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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Never-Ending Whirr

Apparently there are video games and movies in cars now. To some of you, I’m sure, this is not news and ranks up there with “frozen TV dinners” and this new-fangled “elastic” that’s all the rage.

You kids.

The ability to play movies in a car? Way to go, Detroit! Never mind about the gas mileage, we’ve got to work harder on giving the people more ways to distract themselves from reality!

Perhaps the thinking here was to keep the little buggers in the back seat occupied – and yes, I refer to the children. I’m aware of the frustration created by incessant cries of “Mom! Kevin’s not touching me!” while Kevin, the little bugger, runs his grubby index finger up and down his sister’s arm, very close but not quite touching her skin

Not that I have experienced this myself.

So without purposely trying to sound hopelessly out-of-touch, what will happen with the little buggers’ imaginations without the lull of the wheels, the creepiness of the AM radio stations, the potential humor of one’s parents’ music?

Having grown up, it seems, on the road, I can tell you that it is a most excellent place to just “be”.

For example, once the novelty of the I’m-Not-Touching-You Game wears off, there’s staring out the window. Ah. Staring out the window. Whether you’re counting fire hydrants, Volkswagens, cars with one headlight or cows, it is, nevertheless, the quiet stuff of childhood.

What’s that cloud look like? Hey! What’s that guy doing over there? Mom, how come that lady looks like that? Hey! There’s a Dairy Queen over there! Mom, what if that guy has someone in his trunk? Would we ram him off the road and call the cops? Hey, Mom –

Kids quiet down eventually, right?

Which one of you kids can find a car with a New Jersey license plate?

Mom! Kevin’s not touching me again!


OK. So maybe that’s why they put the movies in the car.

Pfft. I still don’t think it’s cool.

20 comments:

joeh said...

It is distracting to me when I am behind one at night. I see TV, I have to watch.

I did have one years back and it was nice on a long trip. I once put in a not G rated movie for my little guy and I could not play it because of the rating. I needed a parental code! It was a used car and I had no idea of what the code was.

I still don't know why you need a parental code for a VCR playing in the back seat of a car. Do 6 year old's sneak in "Debbie Does Dallas" without a grown-up driver knowing it?

joeh said...

Not that I have a dvd of "Debbie Does Dallas."

Jono said...

Disney is in cahoots with the auto manufacturers to enslave your children's imaginations to only Disney products. It's a long term profit plan and world domination scheme that seems to be working. I guess.

Daisy said...

The car is a nice place to just "be"--this is true. Perhaps it is the parents who need a little time to just "be," and that's why they play a movie for the little buggers. :D

Vinny C said...

They put these in public transportation too. I have read one or two stories (even though one was one too many) of bus drivers with DVD players in their buses accidentally forgetting switch out the adult movies they left in the players before turning them on for the passengers at the start of the workday.

vanilla said...

The alphabet game, white horse, how many miles to that grain elevator? I'm with you on the movies thing.

Delores said...

We are all, parents and children alike, glued to our screens so much of the time; a long car ride is an excellent opportunity for parents and children to interact. Boredom often brings out comments like, "Mom, did you Karen .........? Useful information.

Joanne Noragon said...

It's a new world, Pearl, and they're all in it together.

jenny_o said...

We always used to have the entertainment of a child with carsickness. Personally, I'd rather have a DVD player.

I love the line about Kevin not touching you - genius and so friggin' true. Siblings! No one else knows quite how to get under your skin with such finesse :)

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Was having exactly this debate only yesterday as my sister and I drove The Maestro long miles to her University in another city - we had conversation - real, live, interactive conversation!!! Who'd've thunk it? YAM xx

sage said...

Putting movies in the backseat is better than the other alternative, locking kids in the trunk. On second thought...

Elephant's Child said...

There was a Kevin, but no movies on our road trips too. Lots of I spy, and watching for horses in blankets, and ...
And a bit of car sickness.
All preferable to yet more screen time. In my dinosaur head anyway.

bill lisleman said...

I don't like them either. Most of our grandkids have them or a smartphone to play with. I do think they don't get to exercise their imagination with a DVD or video game playing. I believe the amount of time using playing them needs to be monitored.

fmcgmccllc said...

My grandfather had a camera with film that would take moving pictures. And we would run the film on a projector aimed at the wall and watch the movies.

There is an entire reel of cornfields between Adrian Michigan and Lyons Ohio. It is fascinating.

Linda O'Connell said...

Pearl, it's us against them. Face in screen, that's the extent of it these days, in cars at restaurants, libraries...everywhere.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Harumph. We have a portable DVD player for the 5 hour haul to visit grandparents. Otherwise cow poker it is!

River said...

I think they're in there to give the parents a little peace from the constant "are we there yet?' coming from the back seat. My kids never did that, I think I scared them off with 'whoever says are we there yet gets no ice cream ever again.'
I'm surprised that the kids who have these don't spend the whole trip fighting over what to watch and who chooses.

Diane Tolley said...

Don't forget the book reading until you're car sick. That was the best one . . .

Far Side of Fifty said...

The alphabet and the car color game used to keep us occupied or else we had a nap:)

Esther Montgomery said...

Motorways were the deaf knell for looking out of the window.