March 14 2013. A wet day. A wet day and a wet night. Rain general and looking more like rain all the time. And that’s good. Because when you’re wandering around car lots on Marine Drive and you want to get wet while you’re looking for that fantasy SUV you came down here to see—sheesh ya! Let it rain!
A nihilist’s dream—standing in the rain on a KIA lot on Marine Drive looking for a white Suburu. It doesn’t get more arcane, desolate or nugatory than this. KIA. KIA. Who would buy a KIA? We’re only here because someone told us the damn car was on this lot. We’re not terribly interested in the thing but we decided to go out and look at a couple of cars and it’s supposed to be here, driven here to be photographed, for ads, we assume. We were directed here by Richmond Suburu. Not many people can say that and it is futile, friends. It’s useless. It gets so bad I run back to our gamey Buick for our umbrellas. Killed In Action. Killed In Action. All I can ever think of when it comes to KIA.
A fine young car salesman in a spiff silver suit begs us come in out the rain to his showroom and he will look for the errant Suburu. “I’m Dean,” says the smiling white man, sticking out his hand.
“Steven Brown,” I shake. This is my accountant, Confederate States.”
“Hi, Ms. States.” He shakes. “Yeah, Richmond Suburu. That’s our sister dealership. You’re sure it wasn’t Richmond KIA? That’s usually where we take car pictures. That’s our sister dealership too.”
The guy at Richmond Suburu definitely said the KIA dealership at Marine and Cambie. No matter. Maybe it was the sound of the jets continuously screaming overhead. We’ve already looked at a couple of Suburus and are losing interest in the brand. I’m secretly holding out for a decent, not too elderly MDX.
The Killed In Action showroom. The vacuity and emptiness of a shiny piece of tin for $35,000. You’re gonna spend 35 grand and this is your new toy, your dream machine? Not good enough, soldier! Not near good enough. Three different people ask us if we want a coffee three different times. No, but a couple of steaming hot bowls of pho might be nice, even if it’s Killed In Action pho. The dude behind the counter to our left is speaking Spanish to a gentleman on our side of the counter. “Fleet sales,” I’m thinking. “Fleet sales! The only thing that makes sense is fleet sales!”
“Yeah, it’s definitely not here,” says Dean after spanking around on the phone a few times and finally getting the ‘Lot Manager’.
“No worries. No way at all.”
Docksteader’s only half a block away and we walk down there. Across Cambie from KIA is a gigantic hole in the ground, a construction site. This hole is so deep you can’t see the bottom of it. “West Side Address!” blasts a big billboard. Well, dudelettes. It’s the west side for what it’s worth, but you’ll still be in hell. “Bring your love of traffic starting at $249,000!”
Docksteader is the same. We can’t find the car we’re looking for, the Forester. And we’re car virgins, see. We only buy a car every ten years. When that happens you sneak onto the lot, tippy-toe around, hide from the sales people. There’s a vast inventory of new Foresters but we can’t find the used one we came for and aren’t interested enough in asking. Madness? Mebbe.