After spending two weeks driving around in a Ford Taurus earlier this month, I was initially pleased to learn that of the only 7 rental cars left in all of Raleigh (furniture convention), one was a Dodge Charger and another was a Chrysler 300M. The rest were very large vans. I recall a lot of people getting excited about the new Dodge Charger so I thought, what the hell, I'll take it.
What a piece of crap. Oh, sure, it's got tons of ponies under the hood and accelerates really well. But it handles like a yacht, the interior is comprised of various black and beige panels of the same plastic that Little Tikes playground equipment is made of, and the general lay of the cockpit was such that no matter how hard I tried I couldn't configure the seat to a position that allowed me to either reach all of the controls or see the gauges. And I'm six feet tall. For the amount of money a Charger costs (both to buy and to rent) I was expecting something that offered a little more than straightline speed. In typical American design, the car is overpowered, oversized, handles horrendously, and has all the interior style of a jail cell. To be honest, I almost would have preferred the friggin' Taurus. And I say firmly believing that nobody below the age of 60 should even be allowed near a Taurus.
So I was rough on the Charger. I hit some curbs with it. Squealed the tires on a couple of occasions, drove it hard, slammed the doors, and just generally abused it as much as I could in the 28 hours I was in possession of it. It didn't deserve to be cared for. But the worst thing to happen to it was that it got sprayed by chicken juice. I was on the highway and the car was getting sprayed by some mysterious liquid coming off the mudflap of the eighteen wheeler in front of me. I look at the truck and notice that there's a continuous supply of liquid emanating from the mudflap despite us driving on a bone-dry road. The Charger is getting covered in it. And it's not clear. I look up and see the words "Tyson" painted really large on the back door. The trailer appears to be a large refrigerated unit, but it has obviously sprung a leak. And the Charger is being doused with the juicy liquid found in packaged chicken at the grocery store.
Or so this was my hunch. I run the wipers and spray some washer fluid onto the windshield to clean the mess after switching lanes and am suddenly hit with the pungent, unmistakable scent of uncooked chicken. Fortunately the odor dissipated as quickly as it came, and I got a laught out of it. The mighty Charger, with all that horsepower, was coated in chicken juice. Somehow it just seemed so appropriate.