Last week you read the saga of how Hubby had yet another midlife crisis (can it technically be a midlife crisis when you’re sixty-eight years old?) and acquired a new Tundra. Either that or he was getting even with me for bringing home two dogs and three cats six years ago. Still, better a Tundra than a young mistress (or old mistress, for that matter).
I realize I am still stuck on the ‘60’s when it comes to vehicles. For me, a vehicle should have one function and one function only—to get a person from point A to point B. The blessed vehicles of the ‘60’s did just that. You got in the car, turned the key in the ignition, put the car in gear, and drove off. Your air-conditioning consisted of rolling the windows down and going sixty miles an hour down the highway. You might have a semblance of a working radio that could maybe get a couple of stations with or without static. This is the type of car I can live with. (Okay, I will admit that air-conditioning is pretty nice here in Florida.)
Nowadays, you need a master’s degree in computer science to figure out how to drive a new vehicle. I’m sure you remember me pointing out on numerous occasions that technology and I don’t get along. All computers are out to get me. It’s a conspiracy. This blasted truck has more “stuff” that has absolutely nothing to do with getting from point A to point B than I will ever learn how to negotiate in a lifetime. Let me just say I can identify the cup holders, and that’s about it. There are more buttons and gizmos on this truck that constantly flash information on the enormous computer screen smack dab in the middle of the dashboard where a normal radio and CD player should be.
If I’m constantly looking at all the display information on the computer, dashboard, and steering wheel, I risk ramming into the car in front of me that stopped for a red light. But not to worry. This truck has automatic stopping in case the driver forgets to press the brake pedal. At least I think it does. At least if that braking feature is turned on, which, of course, I have no idea how to turn on. Still, I’m not brave enough to test it. Besides, it would be just my luck that Hubby would have turned it off for some reason known only to himself when I depended on it to save my life while I was distracted with a robocall. He once turned the GPS off on my cell phone for reasons I still don’t understand, leaving me stranded and frustrated trying to bring up an address when I was lost. But I digress. I’m good at digressing.
The truck also has hands-off, voice-activated phone capacities, except for the fact that: first, the button you’re supposed to press for this function refused to work at all for me. Works perfectly for Hubby. I told you it’s a conspiracy. It didn’t matter how hard, soft, up, down, whatever I touched the button, it wouldn’t work. Second, although I could reach up and activate the hands-off feature on the giant computer screen, the stupid response I kept getting was, “I don’t understand what you’re saying.” Maybe I need to give my instructions in Spanish. I would be better off to just grab my cell phone, press the contact I want, and hold it up to my ear the old-fashioned way. It would be safer for all concerned.
The radio gets three-thousand, two-hundred and fifty-two stations, all of which are static free. Of course, you pay extra for this feature so you can spend your time sailing down the highway switching from one station to the next instead of actually watching the road because when each new song comes up, you have to check the computer for the artist and the year. But if the automatic braking is working, it should be okay. I could possibly learn to live with this feature if Hubby didn’t constantly change the station, especially when a song I like is playing. Some of those oldies’ songs take me back to the good old days when I listened to them on a car radio with static and commercials
The thing I like the least is the remote power switch, which won’t work unless the battery-operated key fob is somewhere in the vicinity. This means if I drive off while the fob is on the front porch, I may end up somewhere miles away and be unable to restart the truck. Or, what is bound to happen, the battery in the fob dies and the vehicle won’t start. I ask you, what is wrong with a good old-fashioned key turning in the ignition? I don’t like all this foo-foo stuff.
I’ve already forgotten everything else I tried to learn the one time I drove the Tundra. If nothing else, I’ve learned to appreciate my 2011 Ford Fusion, which has none of these fancy features and, better yet, still has a CD player. And a radio with static.