I’m going to take you on a little trip in the next few paragraphs. Close your eyes. Wait, don’t close your eyes; you need to continue reading. You can’t read through closed eyes! What were you thinking? C’mon man.
Imagine you’re on a beach. It’s beautiful. A skinny palm tree lofts above you hanging only a few coconuts near its crown. You look up and admire the clear blue sky and listen to the ocean lap the sand only a few feet away. I could stay here forever, you think, not considering how bad that sunburn would be, and then you hear it.
A growl. A low purr. More like a whine. Well, a wheeze. Alright more of a sputter. A sputter sounds right. You hear a calming sputter from behind the palm fronds that line the edge of the beach. Hmm, you consider, could that be what I think it is? You turn around and await your prey, the sputter coming closer and closer, when suddenly the fronds part and one of the bulbous headlights pops through the underbrush. The headlight looks confused, yet slightly entertained as it emerges from the jungle: The Kia Rio.
The Rio slides out onto the sand in what one could generously call a handbrake slide but one would realistically call “stopping slowly while turning” as the passenger door opens to welcome you and exposes a dashingly HANDSOME/CUTE MAN/WOMAN (you choose). Bueno, Vamos! He/she yells towards you. Why are you in a Kia Rio? you ask aloud.
It doesn’t matter; economical adventure awaits! Once inside El Rio you observe the supple plastics, the definite carpets, the seats that sit higher than a king’s thrown. The seats. Oh, the seats! If the princess felt that pea under hundreds of mattresses she would have throne herself out of a moving Rio while sitting in these “buckets.” Regardless, with a wry smile your driver plunges the gas pedal towards the floor.
Seconds later movement begins to happen, literally four cylinders firing at MAXIMUM capacity unceremoniously turning long-extinct dinosaur goo into exhaust to propel the “car” “forward.” Where are we going? You ask your new pilot. no lo sé! he/she replies excitedly, gripping the wheel tight as the Rio manages a hefty 25mph. God, I hope not much farther you continue.
With urgency the gearbox searches for another gear to continue thrusting you and your partner through the air. Birds sing, the sun shines down and the camera swoops across the palm tree-lined road like a high-budget car commercial as an elderly man walks ahead of the Rio. Sorry, not “ahead”, but actually past. His shuffle is faster than the Rio. This is bullshit.
You step out of the Rio and gaze upon it’s grand styling and body curve. Siiiii It’s like they dropped the clay model on the ground and said “Let’s do it!” You slam the door shut, the force threatening to flip over the entire car and most likely damaging something inside the fragile doorshell. GET OUT OF HERE you yell to your driver as they attempt to do a fiery burnout and only succeed in creating that clutch smell. You know the one.
What? Where am I? You wake up in a really, truly, just God-awfully uncomfortable seat cruising down I95. Ahead of you there are those same supple plastics, a styling design very reminiscent of 1990s Taco Bell, and your best friend driving. Wow bud you sure were out! You never left the Kia Rio. Is this hell? Maybe. Is this a Kia Rio? Definitely.
The other day I had to drive a Kia Rio for work. It was terrifying. Escaping in your own mind is the only way to make the best of it.