Kia makes a little car called -- I kid you not, the Sou. When Budget told us that’s what we’d be renting, what I heard was Sol. You know, like the sun. Yeah, that made sense to me; I’d be driving around in a yellow car called the Sun. Sizzlin’! Or maybe it would be “Sole” like a way to get around but better than on foot. It never occurred to me that they would name a car after the spirit within.
But, no, when I saw it, it was the Soul. Should you miss the name in chrome on the tail of the car, you certainly cannot miss it emblazoned all over the comfortably padded seat backs: soulsoulsoulsoul. Sort of makes you hesitant to lean back too hard for fear of squashing. Don’t get me wrong, though; the Soul is a good little car. It’s a box-like vehicle that handles surprisingly well for, what seems to me its non-aerodynamic shape. The knee to pedal ratio is really good (always an issue for me with my lanky legs), and the storage in the back is adequate. Gas mileage isn’t bad. Ours, ironically, is the color of gray mud. All I have to do in parking lots is look for the mud box, and that’s us.
I like everything about the car except its lack of rear view visibility. The view in the rear view mirror seems pretty good, but then a car whooshes by on your right, and you had no idea it was there. Glancing to your right rear won’t help either. There are big, freakin’ frame spans between the back side and rear windows that obscure all attempts to see what’s there. My husband showed me how to angle the right mirror waaaay out so that I could see into the right lane behind me. That does the trick. The view to the right rear is a bit better because that is the side where the driver is sitting. Still, it’s less than optimum to be always just praying that you’re not going to ram someone as you pull over into the lane next to you.
Did you ever rant that some people were soulless? Did you ever really think it? (Politicians excluded -- that’s not where I’m going with this, honest.) In my over-analytical, over-imaginative mind, I clearly see the connection between the problems of the Soul and the soul. Many people we consider soulless or conscienceless (politicians or no) are those that never look back. If they do look back, something in their makeup obscures what they are able to see in the past. This means, of course, that they are not able to link what’s been done in the past to what’s going on now to what will happen in the future. No vision of consequences means no progress for the soul.
Now, though, if you worry that you’re not kind enough or righteous enough or spiritual enough, if you worry you don’t have a soul, you can simply buy one. Yes, you can. Granted, it’s a Soul you climb into instead of a soul that’s inside you, but you can go to your Kia dealer and pick one up. Problem solved.
I think I’d prefer driving a Sol, a sparkling star, than a Soul. I imagine myself humming along the highway, bursting with light, illuminating the landscape, being an inspiration to everyone driving by. Oooh, you can buy a sun from Honda. It sports a removable roof from which, I image, your soul can fly.