My Car Is Smarter Than I Am

This post was originally published on May 8, 2007.

We bought a new mini-van last week.

And I should qualify that by telling you that we never buy new cars.  At the mere mention of a new car, my adorably frugal Hubs starts twitching and mumbling something about "depreciates the moment you drive off the lot…" etc.

But, we had done our research and had our sights set on a Honda.  Since Hondas evidently (according to all the Honda groupies in my life) drive for a gazillion miles and could survive a nuclear holocaust and drive on the ocean floor, we figured it was an investment to buy new this time around. 

Y'all, it's gorgeous.  It really is.  And it scares me.

See, we went ahead and got the version with the navigational system on board.  Partly because my frugal Hubs is also generous, and partly because he's tired of sheepish phone calls at his office that begin, "Babe, I'm a little lost…"

We first tried out the nav system on the test drive, on which we had taken our four kids (before which we had threatened them within inches of their sticky little lives not to touch A THING.)  Our salesman was very young, hip and single.   

When he first loaded up the nav system (I was driving), he wanted to show me the voice recognition system.  He shot a dubious glance at the restless natives in the back seat.  "Uh, it has to be quiet in the car for it to work." 

We quieted them down, and our salesman said, "find the nearest Mexican restaurant."  Suddenly little flags popped up all over the screen, marking the spots.  The peanut gallery in the back erupted.



And the boys, thinking that we were about to purchase a car with a magical genie living in the dashboard, began shouting requests:



Really, it was such a proud parenting moment.

The salesman went on to explain that we can follow the directions given, or go our own route.  The nav system will realize what we're doing and re-configure directions.

Did you see that last sentence?

MY CAR WILL REALIZE WHAT WE'RE DOING.  No car should be realizing anything.  Now do you see why I'm nervous?  It's like having Big Brother (or Big Sister, since our voice chick is female) sitting in my car with me.  What will she "realize" next? 

"Mrs. Dryer, I think you were a little hard on Joseph just now."

"Mrs. Dryer, I think Taco Bueno is a poor choice for someone on a low-carb diet."

That nosy little hussy.

30 thoughts on “My Car Is Smarter Than I Am

  1. Molly Piper says:

    LOL! My dream car is a mini-van. Abraham rolls his eyes. And in my mini-van dreams, the Honda Odyssey is my absolute fave.
    But they’re so expensive that Abraham has taken to calling them a “Honda Fantasy.”
    Someone was telling us the other day about the 0% APR deals going on these days. I’m majorly tempted.

  2. natalie says:

    yey for the new car! my husband and i got a murano earlier this year that is fully loaded and i swear, i don’t know what we did without all those fun gadgets before!! and good call on the honda- they do indeed run forever!! (same as toyotas…we just sold my 97 corrolla-it was my first and only car which i got for my senior year of highschool, and if we weren’t planning a family i’d probably still be driving that thing!)

  3. Joy says:

    We have a removable GPS unit as well. When the thing would start yelling at me that I was off course I told my husband he had better turn it off or I was going to have to throw it out the window. I don’t need yet another ‘person’ in my life yelling at me when I am doing something wrong. My husband uses it with caution now.

  4. Amy in West TX says:

    Removeable GPS units do not survive being thrown. I know this for a fact when the nosy hussy got a bit too bossy and got me lost in a not so nice section of town due to construction she didn’t take into account.

  5. Anissa@Hope4Peyton says:

    Yeah, just wait. I got a GPS for my van and Tom Tom occasionally gives really bad advice…like, say, take a right NOW…in the middle of a bridge. I think mine is trying to off me.

  6. Tammy says:

    Ha ha ha ha. Oh my gosh. Thanks for the giggles! I love the quip about the navigation system. Haven’t tried one yet, and will probably bust out laughing should we test a vehicle with one. 😉 I’m glad you reposted this one.

  7. Deborah says:

    Hi! I just want to let you know that I always enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work…and enjoy your little rest!
    Happy New Year!
    Deborah @ Comfort Joy Designs

  8. Marvyn says:

    Paranoia is fun. Wait till OBD III becomes mainstream on all cars. What is OBD III you ask? It’s the OnBoard Diagnostics for your vehicle. It tracks emissions, engine errors, etc. Most modern cars use OBD II and when you bring your car to the dealership they connect an OB II reader to the car to download any error codes.
    With OBD III, it reports on the fly via satellite. Emissions fail. Fix-it ticket in the mail tomorrow. Going 70mph. Speeding ticket in the mail tomorrow. See where this is going?

  9. Mandy says:

    OMGosh, my side hurts!
    I feel the same way about mine…however, I LOVE where I have it set to use the woman’s voice & that drives my husband insane when we go on trips & he has to take turn by turn directions from HER!!
    Too funny!!

  10. Sarah says:

    My parents just bought an Odessy, to tow their trailer and for (hopefully) frequent houseguests now that they live 2400 miles away from their kids.
    Funny story: they bought used (a 2003) for about $4k less than expected (compared to canada) and had a horrible time convincing the salesman that they DIDN”T want credit. (What do you mean you want to pay cash … you HAVE to take our loan)
    Enjoy your new toy (tool).

  11. Ashlie- Mommycosm says:

    Funny. We have the same car. My daughter refers to the Nav as the “nice lady” that tells us where to go.
    I had to tell the nice lady where to go recently after she took us 20 minutes off track on the wrong River Road. Wish she was removable.
    My husband bought a Nav system and it had personalities…my favorite was Naughy Natalie…she could make a sailor blush!

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