New SUV Dreading Start Of Tailgate Season

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A tailgate party is shown outside of a stadium after leaving a New Jersey Kia dealership.

Football season is upon us, and with it comes the official start of tailgate season. For those who can’t participate in the battle on the gridiron, the stadium parking lot is its own field of dreams: a magical place where all decorum around public drinking is thrown out the window, and the only rule is to never flip another man’s burger. While hotly anticipated for many, we discovered one less-than-eager participant on a recent trip to our local New Jersey Kia dealership.

“I just want to be clear. I’m a fully-equipped mid-size SUV with cutting edge safety features and a gorgeously appointed interior. I am NOT a picnic table, beer cooler, or impromptu urinal,” says the 2020 Kia Sorento. The humble crossover was thrilled to be selected off the lot in 2019 but saw the warning signs pop up almost immediately.

“It was not even the first day of summer, and my owner was already in the garage perfecting his cornhole form on a homemade set emblazoned with his team’s logo. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that per se, except for the fact that his son’s first birthday was happening in the living room,” says the beleaguered Sorento.

With two years of service under its timing belt, the Sorento now knows what the football season has in store. At first, it’s owner took a measured approach to the weekly bacchanal, indulging in a few craft brews, grilling with buddies, and occasionally checking the game score. “Then he fell in with that facepaint crowd, and everything just went to hell. Suddenly I have guys jumping on my bumper, beating the hell out of my shocks, and he’s leading a drunken crowd in a spelling lesson. Seems like a weird place for it, but I guess it’s just really easy to forget how to spell ‘jets,’” says the SUV.

The Sorento was content to take its licks until mid-way through last season when a particularly galling incident pushed it over the edge. Unwilling to wait in a long line for the portable toilet, the Kia’s owner started routinely relieving himself behind the truck, preserving his modesty while drawing the ire of his vehicle. The problem only got worse as the season went on. With the home team putting up such dismal performances week after week, drinking started to become more central to the outing.

“It was fine when it was all those fancy IPAs, because he can’t really afford enough of those to really let loose, but then they started putting booze in absolutely everything, and it’s become way worse. He honestly believes that hard seltzers “don’t count” as drinking because they go down so smoothly,” the Sorento says.

Regardless of its travails, the crossover assures us it was never in danger: despite being masochistic enough to be a Jets fan, even the Kia’s owner knows better than to drink and drive. Napping behind the green and white paint-emblazoned windows did become routine, providing a safe alternative for the owner while wreaking havoc on the Sorento’s interior. “I heard him blaming it on the dog, but last I checked, the dog doesn’t drunkenly eat and regurgitate 2/3 of a bag of Twizzlers in one sitting,” the SUV says.

With the 2022 season kicking off this month, the Sorrento is taking measures to keep its owner’s fandom in check. The SUV will no longer allow its driver to tune into sports radio stations and more than once has ‘accidentally’ directed him to a detailing shop on the GPS. “Maybe if he sees me clean for once, he’ll actually make some effort to keep me that way,” the Sorento says. “Sadly, I know that’s about as likely as the Jets making the playoffs.”

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