Monday, March 10, 2008

Vehicle Safety Features - Saving Lives or Driving You To Drink?

The way I see it, there are basically two groups of people: Those Who Currently Have Small Children, and Those Who Don't. Those Who Don't will come on to the scene of a child running half naked through a home while being chased by another child wielding a plastic sword high above his head and repeating threats recently overheard from a bad Saturday morning cartoon, and your visitor's eyes will get wide and they might ask if they have caught you at a bad time. Those Who Currently Have Small Children are confused by this, because this kind of activity is happening with such regularity that their senses no longer recognize that anything but Chopin is playing in the background. Because in the world of young mothers everyone knows that the real sign of catastrophe is not noise, but silence.

The opposite is true with cars. Now, I'm not gonna lie; despite my heretofore mentioned minivan issues, I love our new van. But so as not to disappoint, I'd like to share some of my outstanding issues. Namely, the safety features. My van, you see, does not trust me to buckle my seatbelt. If I so much as attempt to drive out my driveway without buckling up, it will beep at me. Six times, actually. In a row. As in *beep*beep*beep*beep*...you get the idea. Also, my van does not believe I am capable of remembering to close my doors. They are automatic, you see, so sometimes they take a while to fully shut. We can actually be sitting in the car, everyone fully buckled and ready to go, doors closing, but if they are not completely closed and I start to move the car, again with the incessant beeping until the doors are fully stopped. Know what else? My car does not trust me to come to a full stop while dropping my kids at school, so it requires me to be in "PARK" before I am allowed to open the doors. And if I try to open them prematurely? You know the drill. I will get beeped. And they will not open. UNTIL I AM IN "PARK". Essentially, my new car doesn't believe that I am capable of doing anything right and so it has to do it for me.
Holy crap.
My van is a democrat.

So here's the deal. Much like the mother of young children, I have started to tune out the noise. In this case, the beeping. I drive from my mailbox (located around the corner) to my house without buckling up and when it beeps at me sometimes I yell back in defiance. When I drop my kids at school in the morning, I start to drive off before the door is fully shut. It is my own special way of taking charge of my own life and not letting a huge mesh of metal and parts and digital technology tell me what to do. And it has only backfired on me once.
Like, Saturday.
When I was backing out of the garage and it was beeping because one of the doors was still open, but it was closing and so I ignored it. Except in this case, there were actually TWO doors open. And the other one crashed into the side of my garage which will now cost over $1200 to fix.
Sooo...that's kind of a bummer.

17 comments:

happy mommy said...

Oh. my. gosh.

I have never wished I had written something so bad in my life as your "my van is a democrat" line.

Brilliant. You creep.

Kacy said...

Wow. We only just met and already we have so much in common. Friday I scraped my SUV into the side of our house. I'll bet we both spent today on the phone with various insurance agencies.

Anonymous said...

That 'van is a democrat' comment was very Glenn Beck-esque. Talk about hilarious. He may find that worthy of national headlines. Maybe someone should alert him of his budding female counterpart.

Paige said...

Crap.

Kerri said...

Oh Man!!!! That does suck. But I did LOVE the "My van is a democrat" comment. Enough to alert Glenn Beck - whom Jay loves and listens to all the time.

"Vern" said...

kacy: I feel so close to you already. I have State Farm, and they have been very pleasant so far. Hope the same goes for you! And a disclaimer for the rest of you, I have to admit that I hesitated on the "democrat" line because I don't want to offend, but I just couldn't resist! I hope Glenn Beck would be proud. He goes to church with my sister, so maybe she can put in a good word.

Mega Mom said...

I so can relate to the tuning out thing. I didn't realize how bad I had become until I noticed my 16 month baby always says mom three times before she says what she wants. Do you think that I need to pay more attention?!

ganelle said...

Just watch out for when your van attempts to find room in your garage for a low-rider from south of the border!

ganelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ganelle said...

Or, when your van wants to crash into your fancy Nisson, so that there isn't a big discrepancy been a car that is driven properly, and the car that is driven by an irresponsible driver.

ganelle said...

Or, when your van wants the Nisson to help pay for the cost of repair because...
Really, I could go on and on.

Heather said...

Oh man, even when I'm feeling like crap you make me smile.

Seriously I read this aloud to Jeremy. Vern it was that good. I hope your sister tells Glenn. :)

Pauly said...

yeah i thought the van is a democrat was funny too - but sounds to me like the van was right? Just sayin'

Pauly said...

should add - sorry to hear about the van - that blows. our van has the very same annoying 'feature' and i actually found a link on the internet that tells how to disable it - but now i'm thinking maybe i'll leave well enough alone.

"Vern" said...

pauly: would really love that link on the internet!!!!!

Anonymous said...

At least the beeping stops after so many times. When we were in Florida, our rented van would not, I repeat, would not stop beeping until you actually but the stupid (but wonderful invention that saves countless lives) seatbelt on!! Always remember glass half full.
Boliver

Pauly said...

Here's a link on how to disable the beep: http://www.odyclub.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13043

If you want to disable the feature where the door won't open if it's not in park, you can use the search engine there to find the modification.