The Car Rally

There is nothing sexy or fun about a Mazda 3. The car’s manufacturer will try to convince you that there is with their brochures and commercials, but there isn’t. That’s not to say it isn’t a good car. There are plenty of nice things one could say about the Mazda 3. It takes the same amount of time to get from Point A to Point B in a Mazda 3 as it does in a luxury vehicle. It’s reasonably priced, decent on gas, and its solidly built. So really, there’s no reason not to get a Mazda 3 – unless you’re looking for something that’s fun and sexy.

Fun and sexy cars are drooled over, they’re coveted, and they show up in movies. People save for a fun and sexy car. They make sacrifices in order to have one. They even hold rallies in their honour. You’ve heard of a Mustang Rally, right? But have you ever heard of a Mazda 3 Rally? That’s because there’s never been one…until now.

Three weeks ago, twenty-eight-year old Greg Norton, the proud owner of a 2011 Mazda 3 himself, was out for a casual walk around his neighbourhood when he noticed a neon green lawn sign sticking up from a corner lot. There was another neon green lawn sign twenty feet from that one, and another one after that, and so on as far as the eye could see. Mustang Rally it read, with a hand underneath the words pointing in the direction of the town’s biggest park.

“How come everyone’s always having a Mustang Rally?” Greg said to himself. “How come no one ever throws a Mazda 3 Rally? Hey….!” he then said after having one of those lightbulb going off moments.

He immediately raced home and got down to designing a flyer of his own.

Automatic…Stick…

Bet It’s Your First Car!

Let’s All Rally Together And Swap Road Stories!

Saturday, July 23rd, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Fernwood High School’s Parking Lot

Afterwards he drove around town to places he thought he’d find Mazda 3’s – apartment building parking lots, grocery store parking lots, shopping centre parking lots – and wedged a flyer underneath their wipers. All he had to do next was wait. He had no idea if anyone would show up that day, or what they would actually talk about, but he knew what he wanted. He had visions of his beloved Mazda 3 joining the ranks of the sleek but impossible to drive in the winter Mustang, the cool but a bitch on your hair soft top Jeep, and the funky but you’d better pack light Beetle. Or in other words, cult status.

Before he knew it, the big day had arrived. He got up early and ran his car through the car wash. He even went so far as to vacuum it out, something he hadn’t done since his sister’s wedding two years earlier. By 9:45, he was at the school, waiting for his first fellow Mazda 3 devotee to arrive. At 10:30, he was still waiting. At 11:15, he was still waiting. When noon rolled around he was starting to give up hope.

“Maybe I’m the only who appreciates the Mazda 3 and all of its practical glory. Maybe I should just go home,” he said feeling somewhat defeated.

Just then he heard a sound. A completely generic, non-obtrusive, you’d have to be an auto mechanic to identify what it was really, sound. The sound of a Mazda 3, and it was pulling into Fernwood High School’s parking lot. It was grey, the least sexy colour ever inflicted upon a car, and a sedan. Judging by the body, Greg figured it to be around the same age as his model, which made him smile.

“New-ish, but not new enough to make me feel intimated. I wonder who’s behind the wheel,” he said.

He didn’t have to wait long to find out. Ten seconds later it came to a rest forty feet from his, just close enough for him to see it was a woman behind the wheel, yet far enough away for her to make a quick getaway if she thought Greg looked dicey. She must not have because she turned off its engine and stepped out.

“Hi, are you here for the Mazda 3 Rally?” she asked.

“I am,” Greg responded.

“Pretty small turn out by the looks of things. I’m Rachel,” she said.

“Greg,” Greg said. “It’s too bad. I see a lot of these cars around town, so I thought more would show up. I don’t get it.”

“Neither do I. It’s a good car, not too expensive, the kind you’d feel safe driving across country,” Rachel said back.

“Have you ever gone across country with it?” Greg asked.

“Yeah, last year. I took a road trip to Newfoundland to visit a friend who moved there after university.”

“Newfoundland, eh? What’s it like out there?”

So Rachel told him – about how beautiful the place was, how nice the people were, and how free and independent she felt out there on the road. Greg had only ever been as far as Quebec City, but he told her about that trip anyway because it reminded him of when he was a kid and how much he enjoyed learning about French explorers in school. She then told him about another trip she took down to Tennessee and he followed that up with one about the time he locked his keys in his car while it was still running. Two more hours and a lot of other stories passed before they realized what time it was.

“I love this little car of mine,” Rachel said.

“I kind of like mine, too,” Greg said. “Say, you want to go grab dinner or something?”

“Sure,” she said. “Do you know McGillvary’s over on 9th? How about I meet you there?”

It’s far too early to know whether Rachel and Greg will one day need to trade in their Mazda 3’s for a Mazda CX-3, but it certainly looks as though they might be heading in that direction.

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