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I suppose that this is why you buy a Kia…

December 4, 2017, 2:59 PM

I suppose that what happened to me recently is exactly why you buy a Kia.  My car had been making some funny noises for a while, but since the check engine light had not come on yet, I figured that I had time to deal with it, and put it off until later.  This past Monday, the noises got noticeably worse, and the “check engine” light finally came on.  That’s when I scheduled a repair with a Kia dealer (since I suspected it might be covered by the warranty) and booked a rental car for the upcoming repair.  Then the car finally quit on me on the way to work, i.e. it just cut off in the middle of Georgia Avenue in Olney.  Thankfully, I was able to coast to a safe location to call for a tow truck.

The car ended up riding on the back of a tow truck from Olney directly to the dealer, and then I took the bus the rest of the way to work.  Then the next day, Elyse and I took a bus down to Rockville to pick up the rental car and talk to the people working on my real car.  I decided to kill two birds with one stone on that one, because I had planned a trip to IKEA during that time anyway, so I rented a truck.  So for a few days, I went from a Kia Soul – a compact – to a Ram 1500 pickup truck.  That thing was massive:

My rented Ram 1500 pickup truck

Talking to the people at the dealership, meanwhile, was perhaps the best thing that I had happen all day, because of one simple phrase: “The repair is under warranty.”  That was an excellent thing to hear, because the sentence right before it was, “It needs a new engine.”  The dealer also agreed to cover part of the cost of the rental car while I was getting the repairs done.  The truck was a higher tier than they would pay for, but considering that I would have had to rent something for my IKEA visit anyway, I wasn’t very concerned about it.

My new temporary ride, meanwhile, was definitely a change.  That thing was bigger and wider than I was used to, and I didn’t know how it handled.  Interestingly enough, my first instinct was to drive it like I do when I drive a bus, meaning riding the curb lane and using the “roping” method for steering.  That lasted until I got more comfortable with the truck.  Then I started driving it more like I drive the car.  The truck made me appreciate why so many people who own these things have footboards on their vehicles.  Mine didn’t have any, and it was a bit of a challenge getting in and out.  That muscle where the thigh bone meets the hip (hip flexor?) was sore from the constant climbing up and down.  It also had a V8 engine in it, which is twice as much engine as I’m used to, as the Kia Soul has a four-cylinder.  Very easy to speed in that thing.  It also had a massive fuel tank, and gobbled up fuel like there was no tomorrow.  When I filled it up the night before I returned it, for two days’ driving around town, it had consumed the equivalent of an entire tank on the Soul.  That’s the kind of car that will eat you out of house and home in fuel costs.  I’m not saying that this truck wasn’t fun to drive, but it’s definitely not something that I would ever buy for myself.

But it served its purpose at IKEA.  I had planned a trip to IKEA with Elyse and our friend Dave in order to get some furniture for the house.  I needed a new complete bedroom set (Elyse got my old one), plus Elyse needed a few pieces to complete her own setup, including shelves, a nightstand, and a desk.  I ended up getting Hemnes again for myself, since it had served me well over the last ten years.  One important thing when I bought the house was seeing this during the showing:

IKEA Hemnes dresser, when I first saw the house

Nothing helps you mentally furnish a house when you’re going to house showings than finding your exact model of furniture in place.  My new dresser is going in the same spot – once I put it together.

Elyse, meanwhile, got these:

Elyse got two of these 2x2 Kallax shelves.
Elyse got two of these 2×2 Kallax shelves.

She also got this Fredde desk.  This is going to be her gaming station.
She also got this Fredde desk.  This is going to be her gaming station.

We also peeked at area rugs, and I found this, among other things:

Green shag carpet.  Nooooooooooooooooooope.
Green shag carpet.  Nooooooooooooooooooope.

That rug gave me flashbacks to my time living in Rogers, Arkansas, when we had green shag carpeting all throughout the house.  That was as ugly back in 1985 as it is today.  We pulled some of that carpet out within a year or so of moving to Rogers when we replaced the linoleum in the kitchen and the laundry room, and made the dining area linoleum as well.  Then we ripped all of it out in September 1991, replacing it with a beige berber carpeting (and turned the dining area carpet again).  I remember that the berber carpets that we got back then didn’t wear that well, and when we moved in less than a year, they didn’t look that great.  I imagine that those berber rugs are long gone by now, considering this description in the most recent real estate listing:

Newly renovated 4BR home with mother-in-law suite. New appliances, granite, windows, siding, floors, & paint. Huge deck to enjoy secluded backyard. 3 full baths & cozy fireplace. Move-in ready!

Something tells me that the “mother-in-law suite” is our old utility room, where I used to go to play Atari in the last couple of years that we lived there.  That room had a random toilet in it as well as a utility sink.  I imagine that this is now the third full bath that didn’t exist when we were there.  Likewise, it sounds like the kitchen is unrecognizable from our time there, now with granite and such.  I just hope that they left all of the built-in storage in the family room.  That was great for storing toys.

But in any case, there will be no green shag carpet in my house as long as I have anything to say about it.

Then after we picked up all of the boxes for our stuff, I encountered this:

"Some people are squirrel-handed.  Gregor is a weird name."
“Some people are squirrel-handed.  Gregor is a weird name.”

And then our haul fit neatly in the bed of the truck:

Our haul.

That was about $1500 worth of stuff right there, waiting to be assembled.

And then on Friday, the car was ready, having been fully repaired.  I picked her up on Saturday, and she was just gleaming:

Glad to see you again!

As much fun as I had with the truck, it’s always good to see your real car again, that is completely paid for.  Meanwhile, I realize that this is silly to think about, but I can’t help but think that just maybe the Soul was jealous of all the attention that I was giving to houses, and this was its way of saying, “Don’t forget about me!”

And with the return of my real car, we had to say goodbye to the truck:

Returning the truck to Enterprise

I was glad to get rid of it, but Elyse was sad to see it go.  She had even named it “Kevin Wiggins”.  The “Kevin” part came from Elyse’s less-than-perfect vision and my driving it right after an eye exam.  The dilating drops temporarily made me quite farsighted, and so a message that said “Key in ignition” looked like “Kevin” to both of us.  Then the “Wiggins” part is a twist on the usual “wiggles” names that Elyse sometimes gives things.

So all in all, I think that the truck was a fun adventure, and with a new bed in my possession, hopefully it won’t be long before I can deflate the air mattress and sleep in a real bed again.

Categories: House, IKEA, Kia Soul