My wife pulled up outside of my work, a pleasant expression of satisfaction on her face, and hopped out into the biting March wind planting a perky kiss on my cheek. She said nothing about the car, but her manner suggested she liked it. She liked it a lot.
I got behind the wheel of the silver Camry Hybrid, and tried to open my mind as wide as it would possibly go.
“Don’t turn the ignition; it’s already on!”
It was a good comment to make, because there was no tactile feedback confirming the fact. It sat there, inert and sleepy, less a car that’s idling and more a laptop you accidentally put to sleep.
The interior was familiar and functional. The heater whispered a suggestion of warmth on the side of my face, and everything about the car suggested it might be a nice, quiet, safe place where one could be at ease. I knew everything about the car’s interior instantly, because I already owned a Camry (a traditional, boring, old, pure-combustion model). We were shopping for a replacement for our slowly, mercifully dying Chrysler minivan, because we had been operating for some time off the Stereotypical Suburbanite Handbook, and now that handbook included a chapter on hybrid vehicles and sustainable living.
I put my foot on the largely misnamed “accelerator,” and the car not so much lurched forward as much as it sort of remembered how to roll — as if the earth had been ever so slightly tipped to one side. The vehicle made no comment about this movement though, no hint of a pesky engine to interrupt the sleepy silence.
I hated it instantly, and I believe the main reason I did so was because of Forza 4.