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Monday, January 5, 2009

The Door is Ajar

Cars used to know their places – on the street, in your garage, perhaps in an impound lot if the owner is particularly naughty.

Those were simpler cars. Cars happy to take you from one place to another. Cars with no aspirations other than a full tank, an oil change, perhaps a bit of action in the backseat…

But those were the cars of yesteryear.

Today’s cars? No respect. Filling the tank varies in price from a bag of groceries to a weekend get-away, dependent upon when you fill up. An oil change can no longer be done in the backyard but pretty much demands that the engine be removed. And the backseat make-out sessions of yesteryear?

Well, that’s still possible.

Not that I would know anything about that.

They talk to you now, you know: the cars. Yes, I know this has been going on for a long time. Don’t make fun of my technological backwardness!

I’ve got a friend with a car that warns you, verbally, that you have exceeded the speed limit.

“Slow down! You’re going too fast! Slow down!”

How’s that for annoying? Not only are we probably late for whatever we’re headed for but now we’ve got a disembodied voice on our collective backs. Sheesh! Back off, mom!

That kind of advice is not what I need to hear from a car. I’m thinking something more along the lines of “You look very nice today!” would be good. Better yet, perhaps something like “No one in this car but you is enjoying your music today…”

What I think we need to work on next are cars that talk to each other…

“Excuse me! You, the Mazda in front of me! So sorry to bother you, but it’s become clear to me that my driver hasn’t a clue what’s going on. Would you mind terribly if we passed? I’m afraid that if we don’t she’s going to rear-end you.”

For some reason, the talking cars in my mind have British accents.

So what else is coming down the pike? Will my washing machine make recommendations in the future on my clothing sizes based on wear and tear on the seams? Is my cell phone tracking pizza orders?

What do you suppose my television thinks of me and my viewing choices?!

It's a strange ol' world out there...


EskimoBob said...

Pearl -

Being in Alaska, we'll we're a little sheltered. As everyone knows, we've only just discovered the magical picture box, along with the V-C-R, talk about making things simple. Now I can go to work and not miss the Today show with Bryant Gumble.

There are also new CB radios, that you can take with you anywhere, and some even show the Today show, but with some other guy than Bryant.

It is a wild, wild world out there.

Irish Gumbo said...

The door is ajar? Hold up, I thought the door was a door, not a jar..Criminy this is too confusing.

I like Eddie Murphy's talking car for the 'hood:
"Say, man, yo lights is on"
"yo, man, someone stole your bat'ry!"

Let's just hope they don't start talking during one of those make-out sessions...

The Grandpa said...

I have a friend whose car responds to voice commands. But it likes to be conbtrary. For instance, if he's using his GPS and tells it "Carl, home" (I don't know why he calls it Carl) the car will respond "Air conditioning off." or "Search radio stations." I don't like riding in that car.

Pearl said...

Hi, EB!
:-) Remind me to tell you later about the iPods -- tiny little things that allow you to lose all your music at once!

Hi, IG.
You realize I left that title there just for you, don't you?
I'm just a straight man in the stand-up of life...
Don't get me started on the make-out sessions. I still miss the drive-ins!

Hi, Grandpa.
A little eerie, I'd say! When it starts sounding like HAL (2001, A Space Odyssey reference), run!


The Wife O Riley said...

What if you were about to be in an accident? What would the car say then? "Man, I really hope you listened to your mother and are wearing clean underwear!"

Pearl said...

Hey, Wife O!
MY car would probably say, "You mailed that check to the insurance company, right? Tell me our insurance is up to date!"
or maybe
"I told you to slow down, didn't I?"

Anonymous said...

My car talks to me. It says things like..You're crossing the yellow line you idiot...and a blind person drives better than you...well actually, it's my husband pretending to be the car.

EskimoBob...you are stinking funny!

Irish Gumbo said...

"Straight man?! I thought you were a woman!" (bada bing, I got a million of 'em..) ;)

And thank you for that big softball of a title, made my job easy...

rachael said...

I would like my car to be able to tell the drivers of the other cars, that MERGING is a co-operative effort, it't not my attempt to budge into the line.

Is there a swearing option?

Somehow I think having the option to swear loudly at some drivers, would feel really good.

Kavi said...

I am thinking of what will my keyboard say to my monitor !!

Here comes this dimwit who will type his thought diarrheo into me !

And the monitor replies..i have to hold it up for the world to see !

Sigh !

Am i not glad that i dont hear them talking..( i am not saying they dont already talk to themselves !

Whitemist said...

Nice stuff, but the thing that freaks me is the alarm ones that tell you that you are standing to close to it.

Steve said...

I'd like a car that simpers pleasurably when I sit on the seat: "Mmm, you been working out... that feels good... you can sit there all day mister..." That kind of thing. Totally pointless but boy would it make me feel better about going to work.

Ann's Rants said...

I laughed out loud. I did. Now, join humorbloggers. They're taking submissions for their first book and the theme is technology. You keep writing hilarious stuff about technology. Go. GO!

Wow, I didn't even know my Passat could talk, and she's so pushy!! sorry about that...but I agree with her on this one.

Cat said...

Man, I wish my car talked to me instead of "ding ding dinging" all the time. I'd really much rather a, "Pardon me, but it's come to my attention that your seatbelt is unfastened, and I know how unhappy that would make your father."

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

Actually, my TV DOES comment on my viewing choices. We have Tivo and when it has extra space, it fills it up with random shows based on your past viewing habits.

I always know when the boys have been watching my TV a lot because the extra space is filled with smarmy cartoons like Family Guy and American Dad and episodes of American Gladiator.

When I've been watching more, it fills up with reality shows, old Friends episodes, and gossip TV shows like Extra!

Jeanne said...

I'm stuck on the car talking during makeout sessions....

"Before proceeding, please apply protection."

Or maybe a play-by-play....

La Belette Rouge said...

My Prius yells at me if I forget to turn the car off before I leave it. Okay, it is not quite a yell, it is actually a plaintive wail that seems to say "Hey,stupid!" I hate that my car is smarter than I am.

Pearl said...

Hi, Sweet Cheeks!
Funny, my husband does impressions of my mother doing impressions of the car. It's complex, but worth the price of admission!

Hi, Irish.
:-) I got a big soft spot for the Irish.
How's THAT for a tater?!

Ah, Rachel.
I wish I'd said that. :-)

Hi, Kavi.
Oooh. Good point. You should see the way I type, too -- frustrated drummer, me! I'm sure the keyboard cringes whenever I come around...

Hi, Whitemist.
I've only had one experience with that, but you're right -- kinda creepy!

Hi, Steve!
Well, I LOLed on that one. :-) The thought of what my bus seat would say is scary, though.
That one doesn't bear close inspection.

Ann, who am I to ignore your Passat?! I submitted. Let's see what they say. :-)

Hi, Cat.
Ah, I hate the ding-ding-ding. Get off my back already! I do like the more practical aspect of what a car should say. :-) You gave me some good ideas!

Hi, Adrian.
OMG. iTunes does that for me. So does Amazon! See, this is what happens when you just write every day but don't take the time to flesh things out. Can you imagine what the computers of tomorrow will be doing for us?! No, me neither, but I'll bet it's creepy!

Hi, Jeanne.
Just as long as there wasn't a report grading performance produced later!

Hi, La Belette!
Actually, I don't think I'd mind a yell so much. Maybe just something like "Hey! Your keys!" and then some general muttering if it has to do it so many times a week...


SweetPeaSurry said...

oh my goodness, this post just cracked me up. Unbelievably funny!!! I have no devices that speak to me other than my cell phone, and that's only if I want it to.

I'd like to see cars talk to eachother ... but I'd like mine to say to the mazda ... get your shagging arse out of my way you pokey piker!!!

Pearl said...

Oh, SweetPea, that's awesome. I know I've already said that I imagine that my car would have a British accent, but I'm just thinking about how much fun that would be when it started using words like "piker".

darsden said...

My car talks to me by the horn getting stuck! (The rare times it is in the 30's around these parts) when I start it up it goes to blowing...(hehehe) I have to break open the fuse panel grab my needlenose pliers and pull away..Why Yes, Yes I do keep a pair very handy-for many things! (then after the car heats up- I stick it (smirk) back in...LOL

ugich konitari said...

Waiting for a day, when the car will actually dent itself and say "Ouch"..

Protege said...

Fortunately, my car is so old, it has no electrical windows or locks, everything is manual.;) It doesn't talk to me, but quiet the contrary, I keep talking to it (or him).;))

nsiyer said...

Interesting and very imaginative and I loved the post.

What if inanimate things started talking.Like the mobile phone would say ' Clean your ears and wash your mouth'.

Douglas said...

My car doesn't need to talk, I have a wife. She doesn't talk much in te car either but she does make some sounds:

"Look out!"
and keeps slamming her foot on te imaginary brake pedal on her side of the car. I don't understand it, just because I am the only one to have totaled a car and end up in the hospital, she thinks it means something about my driving.

Douglas said...

Tere is something wrong wit te H on tis keyboard.

darsden said...

LOL, Douglass that sounds like my mama when she is riding somewhere with me!?!

justsomethoughts... said...

what can i say. i'm a big fan of the british accent idea.