Only at the very end, when I was selling my dumpy old Kia after 12 years of use and abuse, did I come up with that pun–that I should have called that car Kia-stine. Old school Stephen King fans will get the joke.
Speaking of jokes, when I was selling it, I put up the following ad on Craigslist–I just messed around with it because I didn’t think anyone would really want it. The ad got a lot of positive feedback: one person texted and said, “I don’t want to buy the car, but great ad!” After some yahoos jerked us around about it, though, so I just ended up giving the car to the Make a Wish Foundation.
Anyway, preserved now for all eternity, is the Craigslist ad:
“2004 Kia Optima LX In Truly Awful Condition”
Listen, folks, I’m not gonna lie here. This car is falling apart. It actually used to be a great car, and was for many years, but I ran it into the ground with minimal maintenance. I’m asking for only half of the “fair” listing in KBB.
PROS: It always starts and runs. Never a problem there.
Battery and tires are strong with plenty of life left in them.
Has never exploded, caught on fire, divided by zero, committed a felony, or watched an Adam Sandler movie.
Radio gets some good stations to help distract you from all the cons.
CONS: air conditioning has been broken for 3 years. A couple of guys I trust said it would cost $1000 to fix. That means that 5 months out of the year, it’s like driving in a nuclear oven inside a volcano on the Sun.
Last year I was driving down Mt. Charleston after camping in the snow–I hit some ice and skidded, and the front passenger’s side corner was crushed. The headlight was totally destroyed. Doesn’t interfere with driving at all, but it looks awful and means you have to use the brights at night. Luckily, they’re so dim that they look like normal lights.
Rear seat belt behind the driver is broken. It could cost several hundred to fix.
Driver’s door lock is broken. Dome light doesn’t come on when the driver’s door opens.
I have a lot of kids, so the interior isn’t very clean. The cup holder is even breaking. Seriously.
There’s a tear in the air intake hose that I just patched with duct tape, and the clamps on it are loose because I lost some of the nuts while working on it, so sometimes the check engine light comes on until I push it all back together. So, yeah, it might have trouble passing a smog check.
Let’s see, what else? Floor of the trunk is broken, and just sits on the spare tire. No wiper blades on it, but the washer fluid is also broken, so…that kind of cancels out, right? I guess that’s all the big stuff.
Oh, and I think it may have been cursed when it hit a school bus in the middle of a radioactive Indian graveyard or something.
I have to warn you: years from now, you may wipe away a few tears and wonder how your life went so wrong, and you’ll realize it all started when you bought this car. I can’t promise it won’t.
There may or may not be some kind of demonic entity living in this car, and it might or might not possess you if you buy it. Possibly, you’ll start getting stronger and better looking, but that’ll just be the evil. Soon you could be using the car to commit heinously gruesome acts of inhuman monstrosity. I’m not saying don’t buy the car–you should–I just want you to look out for your soul. I’m trying to help you here.
Why would you want this car? Maybe you want a long-term project to work on. Maybe you’re super, super desperate. Maybe you want something you can salvage for parts.
Maybe you want something you can put in your big back yard so you and your friends can just smash it to hell with crow bars and baseball bats. Friend, this is the car for you.
But on the plus side, the rear view mirror works great and the horn is in perfect mint condition. So there’s that.