The Big, Fat, Black Capitalist Car has a trunk that remotely opens and remotely closes. It’s true. Two key fob clicks – trunk opens. Two more key-fob clicks – trunk closes. I’ve had cars before with a remotely open-able trunk, but the remote-close thing is new to me. When I first saw the feature I thought, ”Nice, but pretty silly. How hard is it to close the trunk?”
Well, I was out this morning in the Big, Fat, Black Capitalist Car running errands, and I’ll bet I used the remote-close thing five times, which got me to thinking about Gadget Creep.
My first car and several cars after that came with hand-crank windows, an AM radio with no buttons (the mechanical buttons were on the more expensive radios), and no air conditioning. If you wanted to move the seat forward or backward, you reached under the seat found a lever thing, and pulled on it. Then you moved the seat by pushing or pulling with your legs. If you wanted to sit higher, you used a pillow. To open the door or the trunk you needed a key, and you actually had to stick the key in the keyhole and turn it.
Sure, some cars back then came with those newfangled power windows, air conditioners, and I remember thinking, ”How goddamned dumb is that. How hard is it to roll down the windows? And, if it’s hot out, that’s exactly what you do – you open the windows.”
Then I got a car with an air conditioner in it and later got one that had power windows and a radio with buttons. In each case, I wondered how I ever got along without those things. I am the prime example of a person who has succumbed to “Gadget Creep”.
Now, I remotely open the doors, and when I put the key in the ignition, the seat (heated when it’s cold), and mirrors (inside auto-dimming and outside – heated, of course) move to exactly to their pre-set positions. At night, the headlights come on automatically. The temperature inside is automatically set, so in the cold weather, the heater comes on and in the summer, the air conditioner fires up. I can hear stereo radio or any one of six CDs through multiple speakers at the push of a button, and I can change stations, or CD tracks and adjust the volume with the push of a button on the steering wheel. My windshield wipers “know” how hard it is raining, a compass tells me what direction I’m traveling in, and a beeper thing tells me when I’m getting close to something when backing up. A computer widget tells me my average gasoline consumption and how many miles I can drive without running out of gas. Don’t even ask me about the farookin’ automatic moon roof.
Have I been spoiled by all these gadgets?
No. The question is how did I ever get along without them?
It’s a good country.