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And Another Thing…

First off – thanks to the number of you who come back at me (in the nicest possible way) after last week’s Blog. I was quite touched by the feedback and so I have in the week decided to keep going when I can and feel I have something to say with the understanding I can take a week off now and then. Let us see how that goes.

This week I have been reminded yet again of several aspects of my character that I find annoying. In particular, there is the part of me that is very resistant to change, more specifically change that is enforced and not part of a conscious decision on my (or indeed the Lovely Wife’s) part. The new company car for instance. Now, I’ll be honest, it is a nice benefit to not have to worry about servicing etc. and get to drive a much newer car than I could afford, but the recent enforced change has not made me very happy – although there have been some amusements, as I will come too. For the last four years we have had a Toyota Prius that, while it was difficult to get used to initially – getting the thing started and moving is not intuitive, it was my first automatic, footbrake instead of handbrake etc. etc. in the end I grew to really like it. It was nippy, easy to drive and economical and just about the right size. After 4 years the lease came to an end and I had assumed I would just move onto the latest version.

I was somewhat disappointed to find that on the list of what was offered there were no hybrids and basically everything had to be pretty much a diesel (never had one of those) and German (or at least German owned). And if I wanted it in time it had to be one of the larger models. This was not at all what had been planned out in my head so needless to say that put me straight into Grump Town.  Ah, pity my Lovely Wife when I am in that grey and dark place.

Thankfully I do not like Grump Town much myself, so heading back to Look On the Bright Side Village I ordered what looked the best of the options that were available and a large slab of grey appeared yesterday (somewhat unexpectedly early, but that is a whole different story). So now I am trying to learn how the thing works.

Cars have definitely gotten too complicated for mere mortals like myself. I am sure that all the clever little features on this car are all terribly useful and that within a few months I will wonder how I ever got by without something that apparently is supposed to warn me of the proximity of pedestrians (I thought that was called ‘using your eyes’) and the overcomplicated in-car entertainment system will seem as clear as day. But at the moment I am looking at the instruction manual with bafflement – it is larger and more complicated than most of the science texts I studied at university. Admittedly, a lot of that bulk is taken up by very serious boxed comments with little warning triangles that simply repeat messages that, summarized, say ‘if you drive like a muppet, you’ll have an accident and it will not be our fault (don’t say we didn’t tell you!)’. Fair enough. But all that extraneous text just buries the instructions on how to use the thing properly.

However, as I say there have been some amusements.

In particular, some of these dire warnings, completely seriously, inform me that while useful, the highlighted feature ‘cannot change the laws of physics’.

I am somewhat disappointed with the state of automotive engineering in that case.

Beyond my disappointment that a standard fleet car does not possess the ability to warp the fabric of Reality, unfortunately I am of an age that the line ‘canna change the laws of physics’ immediately raises the spectre of someone attempting to do a terrible Scottish accent (i.e. therefore a reasonable impression of the late – and wonderful – James Doohan, bless him) in The Firm’s 1987 number one ‘Star Trekkin’. I can only hope this means that when I turn on the Sat Nav at some point it might try and sound like Lt. Uhura warning me of Klingons (or, indeed, pedestrians) off the starboard bow…


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