Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Control Issues

As long as the government is going to take over the car companies, they might as well make some meaningful changes in how cars are built. Come on people. Let’s see a real impact on the safety of our roads. Take control of the controls. Let me give you an example. I drive a Jeep. I love my Jeep. With an hour commute to work each day, my Jeep and I can practically read each other’s minds. And then I get in the Dodge pickup. Forgive me if I’m confused, but aren’t Jeeps and Dodges made by the same company? Why, then, are all of the controls bass-ackwards when I climb behind the wheel of the pickup? The windshield is spotted with mud, so I flip on the squirter thingy to clean them. Except instead of squirting the windshield, I am now signaling for a left turn. I flip the lever the other direction. Now I’m blinding oncoming traffic with my high beams. So I pull on the lever located by my left hand. That causes the steering wheel to flip up into a near-lateral position. (Why does it do that, anyway? If I’d wanted to drive around with the steering wheel flat, I would have stayed on the tractor, for crying out loud.) By the time I finally find the mechanism that controls the squirty thing, it really doesn’t matter whether I can see out of the windshield. I’ve already hit the ditch while I was too busy poking buttons to watch the road. And those are the simple controls. Forget trying to set the cruise control. I end up with the radio blaring some French language station out of Edmonton. If I want temperature moderation I’ll have to either pull over and drag out the owner’s manual or dress in layers. Therefore, I propose that Congress develop and implement a standard set of controls for all American made vehicles. The windshield wipers shall always be located on the right hand side of the steering wheel. To dim the headlights, you shall always pull back on the lever on the left hand side of the steering wheel. None of this pushing forward in random vehicles. And when you turn the middle button on the console counterclockwise, the air conditioning will always come on. I figure the government is in the ideal position to take charge of the Automobile Control Simplification Initiative. They now have the financial clout to tell the car makers what to do. And who better to whip our automobiles into shape than the people who brought us Medicare and the IRS? On second thought… Maybe I should just give you fair warning. I really want to go to Disney World. So someday, if you’re in Florida and you see a rental car blundering down the interstate with the windshield wipers flapping wildly, the left turn signal flashing, and Cuban music blaring through windows that are rolled down because the heater is blasting instead of the air conditioner, it isn’t necessarily a ditzy blue-haired retiree. Could just be me and my control issues.

8 comments:

Susan at Stony River said...

That's a hilarious Disneyworld image! LOL

I've said this same thing at home: why can't everything just be standard? Why can't there be four or five tyre sizes, instead of dozens? Why can't all colour printers be made to accommodate one type of affordable replacement ink cartridge? It's maddening because you know it *could* be done, it just isn't. Free market economy and all that... damn them all.

Glad I'm not the only one turning on the wipers on sunny days and the headlights at noon! LOL

Being Beth said...

Yes!!! I totally agree and will add my own pet peeve -- TV remotes. Why can't they be standardized??? Those flippin' things are going to be the end of me. I say bring back the old rotary dial on the TV set. I really don't mind getting out of my chair to change the channel or turn up the volume. Hit one unintended button and I'm suddenly in TV remote hell. When that happens I turn off the set and read a book.

Dearth of Reason said...

Maybe you are just misunderstanding the purposes of these controls. They may be more useful than you suppose. Perhaps I can shed some light.

Laying the steering wheel flat in your pickup is a convenience feature, for when you've had a few too many beers and need some help staying upright.

The cruise control is a puzzle; learn how to start it and you don't have to stop at red lights any more, even if you can figure out how.

Radio is just companionship. It's assumed that if you actually wanted to listen to something you'd have your iPOD with you. So the radio pumps out voices in romantic languages to keep you company while your husband sleeps.

All better now?

Kari Lynn Dell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kari Lynn Dell said...

DOR: Ah, I get it now. I thought the steering wheel thing was for those who've had a lifetime of excess beers and needed a little extra clearance.

Don't get me started on trying to listen to my MP3 player in the car. It's SUPPOSED to plug in there....somewhere.

Crystal Posey said...

If it's possible, I now love your blog even more. Jeeps! I had a tracker, not a jeep I know but the closest thing I was getting, but an 18-wheeler totaled it. I was not happy for a long time. *sigh* one day I'll have my jeep, one day.

writermomof5 said...

LOL... When I was test driving a new minivan (yeah, I know, but I have 5 kids! 'nuff said) there was a moment of complete embarassment becasuse the gear shift, well, it just didn't look right and it was on the dash. Yeah, I bought it and I'm still not sure where the damn hazard lights are....

kitty said...

Heck, no one can standardize the sizing of women's clothing! =:O

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