I’ve always thought that my car had too many buttons.  But now I’m not so sure.

At last count, there were 223 buttons of different sizes and shapes.  They control the stereo, the lights, the wipers.  They open the windows, heat the seats, and reset things I cannot identify.  In fact there are a lot of them that I’m just not sure about; so I try not to press them.  I fear disastrous results.

I didn’t used to worry about what would happen if I pushed something unfamiliar.  I thought, well, I can just press it again if I don’t like what happens.  But that was before owning my dearly departed Mini Cooper.  It had one button that was strategically located right next to the window control, and it terrified me.   My husband, John, said:

“Don’t press that button.”

Why not?

When you pressed it, the rollover control for the car went off.  I don’t know why a car would have that button.  The only explanation I ever found was that the Mini Cooper was very much like my dog, Cooper, who loves nothing more than a belly rub.  And so I figured that sometimes, my Mini Cooper just needed a belly rub, too.   And that button made it all possible.

But this morning I realized that my car is short a button.

Today, I drove to work a different way.  It was 8:45, and I was 15 minutes from work, when I got to the end of one road, and needed to turn left onto the next four-lane road.  I’m sure you realize that I am a terrific driver, a really nice, considerate, non-assholic driver.  So of course I was in the left lane, with my car responsibly flashing its left turn signal.  There was a silver Honda next to me in the right lane.  Obviously, being in the right lane, he was turning right.  He was not proudly displaying his turn signal, I might add.  At least not so I could see it.

When the light changed, I pulled forward, and I crossed the two westbound lanes and the left, eastbound one to take my rightful place in the right lane.  But my friend in the silver Honda did not turn right – he turned left – from the right lane!  And I immediately remembered that, well, he could do that at that spot on that road.  He was allowed to.

I cut him off.  And I nearly smushed his Honda flat enough to be used as one of those silver plates that cover big holes in the road.  Oops.

I felt bad, and not just because of the language with which he described my driving.  I am still blushing.  But I really do try not to be an asshole, at least when I drive.  And when I do act like an asshole, well, I want to mean it.  You know, like when someone drives really slowly in front of me, or really fast behind me or smokes in the car ahead of me with his arm hanging out the window so I have to smell it.

But after I cut off the man in the Honda, I tried to let him know I was sorry, that I had made a mistake, that I was glad he was not now in an ambulance, headed towards the trauma unit.  But there really wasn’t any way to do that.

That’s where my new button comes in.  I want to be able to hit a button and have a light flash that says,

“Sorry, my fault.”

I’m pretty sure though, that my new friend in the silver Honda wants a different phrase to come out when he smacks his new button.


Filed under Humor

16 responses to “Buttons

  1. On the twisty, turn-y roads around here, if you use GPS you end up in a ditch — so be careful! Thanks for reading.


  2. i want a sign in the back that flashes “GPS in use”…might explain that I’m new in these parts. Very funny post.


  3. LMBO, love the way you think. And write. Thanks for the good read… will never forget maybe my car just needs a good belly rub hahahhahaa 🙂


  4. Why not create a programmable sign so you can change your sign to suit your mood?


    • Well, we could keep anyone with school age kids off the road if we DID have a programmable sign. “Mom, what does ‘Mother-f*#@er’ mean?”


  5. Folks might make that assumption if you have a GPS lit up. But I never would. How about “Sorry — geographically challenged.”

    Thanks for stopping by!


  6. I am terrible with directions so I have always wanted a neon sign to light up that says, “sorry I’m driving stupid, I’m kinda lost”


  7. 233 buttons? I’m also impressed that you counted.

    I want two buttons, like so:
    Pre-caffeinated, drive near me at own risk
    Over-caffeinated, drive near me at own risk

    I wonder…maybe my car already has these buttons. I should go count my buttons and see…


  8. jamie

    When I was a new driver many years ago, someone bought me a small device that resembled a radar detector that I mounted on my dash. It had five buttons on it which were labeled, “Laser, Pulverize, Firethrower, …” and two other buttons whose function I don’t remember now, but you get the idea. It was a gag gift, though I was really hoping the firethrower was going to turn out to be authentic. It did make me feel better to pretend to pulverize other rude assholic drivers who cut me off, etc. As you well know 54.5, I too recently got a new vehicle with infinitely more buttons than the Subaru of my past…. When the car saleswoman was giving me my run through on what all the buttons did after we bought the car, she also warned me about the button to the left of the steering wheel, advising me in an ominous tone “never to touch it”…. She told me that it is for tow truck drivers; they need to turn that function off in order to tow your car…. Anyway, maybe you could do something more low-tech, like make pre-printed cue cards to keep in the car that you could flash when you are driving, filled with explanations for your unintended assholic maneuvers, various apologies and expletive deleteds…..


  9. My long commute has turned me into an idiot savant.

    Thanks for coming. I love your 5 ways to get pressed posting! (http://ashleyjillian.com/2011/09/13/five-ways-to-get-your-humor-post-freshly-pressed/).


  10. I’m impressed that you counted


  11. You’re probably right, but I am often more interested in communicating with words when I’ve messed up! When someone else has there are easy methods of letting them know.

    I actually saw something in a catalog not long ago; It is a light that you can put in your car window. You get to choose what it says. Mostly I’m sure Mom wouldn’t approve of the language!

    Thanks for visiting!


  12. I’m pretty sure most people who had that kind of power would use it for evil.


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