In 2017, no-one likes a bully…
Unless, of course, you’re a bully with genuine self-confidence, then there’s a good chance that you feel pretty good about yourself. Lack of self-loathing aside, bullies now find themselves locked within the cross-hairs of society’s loaded gun. With the masses growing less and less tolerant of any individuals or group that targets a weaker party, the majority of energy is focused upon schools, youth sports teams, clubs and activities. But in an effort to protect our children, have we turned a blind eye to other groups that need defending?
Meet the Mazda CX-3
As happens so often with the youngest child of any family, the CX-3 wandered nervously onto dealer lots in late 2015, and was widely ignored by its older sibling, the CX-5 (introduced 3 years prior). The young SUV whose birth name is Daniel now speaks freely about the fact that (s)he now identifies as a 1993 Ford Festiva named Renee adding, “Minds weren’t exactly open back in 2015. And as beautiful as I know a 2.0-liter four-cylinder four-door crossover is, there was always a little voice under my hood telling me that I was a 1.3-liter, and a two-door subcompact.”
“These days things are different,” (s)he says with confidence that remains tinged with sadness. “We’ve taken the word back, and turned it into a rally cry. But back then, there was nothing worse than being the new kid on the lot, called a crossover.”
It is clear that memories of those days at Dick Assmin Mazda rest at the core of the CX-3’s strength, as well as its sadness. Visiting the lot we approached General Manager Tugg Nippleman, who had little to contribute stating, “Back in my day, a (expletive deleted) Miata didn’t wake up one day and decide it was a (expletive deleted) Jeep Wrangler. What the (expletive deleted) is wrong with being a (expletive deleted) Miata? It’s a (expletive deleted) mental disease, that’s what it is.”
Trouble Fitting In
But Dick Assmin Mazda was only one of several dealerships located on the Automile; and the social elite from each one of these lots were known for sticking together.
“It was very clique-y back in the day,” said the CX-3. “Trucks hung out with trucks. Sedans hung out with sedans. They called it ‘carpooling’ but the social circles for SUVs, well…those were the hardest of them all. Sure, other models had their social hierarchies, but SUVs were never very welcoming to the Crossovers. Part of me expected to have a bit of an “in,” since the CX-3 had been pretty successful in fitting in, but no dice.”
“Even my younger sibling (the CX-9, introduced a year later) had it easy. Being a midsize it had plenty in common with the Ford Edge and Fusion. Same platform, same 3.7-liter V6. I mean, I guess I could have connected with them the same way, but I knew what I was on the inside and they always made jokes about the Fiesta. Everyone did. I just didn’t fit in.”
Speaking to both the CX-5 (named Rick) and CX-9 (pursuing a hip-hop career under the abbreviated moniker ‘EX/nine’) one thing becomes clear: their respective recollections of the CX-3’s time on the Auto-Mile differ from one another.
“Bullsh—,” said Rick. “I never had it easy. And the CX-3 could fit in just as well, especially with the Fords. That’s how me and the CX-9 managed it. If you can make one friend, you can make them all. Just don’t pull onto the lot all ‘stylish, easy to park and fun to drive’ and start complaining that you want to be something else. I mean it’s one thing to be a (expletive deleted) trim, but once you start trying to be something completely different, no-one’s interested in your (expletive deleted) company.”
The CX-9 retains a bit more sensitivity towards the plight of its sibling. “Yo. I don’t know, ‘bout none of dat, son. Shit. Troof be told, I drank me a lot of Sizzurp back in the day, yo. But I remember them other SUVs being harrrrrrrrrrrd, son. Woop, Woop!”
And with that, we left the Auto-Mile, our search moving forward to find the aforementioned SUVs, and to hear their side of the story.
Confronting the Bullies
With some light detective work we were able to track down the Chevy Suburban (Jeff), Ford Expedition (known as “Smitty”), GMC Yukon (a member of EX/nine’s posse, going by ‘G.MC’) and Dodge Durango (Karl), who the CX-3 claimed had been bullied.
“I actually regret a lot of things we said and did back then,” offered Jeff apologetically. “It was a different time, not that it’s an excuse.”
Nodding his head, Smitty validated his friend’s assertion, “When you’re young, you think you’re untouchable. Everyone looks back and thinks that SUVs are versatile enough to handle anything that you throw at them. But maybe…I don’t know, maybe we felt a little threatened by the Crossovers.”
“Word,” added G.MC.
Summing up what seems a genuine sentiment of regret, Karl added, “The world is changing. I look at dealer websites now and I see Crossovers and SUVs on the same page. Together. Sometimes with a slash, sometimes with an ampersand, sometimes with nothing at all separating them. That’s beautiful, man. And you know what, if the CX-3 was here right now, I’d have a big hug waiting. Even if it doesn’t think it’s a Crossover SUV, I sure as hell do. And whatever it wants to be, is cool with me.”
“Word,” added G.MC.
A Happy Ending
A few months later, we learned that the group has reunited and welcomed the CX-3 (and its lifestyle choice) in with open arms. EX/nine also shared with us that open arms had led to open eyes, minds, and hearts. In a surprising note, Renee was happily in a relationship with G.MC proving that there’s a difference between ‘being made to felt like one’s bitch, and actually ‘being” one’s bitch.
Word indeed, G.MC.