Further to my post of a few months ago when I swore that I would never, ever, again buy an appliance that beeped, pinged or buzzed at me, I’ve only gone and done it again. And this time, it’s not just an over-eager microwave that wants me to ‘get on with it’ or a world-weary fridge that just wants me to shut the door. Oh no. This time it’s larger. Much larger.
And it talks.
As discussed, now that the World’s Most Boring Car is doing burn-outs in Heaven, I have a new vehicle. Which I reverse-parked for the first time, last Friday, highlighting my lack of spatial awareness. So far, so not-new.
What I failed to mention, however, was that said new car talks to me. Not in an ‘I see Dead People’ kind of way. Not even in a useful ‘At the next roundabout, turn right’ kind of way. She nags. And becomes insistent. And then, as the final straw, beeps wildly.
Her name is Theresa (the car is green and so Mr6 named it Theresa Green after his favourite knock-knock joke – email me if you need me to take you through it). And she is the voice of the Reversing Sensor.
I first met Theresa on day one of driving the new car. I was reversing out the driveway, not a vehicle, jumping gate, person or telegraph pole in sight, when she suddenly spoke, loudly, with one of those mid-Atlantic accents, right above Mr3’s head. “One Point Five Metres,” she said, with authority and a small amount of beeping.
I stopped. The boys and I had an animated discussion about this crazy lady speaking from nowhere, and I double-checked to see what was behind me.
There was nothing.
I continued. “One Metre,” she said, beginning to sound alarmed, warning beep buzzing faster and louder. If I was calm before this began, my heart was now beginning to beat faster.
I looked again.
I proceeded out onto the road. “Point Six Metres,” she shrieked at me, alarm sounding wildly, kids and I all freaking out trying to work out what the hell she was on about.
We didn’t hit anything.
We drove off.
She shut up.
When I discussed this small moment of excitement with The Builder that evening, he quickly worked out that Theresa was angled down as we reversed and was sensing the road. Helpful that.
So now I not only have two ever-talking, ever-bickering, never-quiet boys in the back seat to keep me company when I drive the mean streets of Fibrotown. I have Theresa. Who has something to say about a lot of things.
You should have heard her going off when I tried that reverse park the other night – “Three Metres,” she shrieked, not even bothering to remain calm. Or perhaps it’s all in my perception. It’s hard to pick up on tonal differences in a mechanical voice when you’re exercising your creaky spatial muscles.
When I was a kid, I wanted a car that talked, like KITT from the KnightRider. Be careful what you wish for.