Wednesday, June 20, 2012

SOOF Wednesday-Car Technology

ONCE UPON A TIME, not so terribly long ago, we bought a new car.  We got a really good deal on the car.  At least I think we did.  You see our son-in-law's half brother, who is a car dealer, contacted the dealership where we bought the new car and told them not to take advantage of these two old farts who were semi-distant family members.  I'm pretty sure that made all the difference...but, I'm getting a little off subject.  I'm not going to talk about "the deal."  I'll save that for another time.
Anyway, the car was fully loaded...ALL the bells and whistles...I'm talking, really tricked out.  Power moon roof; rain sensing windshield wipers; satellite radio, USB port with iPod connectivity, and hands free phone capability; 60/40 split reclining rear seats (wish I'd had that when I was a teenager); voice-activated touch-screen DVD Navigation System with integrated back-up camera; dual auto zone climate control system with heated and cooled seats; smart key system with push button start; etc., etc., etc.  Surely you've got the picture by now.  So, start thinking...old dogs/new tricks.
The old saying that two heads are better than one is absolutely true, especially when you have two old farts trying to operate one new car with a lot of "techno geek gizmos."  
However, we've just about been able to master everything except the "Smart Key System with Push Button Start."  If you're not familiar with this system, it means you don't have any door locks to put a key into, nor do you have an ignition switch in which to put a key.  But you do need to have the "key device" in your pocket or purse when you want to get in the car or start the motor.  
The car salesman made it sound so simple.  When you approach your locked car and come within a foot or two, the interior lights come on and you can open the door.  When you want to start the car, all you do is put your foot on the brake and push this little button that is located where the ignition switch used to be.  Sounds pretty simple doesn't it.  
Well, not long after we got the car, we went to visit our daughter (Erin) and her family in Rockwall, TX.  After we had been there for a short amount of time, our 9 year old granddaughter (Jenna) told her Grammie (aka Jennifer, my sweet, loving and endearing wife), that she wanted to go shopping at a specific store.  So, Jennifer, Erin, and Jenna piled into the new car and headed to the mall.
Once they got there, Jennifer started looking for the perfect parking space.  You know, one that's so far away from other cars that there's no way to get a ding or paint chip on the new car.  Such a spot was found in a remote and desolate part of the parking lot.
After the girls had been shopping for about an hour they started out on the hike back to the car.  Jenna, as kids do, got way ahead of her mother and Grammie.  From this point the conversation went something like this:
Grammie:  "Did Jenna just get in the car?  How could that be?  I'm not close enough for my 'key device' to unlock the door."
Jenna:  "Grammie, your car is really great!  The seats are still warm!"
Erin:  "Mother, the motor is still running!!"
Jennifer:  "#%&%#@&
Jenna:  "Grammie, your language!"
Car thieves in the Metroplex missed out on a golden opportunity.
About two weeks later, and after a lot of harassment (all of which was good natured), Jennifer and I took her car to the movies in Tyler.  I drove, parked in a remote spot, turned the motor off, pushed the door lock button, and we walked to the theater.  After the movie we went back to the car.  Jennifer got there before I did.  The conversation went something like this:
Pat:  "Jennifer, how did you get the door open?  I'm not close enough yet."
Jennifer:  "I don't know.  You either didn't lock the door or left your 'key device' in the car."
Pat:  "No!  I'm sure I locked the door, and here is my key! Where is your purse?"
Jennifer:  "On the floor of the front seat."
Pat:  "Where is your 'key device'?"
Jennifer (after a short pause):  "#%&%@# in my purse"
Car thieves in East Texas missed out on a golden opportunity.
About a week or so after this, Jennifer took her car to a Jazzercise class at one of Tyler's local churches.  About the time the class was supposed to be over I got a call.  The conversation went something like this:
Jennifer:  "Pat, I can't get in the car."
Pat:  "I don't understand."
Jennifer:  "The doors are locked and I can't get in."
Pat:  "Where is your 'key device'?"
Jennifer:  "In my purse."
Pat:  "OK.  Where is your purse?"
Jennifer:  "Well, I didn't want to take my purse into class, and I felt like the car was secure, being in a church parking lot and all.  But, I didn't want to leave my purse in plain sight, so I put it in the trunk.  Now the doors won't open."
Pat:  " I'm pretty sure the trunk is more than a foot or two from the car door.  I'm on my way."
Jennifer (after a short pause):  "#%&@#&"
I'm seriously considering sending a letter to the car maker recommending a WARNING statement on cars such as these:  "WARNING:  Not intended for use by those who may Smack of Old Fart!"      
disclaimer from Jennifer: I really don't speak in %@#&% very often!


  1. Amen Pat I hate those key bobs. Never have the key bob when you need it. I can't tell you how many times I have gone into the garage only to denied access to my own car. Wait until you have the pleasure of purchasing a replacement key. Costs about as much as most old farts 1st car.

  2. It kind of SOOF that Barry is calling it a key bob instead of fob. When did you have to purchase a replacement key?