I develop strong emotional attachments to my cars. It’s a problem because then it is hard for me to let them go. I probably have written about my first car, Goober, the 1980 Cadillac Sedan DeVille that I inherited from my paternal grandfather.
I loved that car. It could fit 10 teenagers comfortably. After Goober came the maroon Buick LeSabre. It was classy. Then came the first of several minivans. We actually bought it on Edmund’s.com and they did give us the best price. That van was silver. Followed by another silver, a maroon, and then another silver, I think. As I am getting older, I have a hard time remembering all of the details. I know that Goober was brown, that is for sure. Hence, the name, since a goober is a chocolate-covered peanut. And I am always thinking about food.
In any case, as the years go by and technology tries to keep up (or we try to keep up with technology) the “extras” in each van change as well. We never asked for anything extra because, well, you know — husband #1 is from Monsey, and those Monsey folk don’t always like paying for extras. So when our lovely leasing guy would ask what we wanted from our vehicle, our answer always is, “Whatever is cheapest.” Honesty is the best policy after all.
Sometimes the cheaper leasing deals came with extras, and we felt very fancy. Like the sliding doors that close by themselves. I, personally, was never a fan. My feeling is that anything extra has the chance to break. It is the same reason why I didn’t want a garbage disposal in my kitchen — just another thing that could break. So we would get whatever extras would come with the van. Some things we liked, some things we didn’t, and some things we never learned how to use.
And then we got our Nissan Rogue.
I had noticed that everyone and their grandmother seemed to drive a Rogue, so, since imitation is the highest form of flattery, I decided that would be our next vehicle. We got blue because red was extra (fun fact) and I named him Peter. He just looked like a Peter. But since my boys have become so right wing I thought I should give him a Hebrew name. We now call him Pinny. It seems to suit him, and the boys are happy. They would be even happier if Pinny wore a black hat and a davening jacket, but he is a car, so they need to be realistic.
We got the basic model, which came with some basic extras. One of them is the lane changing awareness system. That might not be what it is actually called, but that is what we will call it. Truthfully, I call it the annoying beeping. The car is supposed to beep when you start to drift to another lane or when there is a car in the lane next to you OR if you are pulling out of a spot and there is a car coming from either direction. Sounds good, right? Sounds helpful, right? Wrong.
Pinny has got a mind of his own. He randomly beeps and it drives me crazy (but why should he be any different than the other children I have named…). We have done several experiments — started driving into a curb, switching lanes when there were no other cars around, and Pinny just beeps whenever he feels like it. Over time, we all have become very familiar with Pinny’s mood disorder, but the other day I had my mom in the car. We are chatting about this and that and then, out of nowhere, Pinny starts his usual rant. He is just beeping to his heart’s content, and I notice that my mom is shifting in her seat. “Is everything OK?” I ask. “Well, the car is beeping, so I am moving my legs to the side, so it stops.” My poor mom — she thought that Pinny’s temper tantrum was because of her. I had to explain to her that the beeping is random, and it doesn’t matter where her legs are. Pinny marches to the tune of his own drummer. Just like the rest of the family.
So what lesson have we learned? Extras aren’t always a good thing, and there is no way to punish a car if it doesn’t listen to you. And there you go.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is very excited to have all three monkeys home for four whole nights next week!!!! She is also not thinking about what comes after that….