a Smart Car and a Parent Seminar

Posted on: 04/10/10 4:31 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Smart Car?

Yeah… right. By whose definition? What a piece of junk!

More on that in a minute.

This weekend I flew into Chicago, rented a Smart Car and drove to Indiana to do a parent seminar. I love teaching parent seminars– they are one of my favorite workshops I teach right now. I’ve been working for two days on the youth culture section of this particular seminar, gathering and summarizing some of my current research. Really fascinating stuff. I can’t wait to share it with this particular group of parents.

This church is one where I did my CONNECT seminar last year. At the end of that workshop, the youth pastor who brought me out was kicking himself. He said, “I should have booked you for another day to share this youth culture section with our parents.” Here it is a year later and we’re making it happen (better late than never). I preach tomorrow in the main services, giving them tidbits of youth culture as I preach out of Acts 17. Then we’re doing a lunch and parents seminar to follow. Fun stuff!

Back to the so-called “Smart Car.”

First… some of you might wonder why I rent a car in Chicago to teach in Indiana. I’ll provide you with the quick version. It’s because I can drive to South Bend, Indiana in the same amount of time that it takes to wait for a layover flight to Indiana (no directs from Sacramento), and I’d rather not chance another delayed or cancelled flight (as you all probably remember, CAN HAPPEN) . Plus… flying into Chicago gives me a chance to stop by Giordano’s Pizza!  🙂

So anyway… I was online choosing my rental car a while back, and a Smart Car was an option. I thought to myself, “I’m smart. I might as well get a car to match my superior wit!”

Wow! Was I wrong (about the car… not my intelligence!)

This thing is a piece of junk!

First, when you press on the gas, it doesn’t go… it thinks about going, then accelerates a couple seconds later. Then, when it switches gears (it’s an automatic) it dips and lunges as if a teenager is driving a stick for his/her first time.

It gets worse. The air conditioning works about as well as a match in a windstorm. This particular car either has an electrical short (the car is brand new, mind you) that causes it to start and stop at will, or the “not-so-smart-car” has a temperature gage that misreads the inside air temp and decides for itself whether it should turn on, even though I have it on MAX and set cold enough to make any Minnesota resident shiver.

Then I took this stupid car on the freeway. Huge mistake! I felt like I was in the go-cart I made with my dad when I was 12-years-old (although I think my go-cart had bigger wheels, come to think of it). The car shook and swerved with every imperfect surface. I swear, I felt every pebble… every subtle dip… I think I even felt it when I ran over an insect. A gust of wind came along and shot me over 4 lanes. I was terrified to pass any cars because I thought I’d be whipped into them at any given moment. This resulted in a very tiring two hour drive because I was gripping the wheel for dear life the entire time!

Were there any positives about this car at all, some of you might be wondering?

Hmmmmm. Let me think.

Hold on…. I’m still thinking.


Oh… yes… one thing. It has an iPod jack in the glove box! That’s pretty cool, except that my iPod is bigger than the entire Smart Car. I can actually put the Smart Car in my iPod’s glove box.


That’s it. The rest of the car is worthless. That’s my two cents.

I better go. I gotta run through my message for tomorrow morning.

3 Replies to “a Smart Car and a Parent Seminar”

  1. Thanks for referring me to as the youth pastor who was “kicking himself”. I am glad I truly got to see this horrible, turd of a car.
    It’s as bad as he described it! NO LIE!

  2. I am one of the parents from the Indiana Parent Seminar. Thanks for rocking our a.m.services and afternoon with your knowledge, info, data and humor. As hubby put it, “it had SHOCK value”. Keep up the good work!

  3. Thanks Karen… I’m glad you liked the service and parent seminar.

    And John… now you shall ever be referred to the youth pastor who kicketh himself! 🙂 Thanx for vouching for me- the car was even worse on the drive back to Chicago!

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