It’s A Car! No, It’s A She-Shed!

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A closeup shows a State Farm commercial playing on the infotainment screen of a 2020 Chevy Equinox.

What if we took two perfectly innocent and respectable SUVs, the 2020 Chevy Equinox vs 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe, and assigned them even more important jobs than they already have? By important jobs, I mean morphing into more than just transportation. I mean, we’re dropping roughly $30k for a friggin’ SUV. Should it not work for us and our specific needs as they relate to the massive train wreck we lovingly refer to as 2020? Confused? Allow me to elaborate.

A car is no longer just how we get from point A to point B, is it? No, it’s our escape pod. It’s a way for us to get out of the purgatory of our homes; to escape those screaming, needy, endlessly hungry, wifi-hogging kids and that work-from-home spouse who we never realized adopts a grating nasal tone with a hint of British cockney when they get in the flow of leading a Zoom meeting. And the dog. Jesus, the dog. Isn’t the dog the big winner here? I mean, everyone is home. All the time. The treats. The dog farts. I digress….

What if we demanded that our vehicles not only take us where we need to go, but also take us away a la the old Calgon bath commercial? I know I need this. Desperately. I can’t chew my fingernails down any further without risking a staph infection, and the pantry is already organized alphabetically by carb percentage. I have made every recipe on The Food Network, and I have the massive muffin tops and bagel face to prove it (Rachel Ray – you and your butter-and-flour roux can suck it), and no, I do not want to play Monopoly. Ever. Again.

I don’t even know you, and I know you are frothing at the mouth right now. You can see this vehicle. You can feel your (giant) butt sliding into the driver’s seat, sensing the first tendrils of freedom wrapping themselves around your substantial middle as you insert the key and buckle your seat belt. This is no ordinary vehicle, my friends, this is a tropical vacation. It’s a subway ride with no mask. It’s Space Mountain at Disneyland. It’s dining indoors. It’s all the things you lost when the pandemic ruined your life.

What are the features of our escape pod?

A BuzzFeed-Worthy SUV

Curtains are shown inside a 2020 Chevy Equinox as part of the 2020 Chevy Equinox vs 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe comparison.

Let’s set the stage: Who is our muse? What’s the theme? Take BuzzFeed and its readers. We admire BuzzFeed because, well, they must know that their clickbait-y, nonsense content is absolutely awful but yet somehow they’re OK with the fact that millions of stoned college students completely rely on them (and Twitter, of course) to stay informed about such thought-provoking and important topics as 11 Delightful Poems Found in PornHub Comments (I shit you not, this is a real article), 13 Potatoes That Look Like Channing Tatum, and my personal favorite, Which Ousted Arab Spring Ruler Are You? I mean, of course I had you in mind when I designed the perfect pandemic getaway car, BuzzFeed.

Whimsy is the keyword here, with a dose of stupidity because nothing about 2020 is smart. Nothing. So, with a nod to the she-shed isolation vibe – think chandeliers, succulents, and bergamot-scented candles – we embark on a journey to find the bubble that transports us out of this nightmare, even if it’s only long enough to get more dishwasher detergent and refill labels for the Brother P-Touch (kiss my ass, Martha Stewart – my garage is way more organized than yours now and I haven’t done any jail time).

The Perfect Pandemic Puff Package

A woman is meditating at sunset and car keys are being handed to her.

First, we tackle the ambiance. After all, when you get in your escape mobile, you want a certain vibe. I can tell you what you won’t find – NPR. This is not the time for thought-provoking highbrow political pontification. We don’t need the injection of tormenting guilt cleverly disguised as public information. Our audio system is an NPR-repellant. Which leads us to the first sensory adventure that awaits in your rolling hideaway.

Sound. OK, so no news. No politics. No weather. In your special 2020 love mobile there are no hurricanes. The election? Honey, Beyonce is President in your world. When you turn on your sound system, you’ll be greeted with evolved entertainment channels that leave you feeling better than you did before your drive started. You’ll be sitting taller and taking duck lip selfies for your Instagram in no time. We present your own personal, life-affirming escapist satellite radio channel lineup:

Channel One – Tibetan Chanting Monks, because a deep trance state while driving benefits you, and you’re the star of this show, sunshine! Hands at 10 and 2 while the singing bowls bang-a-gong your worries away.

Channel Two – Stuart Smalley-esque affirmations on a loop (think, You’re Good Enough….Doggone It) with a quick disclaimer that reminds you to limit your glimpses in the rear-view mirror while the vehicle is in motion;

Channel Three – Pop Culture Seinfeld-, Friends- and Office-isms; “Serenity now!”~Frank Costanza; “I am running away from my responsibilities. And it feels good.” ~Michael Scott; “I wish I could, but I don’t want to.” ~Phoebe

Channel Four – The Fifty Shades of Grey book series, narrated by Antonio Banderas. Because BDSM and driving do mix. Check the glove box for the handheld fan you’ll be needing. Here’s a taste: ’His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel…” ~Anastasia

Sight. Laura Ashley Pink. Vera Bradley paisley. Kate Spade polka dots. Everywhere. Even the floor mats. That’s it. You don’t need a more detailed description, do you?

Tactile. Shouldn’t every good thing feel velvety and soft like a puppy’s ear? Well, your steering wheel will because it’s wrapped in snuggly doggy fur. Your seat is custom made by the My Pillow guy, and your gear shift is topped with a cushy stress ball, the likes of which you haven’t seen since your last trade show, when your company was giving them away at the booth. Currently, the stress ball guys have some extra inventory due to the extinction of trade shows.

Smell. Careful! That dial on the dash is not the temperature setting. It’s the scent setting. Take your pick from a medley of good smells, including Movie Theater Popcorn (because in this reality there are still movie theaters, buttercup!), Department Store Perfume Section, or Hawaiian Tropic Suntan Lotion. They’ll take you back to a time when masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing reminders didn’t destroy your fun.

Defending Your Mini She Kingdom

Notice the absence of a reference to anything plural. A she-shed is singular. No one else is invited to the party. It’s your bubble, and you need to defend it. Well, not you. Your car will do it for you. It’s equipped with every imaginable people-deterrent you’ll need, starting with the clever Back Off! I’m Going Through Menopause license plate frame, and associated Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History bumper sticker slapped on the tailgate. That takes care of the right-wing Republicans and men in general.

The car will also include some well-placed dings and scratches at each corner, reducing the likelihood that another vehicle will park next to you, especially not one of those ridiculous Teslas, whose drivers believe their stupid cars are works of art. Get over yourselves, would you? We’ll equip your vehicle with a massive big-block V8 and an exposed 4-barrel carburetor. We’ll stick a few cherry bombs in the exhaust and liberate your car of its catalytic converter to achieve a nice, loud, foul-smelling cloud upon accelerating. Liberal, self-important preachy tree huggers – check!

All the while, you’ll be comfortably ensconced in your she-mobile, tapping the puppy fur-coated steering wheel with your jagged nails in time with the monks’ big crescendo, while a jumbo-sized jug of Cascade rolls around in the empty back seat. It’s bliss. Your little escape. The place you can count on for good vibes while the pandemic rages around you. Get it, girl!

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