Archive for April, 2009

Earlier this week I had to take my Hyundai in for transmission service. Apparently transmissions only last 108,000 miles when they are screwed together by 8 year old Korean children.

Since my car was going to be in the shop for a few days, the Hyundai dealership gave me a loaner car to drive. Normally dealerships will give you the red-headed stepchild of their brand’s lineup…well let me tell you about the red-headed stepchild of Hyundai’s lineup:

The 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring.

“Touring” is poorly translated Korean for “station wagon”

Let’s start with the exterior. If you gave an epileptic child some crayons, blindfolded them, spun them around a dozen times, and asked them to draw a car it would still look better than this thing. It looks like the designer just took a refrigerator box and went apeshit on it with a samurai sword. You could pull up to a stoplight next to a mid-80’s windowless van, and children would voluntarily get into the pedophile van just to avoid being seen in this. Maybe Hyundai should make the rear brake lights a little bigger so astronauts in outer space can tell when you’re stopping. (I could go on but I’m already too angry, so just picture me swearing and foaming at the mouth in front of my keyboard.)

Now that we’ve toured the outside of this gem, hop in to the driver’s seat. The first thing you will notice is the acrid stench of whatever the hell it is that Hyundai makes interiors out of. For some reason the unique blend of plastic and failure calls to mind a semi trailer full of Hello Kitty dolls that is on fire, driving through your septum and into your subconscious. Other people’s farts smell better.

Settle into the luxurious driver’s seat, which may or may not have been inspired by a medieval torture chair. I would rather stuff my asshole full of M-80’s and squat over a hibachi grill than spend five more minutes sitting in this chair. Oh, you were hoping to get your 6’3” frame comfortable? Well the seat slides back plenty far enough…but the tilt steering wheel only comes up to your nuts. It’s like the Chinese water torture of automotive ergonomics – absolutely maddening, but in a very subtle way.

Turn the key (you have to fucking find the ignition by molesting the underside of the low-slung steering wheel since you can’t actually see it) and let the reassuring sound of a giraffe screaming in pain wash over you. It is a jarring experience to turn over a brand new car and actually wonder if it’s going to die before you can back out of the parking space. Speaking of backing out of a parking space, good luck using the mirrors on this car because both blind spots are like 18 feet wide. I have to assume that the designer who included side mirrors was being sarcastic because the only thing they might actually be good for is clipping bicycle delivery people in big cities.

Turning the steering wheel requires a surprising amount of muscle considering the small wheelbase. I’m going to assume that Hyundai just forgot to install the power steering pump. Or maybe it just died of shame when I started the engine.

Take any corner faster than 5 MPH and you will wonder if the back end is about to break loose. Instead of shock absorbers the Touring model comes equipped with shock magnifiers, which actually makes driving over smooth gravel feel like you are tackling the nastiest Jeep trail. It is advisable to hold your teeth in your head with an open palm covering your mouth before driving over rough road.

The engine and four speed automatic transmission work together about as well as Israel and Palestine. Try to pass someone on the highway and the following things will happen:

  1. Loud, meaningless squealing from the engine.
  2. A good “five Mississippi” count later, an audible clunk as the transmission downshifts. Remember that we’re talking about a BRAND NEW car.
  3. Uneven and unpredictable acceleration, similar to riding in one of those toddler sized coin-operated cars out in front of K Mart.
  4. Steering that manages to feel just as clumsy at 70 mph as it does in a parking lot.
  5. Shame as you avoid eye contact with the driver of the car you are passing, who is almost certainly doubled over in peals of laughter anyway.

I can’t even imagine how much Hyundai had to bribe the NHTSA with to get this car to pass a crash test. You could dent the quarter panels on this car with a good stiff burst of ass wind. I haven’t tried the horn yet but I can only assume that it plays “Taps” because if you hit anything you are fucking toast. Or maybe it just releases a cloud of chloroform gas so you won’t feel anything when the steering wheel deposits your nuts in the back seat. I bet the airbags wait to go off until the coroner is trying to scrape what’s left of you out of the car.

The best thing Hyundai could possibly do for their brand reputation is slap a Toyota badge on the 2009 Elantra Touring before putting it out on the lot. After driving this colossal failure for a few days, I have a fresh appreciation for the mere mediocrity of my old Hyundai. Which was maybe their plan all along…to sucker me into paying for expensive transmission repairs?

Bravo, you clever bastards. You win this round.


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Problem: Somali pirates board the US-flagged cargo ship Maersk Alabama and take the captain hostage.

Solution: The US sends a team of Navy SEAL snipers in by parachute (in case of a water landing, their giant testicles can be used as flotation devices) who set up shop and wait for a clear shot. When the pirates finally slip up and give the SEALs their opening…I think MSNBC summed up what happened next pretty well:

In an interview with NBC’s TODAY show, Gortney said it took only three shots to kill the three pirates.


As soon as that sentence escaped Gortney’s lips it was immediately engraved in stone and mailed to the Awesomest Sentences Ever Spoken Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Predictably enough, the pirates are now threatening revenge:

“In the future, America will be the one mourning and crying,” Abdullahi Lami, one of the pirates holding a Greek ship anchored in the Somali town of Gaan, told The Associated Press on Monday. “We will retaliate (for) the killings of our men.”

That seems like an excellent plan, Abdullahi. Why wouldn’t you pick a fight with snipers who could shoot the tip off your dick from 1,000 yards away on choppy seas? Unless these pirates evolve the ability to remove their heads and hide them in bulletproof suitcases, I predict this will end with a lot more well ventilated pirates.

The section below is an excerpt from the Navy SEAL creed*. As you’re reading it, try to imagine that you’ve just vowed revenge against the organization that operates under this creed.

My nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.

Pick a fight with the United States of Awesome? No problem, we’ll just toss about a dozen of these unstoppable killing machines over the fence into your backyard. Good luck, Abdullahi!

You’re gonna fucking need it.

* Excerpt courtesy of Bob Greene, CNN.com

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Pop the Paparazzi

The other night I was flipping channels while waiting for Robot Chicken to start, and without warning I stumbled into the decay of Western society: TMZ TV.

Accidentally flipping in to TMZ TV is like walking into a room five seconds behind someone who has just unleashed a legendary fart. The kind of fart where it not only makes your eyes water, it actually triggers your gag reflex. The kind of fart that stays in your mental encyclopedia of smells forever, right in between “dead mouse” and “sulfur mine”. It’s like that, only instead of just your nose it’s all over your brain.

The premise of this show is that it’s a “behind the scenes” look at how a bunch of people who write for a celebrity watching website do their job. They also employ camera men who chase celebrities all over the place taking pictures of them arguing with their maid or wiping coke residue off their upper lip, etc.

It doesn’t matter if you hate any of these celebrities or not – you will instantly hate everyone involved with TMZ a lot more. These jaded acne-scarred MTV-jects, these slithering douche bags, who only have jobs to begin with because of celebrities, spend all their time sitting around sniping and crotching about famous people. 14 seconds of this show will expose you to more asshole than 30 years of being a proctologist. Wave after wave of asshole washes over you as you watch, like the heat blast that comes from an oven set to 450 degrees when you open the door.

But wait, that’s just the office people. Wait until you get a retina full of the photographers. How would you react if some unshaven Eurotrash yelled something insulting at you and then shoved a camera in your face and blinded you repeatedly with a flash while he stands in front of your car so you can’t drive without running over his foot?

And that’s when it occurred to me: Why not do that very thing back to these guys, and make your own TV show about it?

Here’s the pitch for “Pop the Paparazzi”: Hire 30 photographers to follow one paparazzi guy around for a week, 24 hours a day. If that guy double parks I want cameras shoved in his face and insults about his driving ability lobbed until throats are sore. Get in his way, shove people around, blind him with the flash, stand in front of his car, etc. If he snaps and starts swinging, well that’s just gold baby.

The best part is, in addition to being annoyed out of his mind he wouldn’t even be able to do his job because there would be this clusterfuck mobbing him while he’s trying to mob someone else! Multiple layers of paparazzi clusterfuckery; such a beautiful thought it nearly brings a tear to my eye.

I bet we could talk Ashton Kutcher into financing this…anyone have his number?

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