Monday, April 7, 2008

Anna Hates Her Car

It worries me a bit to talk smack about my car. Maybe doing so sets myself up for some horrific crash/explosion/freak accident/etc. But at this point, it just has to be said: I hate my car. Its only saving graces are that it somehow miraculously still has all four doors, and is often an answer in crossword puzzles, as both “Kia” and “Rio” have that awesome two-vowel combo.

My parents bought me this little she-devil from my friend Jon two summers ago. For what we were looking to pay – the used car equivalent of shopping at Forever 21, I think – he gave us a good deal on a nice little car that would get me to the grocery store, my summer job, and back and forth from Milwaukee for a variety of family events involving cake. Great. She still does all that. And she had a huge advantage over the ’91 Honda Civic I had at the time because she can drive in reverse without being pushed.

The advantages, however, effectively end there. My Kia is a featureless car. Though 12 years newer than the KANU – our nickname for the Honda, after his Kansas public radio bumper sticker – the Kia actually regressed in automatic features. The Kia does not have automatic windows. The Kia does not have automatic locks. If you want to adjust your right side passenger mirror while driving, you have to wait until you hit a red light or a stop sign so you can awkwardly reach across the seat and try nudge the little knob just enough to get some semblance of visibility.

The most glaring and most laughable lack of a standard car feature, however, is clearly the absence of a trunk-popping lever inside the vehicle. This means that if I am driving with others and they need to get something out of my trunk (which they invariably must since the two cubic feet of space inside the car barely accommodates five people much less five people AND their cell phones AND their wallets AND their KEYS!), I have to put the Kia in park, turn the Kia off, get outside and open the trunk for them with the key. Seriously. This is not something I thought to check while the Kia was still on the lot, because what the hell kind of car doesn’t have a trunk popper?? Most cars now, in fact, have glow in the dark trunk poppers INSIDE THE TRUNK in the highly unlikely event that you are carjacked and put in your own trunk, yet are daring enough to make an escape. In the likely event, however, that someone should want to use my trunk from the outside, I am put at a grave and, to others, an unceasingly hilarious inconvenience.

As to the Rio’s durability, I’ve blown one of its tiny tires, had a front axle replaced and had to re-weld the back right tire into place. In the last year. (FYI that back tire was moving “left and right and up and down and left and right” while I drove. So that wiggle you all were feeling in the back was not so much endearing or strange, but in fact incredibly dangerous.) And I don’t even want to talk about how much I have spent on these kinds of repairs because I don’t make nearly enough money to joke about how much of it I waste on the Kia.

Maybe I like torturing myself this way. Maybe I need the Kia for more than weekend trips to Milwaukee and the grocery store. Maybe I need something to complain about, something to worry about, and something to waste my money on. In fact, when I get rid of this car, every six months I will take $300 and set it on fire. Then I will walk to the grocery store and take the train to Milwaukee and stop worrying about all four wheels falling off simultaneously when I hit 60 mph as the Rio explodes into a fiery mess of willow green.


Cy said...

I know the pain of no power windows or locks all too well. It's humiliating. Plus the window rollers in my last car went the opposite way of every other car ever made, which did make it a little funny when someone (especially Smalls) would try to roll down the window and fail miserably.

Candice said...

My old Jeep (RIP) had all the shortcomings your Kia lacks as well, but throw in "manual" side mirrors - i.e. to change the passenger side mirror's angle, I would ask the passenger to roll the window down and twist the thing into the right position. And it was the Sahara edition, i.e. the most expensive one, because it had a CD player.

Courtney said...

Well, my wonderful '90 honda civic dx didn't even have a side mirror. They only came on the EX and LX editions. So if I wanted that mirror adjusted, well I'd ask the passenger to roll down the window and hold out the small cosmetic mirror I kept in the glove compartment...

Kathleen said...

Haha, suckers. My car rocks. But that's only because UPS had to buy it for me after they ran over my old one . . . with me in it. (Actually, I highly recommend this technique if you are looking to upgrade your car - just be careful to avoid some of the more permanent consequences, such as death :)

anna said...

well thanks for your support guys, but notice how those are all cars that you HAD. this kia is a 2003, not a 1990. it sucks and i hate it.

Janelle said...

You took mine! It is not possible to hate a car as much as I hate mine right now. (although, yes, I am still smiling...)

This month: two speeding tickets (one was the hubby's) + one violation for not having a stupid front liscence plate + one brand new transmission + one brand new alternater + one brand new water pump + four new oxygen sensors (are four really necessary?!)= one starving artist who takes the bus a lot and has AAA "on call" to tow the beat up station wagon when she needs to take her harp out.
Dear America, please make hybrids that fit a harp.
Well, I guess I do still have power windows and automatic locks.