Daily Archives: January 5, 2012

Smarter than me

Lori over at Sunny Side Up posted a piece this morning about parallel parking.  She can’t do it.  Me, I can do it pretty well; I just can’t spell it without spell check.

And it made me think.  Well, that and a cup of coffee.

Now, it may just be the Cheerios talking, but I am starting to be afraid of cars.  Afraid of crossing in front of them, of crossing behind them and of driving anywhere near them.

I don’t like being around inanimate objects that are smarter than I am; and when they can move without my throwing them, well, it paralyzes me.

Have you seen the gizmos they’re putting in cars nowadays?  Lori, you can get a car that can parallel park itself.  Lori, wisely keeps looking for a place.  (Me, I had a bad-boy boyfriend when I was a teenager who taught me how to do it.  But I digress.)

But based on the commercials, by the time the Ford Focus maneuvers into the spot, I would have wet my pants, because these days I parallel park only when I stop to buy coffee/use the restroom after being stuck in traffic.

These gadgets though, terrify me.  There’s one that will brake automatically if you get too close to the car ahead of you.  What if you’re in the sort of traffic we have here in Northern Virginia.  Hell, I’d have whiplash on my first commute.

Have you seen the one that keeps you from hitting the car in your blind spot?  I’m not quite sure how that one works.  It might involve wheel-destroying spikes, a la Ben Hur, or maybe flame throwers, but hey you won’t hit that car.  And you won’t even need to look over your shoulder.  Cause looking over your shoulder can be dangerous.

And then there is the one that vibrates when it thinks you’re falling asleep.  I’m sure it will know exactly when you’re going onto the other side of the road to avoid pot holes, small animals and wheel-destroying spikes coming from the cars that won’t let their drivers look over their shoulders.  I’m positive.  Because no in-car gizmo has ever, ummmm, not worked properly, right?

I am surely not alone in my fear of these gizmos.  Because anyone who has ever had a car with an electronic device in it knows that they break down all the time.

Me, I stopped trusting them about 2 months after I got my current car.  It has lots of gizmos and I trusted one of them once, while backing up.  My car has a Road Runner stuck in side of it.  It goes “beep beep” when I get too close to anything behind me.  It is supposed to “beep beep” in a progressive fashion, as I get closer to stuff.  It goes apoplectic if I reverse to within 5 feet of a wall – knowing that I won’t be able to open the back hatch sends it into a frenzy.  Especially since I only open the back on weekends and at places where there are no walls.  The car will, of course, allow the nose of my car to be in the middle of the driving lane without a peep, though.

I trusted the “beep beep” once.  I was backing up into the only spot left in a garage.  It was the only way in.  My car was filled with a bunch of kids who were being kids and making noise.  Sadly, none of them said “beep beep.”  Neither did the car.  I inched into the wall, giving my  new car a custom bumper.  It is dented in as if someone hit it with a large muffin.

I’m pretty sure that these new safety features are going to lead to some pretty interesting reality TV shows.  And I guess anything that can make those shows worth watching might be worth a shot.

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Filed under Driving, Gizmos, Humor, Technology, Traffic