In the Webster Dictionary an inanimate object is an anything without life or spirit, lacking consciousnesses or power of motion. Okay, forget about the literal meaning of the power of motion, a vehicle is an inanimate object. Which, quite coincidentally brings me to today’s post.
In this morning’s newspaper there was an article titled, “Helpful gadjets in newer cars can be annoying.” I like a writer that comes right to the point. Here are a few hi-lights from the article.
Shannon Taylor and her 2013 Chevy Suburban have been together for only a month, but already the car gets on her nerves. It interrupts conversations to announce traffic jams, possible detours, nags her to fill up the gas tank, and any other information the computerized voice deems prudent. It even sparked arguments with her husband over how much to rely on the rear-mounted camera when backing up. “It’s annoying,” she says.
Susan Hamm’s car, a 2011 Jeep Liberty, also is a pain. It starts relentlessly beeping if she turns the car off without immediately shutting off the headlights, throwing in a few extra beeps after the headlights are off. She finds herself scolding the electronic device. “Give me a second, would ya!”
And now our new vehicles have become our own personal backseat drivers by adding a multitude of collision-avoidance gadjetry. Road rage has become a problem in today’s society. We all know that. But now drivers are suffering road rage with their own vehicle. One driver said, “Every time I begin yelling at my car I try to remind myself that it’s just a machine. But I still do it.”
Another problem that has drivers pulling their hair out is the GPS, namely the ability to audibly tell it where one wants directions to. One driver said, “I would give it directions to an address in the near by town of Brookline. But the GPS was determined to give me directions to Brooklyn New York, hundreds of miles away. The lady said she knows it’s ridiculous yelling at her GPS, but she finds herself doing it anyway. “I can’t believe I try to carry on a conversation with my dashboard!” she lamented.
This brings me to my wife and her 2012 Toyota Camry. She is doing all of the above, along with a few interesting variations of her own. She curses her new electronic toys, pleads with them, and even begs. Her steering wheel’s original function now has another use not mentioned in the owner’s manual; a convenient location to bang her forehead. Though I try to remain sympathetic during these tirades, I do find humor in them. But though we think it funny to watch someone else talking to an inanimate object, we all do it, sometimes several times a day. And what’s scary? We don’t give it a second thought.
The car won’t start. “Come on, give me a break. Just start!” Who are you talking to?
And really, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an inanimate object. “Hey, if you’re going to turn, then turn!” the statement coming from inside a vehicle and behind closed windows. What, do you think your message will be telepathically transported to the driver in front of you? Anyway, you get my drift.
And I’m just as guilty as the next person. I do it all the time. I was out in my man cave pouring a new-colored plastic minnow. I pulled it from the mold and admired it. “Now, that’s going to be a real fish catcher,” I said. Who was I talking to? But until writing this post, I never gave it a thought.
I don’t know. Maybe it goes back to when Jesus made mention of talking to an inanimate object. “If you say onto that mountain be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in your mind, but believe it will come to pass, that mountain shall be removed.” Mmmmm, interesting.
So maybe that’s why we speak to inanimate objects, or better yet, our personal mountains. Some how, deep within our spirit, we actually believe what we say might actually happen. I don’t know. That’s the only excuse I can come up with for what otherwise would seem to be an an act of insanity….