons are the window to the Soul

Now, I usually try to have a certain level of tolerance where vehicles are concerned. I don't believe in discrimination against cars based on their make, model, or the color of their paint (the obvious exception being the blue Toyota FJ Cruiser, which is still definitely following me. I am NOT paranoid.) However, I was recently introduced to the Kia Soul.

The series of events that led to the encounter with the Soul in question is an epic tale which I will save for a later time (that story will have its day soon, believe me.) All you need to know for now is that, on a family trip to Nebraska, my father hit a raccoon which managed to crack our radiator, screw over our engine, and effectively total our trusty Toyota Camry. After getting the car evaluated, we decided just to cut our losses and rent a car for the long drive home.

We asked for a "big" car so we could fit all our stuff. The dealership shoved us in a Kia Soul.

I did not like that car. Also, I kick like a girl. 

Now, the Soul's design is made entirely of dumb. I assume that this car happened because somebody over at Kia spoke up during a meeting and said "You know what I hate? Trunk space. Also back seats with leg room.What's up with that anyway? I say we get rid of those things and just make the car really tall instead!" And I assume that person was somebody powerful and intimidating, because then everybody else went along with it. That said, I ended up riding with my legs folded up on the seat and most of our luggage stacked on top of me. However, I am not here to complain about the Soul's stupid design. I'm sure the design is useful to somebody (really tall people with really short legs, for instance.) No, I was not so much angry at the car as I was mortified by it.

Okay. Look at this car:
When I first saw this car, I thought to myself  "Now that looks like a car that someone who is a douchebag might drive." I do not mean this as an insult to anyone who drives a Soul, but nobody can argue that it looks pretty uppity. This car is the preppy polo shirt of automobiles. 

Now consider that our rental had a California license plate. The effect was something akin to popping the collar of the aforementioned polo shirt.

I do not have anything against people from California. I know many lovely people from California. However, adding a California plate to this car somehow managed to make it look so smug and prissy that anybody would have wanted to punch whoever was driving it. 
 This car thinks it is better than you.

I cannot fully explain the effect that this had on my parents and I as we made our way home in that vehicle. All I know is that the first time we stopped at a rest area, we were each suddenly overcome with deep, burning shame. We shuffled past the other travelers, heads down, on our way to the bathrooms, quite certain that both they and their minivans were judging us.
I knew they were, cause I would be judging us too.

 In spite of that, the three of us somehow managed to suppress the urge to loudly inform the other people at the rest stop that it wasn't our car. We got the message across in a more... roundabout way.
Suffices to say that I have never been so mortified to be in a fancy car.
I am not quite sure what's wrong with my family, cause we've been clunking around in a rusty Nissan Sentra that nobody else would ever be caught dead in for years. We're usually not that concerned with what people think of us. Apparently we just have a deeply rooted fear of random strangers thinking that we are the kind of people who are from California and Drive a Kia. I guess we've got something against typifying upper-middle-class white suburbia.

Regardless, that is the story of how the Kia Soul and I became enemies.


misssrobin said...

I had the same reaction when the rental company gave us a monster truck. You should ask Jess about it. I couldn't return it fast enough.

Give me a good ol' clunker any day.

Meg said...

Two things. First, I hate all the cars that have the square rear. I hate them fiercely and unreasoningly. They are horrible and should be killed immediately. With fire. Second, a little (like, 5 or 6) boy came into the store where I work during the Memorial Day parade yesterday with the color of his polo up and my first thought was, "Wow, they sure are starting young these days."

WV: adedekin

I know it's selfish of me, but mostly I make note of the word verifications so I will have a way to find them again when I want to use them. Because seriously, what better way to make up words that aren't words but sound like they are?

Devin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Devin said...

It's not just that this car thought it was cool. Lots of cars think that. But some of them actually are cool. Mostly European cars like BMWs and Audis. But this is a KIA. Kia is the Renault of Asian cars. Most Asian cars are sensible and reliable and know their place. The Soul is possibly reliable, but yearns so hard to be cool that it screams uncool. It is Homer Simpson in a toupee and designer jacket.

Word verification: sarma. Stands for Sorry Arse Machine.