We just got a new SUV. Or, I should say, my husband did. He loves it. It’s arrest-me red and ultra high-tech. The trouble for me is that I can’t even get in.
Let me start over…. We just got a new computer with a big engine and four big wheels attached. You can sit inside this luxury computer and it does everything short of driving you around. You just have to know how.
The guy that sold us this computer is a car dealer. Nice guy. He knows his techno stuff. I wondered why he was selling cars instead of working for the software giant in Seattle.
There’s a 1.5-inch thick manual that comes with this computer and a watered-down version that’s thin enough to read in a day if you do nothing else. With our new computer, we opted for a real-time tutorial from the nice guy rather than read the manual for the next four weeks.
The tutorial was long. It lasted for four long hours. Afterwards, husband was tired, the nice guy was drained, I was exhausted and needed a nap, lunch, and an aspirin. Trouble is, as I said at the top, I still can’t get in.
I knew things wouldn’t be simple when the nice guy said we would program the keys. The word ‘program’ means computers. What are we doing programming a car?
The key would be crucial. Not only would it let you in-so he said-it would open worlds, including phone calls, navigation, radio, tire pressure, oil level, seat adjustment, mirrors, heat for your tush, holders for cups of the back-seat drivers, wipers for intermittant precipitation, lights in case you don’t know it’s dark out, and myriad others things you’ll never even think of. There’s even a lady who speaks out to you nicely if you first say something meaningful to her. Out loud and nicely, of course.
Do you have your phone? Of course, I said to the nice guy. Does it have a blue tooth? I don’t know about the phone but I have a gold cap on my molar….
After crossing that techno jargon barrier, it was discovered that my antique cell phone indeed had the modern technology required to couple it to our new computer on wheels. What a surprise. What do I know?
Give me a call, I demanded. He did. Now tell me how to pick it up, I demanded with anxiety through the incessant ringing, which, on my phone–oddly enough–sounds like a phone ringing. The process for answering the phone in the computer on wheels was a 12.75-step procedure, pressing several buttons on the steering column, located for your convenience right on the wheel as one drives just below the 75 mph speed limit across the plains of Oklahoma in a hailstorm. We’re parked in a lot. Why can’t I answer this phone?
I’ll spare you the story about how to make a phone call. It was hard enough to learn how to answer.
I’ll spare you the story of the navigation system. I’ll still use maps.
I’ll spare you the story about checking the oil. You don’t have to.
I’ll spare you the story about the radio. It has a-hundred-and-twenty-five-thousand stations (with slight exaggeration) but not one of my favorites.
I’ll spare you the story of how to drive this magnificent computer on wheels. Nothing at all was said about that major function during the nice guy’s four-hour lesson.
Besides, I still haven’t figured out how to get in. A secret password, maybe….