I would not be exaggerating to woof that Momma is struggling a bit with what she now calls the smart car in our garage. And I emphasize in our garage because that’s where it usually stays. Momma still loves all the car’s cool features, but when she’s actually used it to drive her from point A to point B (the real point of a car, no?), she’s had some issues. In fact, she drives it so infrequently, she’s moved my car seat back into our “back up” car — the one she doesn’t dare give up. The one Momma’s friend, Lori, calls our “land-line.”
Why is Momma so freaked out by Smart Car? Well, it started out that she didn’t dare drive it at night because she doesn’t know if the brights or dims are on (there is no blue light on the dashboard to indicate this — in fact there is no dashboard). And now she’s had some trouble with it in the daytime, too.
First, she doesn’t really understand how the door locks work. She has gone into the computer that serves as a dashboard and clicked on a button that says “Walk-Away Door Lock.” But she doesn’t trust it will lock because, unlike Land-Line, it doesn’t immediately beep and flash. So now Momma — after walking away as instructed — stands looking at the car like someone who’s forgotten who she is, hoping she’ll get some signal that it’s locked. Usually the lights flash after about twenty seconds, but not always. (Especially after she tried to make some changes to the setup with her Tesla App.) She can’t even enjoy shopping, she’s so worried about it. At least a thief (very common in the Twin Cities these days she knows) couldn’t “hot wire” it, she comforts herself, because she’s pretty sure there are no wires. Or maybe there are? It is electrical after all.
And it’s even worse in Dog Mode. One day she drove it to Target with me along, smartly clicked on Dog Mode and exited the car. Then she shut the door and walked away. And then she stopped and looked at the car. For a long time. No light came on no matter how long she stood there. And she couldn’t just check to see if the little door lock buttons were up or down (like on Land-Line), because Smart Car did not have little buttons.
She knew people were starting to stare, so she thought she better move along. And really, she thought, Dog Mode wouldn’t be Dog Mode, would it, if the car was not locked? She really didn’t trust it though, and let’s just say it was a quick trip in and out of Target. In fact, I think I saw her looking out the window at me the whole time. Just woofin’.
And after another little shopping excursion she could not unlock the doors at all! She finally managed to get in using her App, but what if she couldn’t outfox the little smart aleck car next time? This is Minnesota! She could freeze to death!
Speaking of freezing to death, last week the temperature in Minneapolis dipped to -2. Then it snowed about six inches. Momma had heard tails that her new Smart Car was not good in low temps and in snow (especially if one did not have snow tires, which she did not). Therefore, we drove Land-Line to my agility training on Tuesday, during a blizzard. Smart Car was off the hook again.
Then on Thursday, Momma was going to drop off a urine sample of mine at the vet’s to check for a UTI (almost a weekly drill), and, mustering up all her courage, decided to drive Smart Car. However, just before she left, we got a freezing rain. She could barely take me outside to get a urine sample, much less drive a pretend car to the vet’s. Once again, the car stayed in the garage.
She was going to drive it to the dealership on Friday to get her new plates put on (really what choice did she have — she couldn’t very well put the new plates on Land-Line, could she?). Oh, and of course she did have to take Smart Car in for this because it takes an expert to attach the frame and plate to a front bumper when there is no front bumper. She didn’t have to worry about driving Smart Car that day, though; the plates didn’t arrive as promised, and it snowed seventeen inches. Here I am wondering what could happen next. And when we might take the car out again — at least to play Jingle Bells for the neighbors.
Lina, Just Shaking My Head
Pawscript: Just as this was going to press, the new plates were delivered to our front door. Alleluia, thought Momma! “Now we’re cooking with gas … er, I mean electricity, Lina! Tomorrow we’ll go over to that dealership, and have the plates put on, and get some answers to my questions.” I bet they’ll be happy to see us.