I Didn’t Need That

Cars these days come with a lot of useful stuff. I love satellite radio, power windows, power seats, the automatic trunk release, windshield wipers, and brakes. But there’s a lot of stuff that I don’t need, or stuff that makes me wonder if the engineers who designed my car actually drive the same kind of car. I also wonder if you would like to know what these things are, because I’m sure by now, you’re wondering if I’m going to tell you. Good news. . . I am!

I miss the little knob on the “day/night” mirror that lets me shift the mirror up, and then—this is key—shift it back to its original location. Instead, I have an auto-dimming mirror which does virtually nothing to dim anything automatically. To be fair, I drive a Kia, and I doubt many of the folks in South Korea have to deal with Chevy Suburbans and jacked up Dodge Rams following too closely and beaming their headlights directly into their rear-view mirrors, so why would they design something to avoid that? Oh, and I think it was in a previous post when I wrote that little phrase when I realized, all mirrors are rear view, aren’t they? Front-view mirrors are simply called windshields.

I also miss the tilt-wheel steering column. Instead, I have a tilt-telescoping column, which sounds all fancy and stuff, but it doesn’t really tilt. Oh, maybe one degree or so. It basically gets higher or lower, but doesn’t tilt all that much. If it did, it would be easier on my hands/wrists/arms while I’m driving for what seems like forever on Route 32. I guess it is rather convenient, though, to have a steering column that pushes in so the short guy at Jiffy Lube can reach the pedals for the 30 seconds it takes him to drive it over the pit.

Kia also thought it would be cool to have a “refrigerated” glove compartment. The salesman made a point of highlighting this to me when I bought the car. There’s a little twist knob thing inside the glove box that opens a portal to the cold air from the air conditioner and shoots it into the glove box to keep candy bars from melting. There are a couple of things wrong with this. First, this is a stupid feature. It doesn’t make it refrigerated, it just makes it cold. A second thing, there’s no room for candy bars or anything else that I want to keep cold, because the glove box is already full of a 2,496-page owner’s manual in a tri-fold, faux-leather presentation case, and 412 McDonald’s napkins. The third thing is, who the hell puts candy bars in their glove box? Are you storing them for the winter? Isn’t winter cold enough to keep the candy bars from melting? Why can’t you just eat one stinking candy bar? Just. Eat. The candy bar.

So what could they have engineered into my little car to make me happy? Insulated cup holders. An in-dash Keurig. Massaging seats. Hovercraft mode. Polarizing windshield. Heated glass to melt the ice in the winter. An electronic message board to communicate with other drivers. An “I just wish you’d go” signal. Self-cleaning wheels. An EZ-Pass that would pay for my coffee at Chick-Fil-A. Electrostatic glass so I don’t need a sunscreen in the summer. Front-mounted worm hole generator to alleviate traffic congestion. Drone view to find a good parking space. And maybe. . . just maybe. . . a bright, rear-facing light to flash at the Chevy Suburban in my rear-view mirror.

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