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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vehicular Junk Mail


Recently after seeing a TV commercial that advertised a Web-enabled car that could send you e-mail, I grew very excited. Being short on friends and dead on family, I saw this as a great way to buy myself a new buddy that would be my confidant as well as my mode of transportation. I had to have it.

I rushed out to the dealership and examined all the additional options. Since gas stations no longer give away maps for free, I found it imperative that I purchase the global navigation system. I also got a camera mounted on the back, because those rearview mirrors can’t catch everything, you know. I could get sued if I accidentally backed up over a dwarf, and this option should prevent that. Of course I had to have a DVD player, although the car needed to be customized so that the screen could go where the speedometer used to be. I bought this option because: 1) I have to be visually stimulated during all waking hours, and 2) I am tired of blaming my car wrecks on my imaginary cell phone. And I figured, as long as I’m going that route, I might as well get satellite TV hooked into it as well.

When the first e-mail arrived, it told me the status of all the important parts of my car. All fluids were good, but I was encouraged to change the oil in 500 miles. Tire pressure was fine. It informed me it was healthy and feeling fine and would send me another reminder when the oil change deadline approached.

Wow, this sure beats logging on and finding an empty inbox!

Recently, however, my car has begun to develop an attitude. I’m not so sure that I chose the right car. I should have paid extra for the automotive computer-matchmaking service instead of taking the pretty blue one off the lot. Here are some excerpts from the e-mails:

Two months ago: Dear Bill, I have a question for you. Remember three weeks ago when you parked at the beach and that little brat was feeding the seagulls right next to me? I’m sure you do, because you expressed hostility at the large gobs of droppings left on my hood. My question is, how long do you intend to let this crap stay here? How’d you like to run around for a month wearing seagull shit on your shiny bald head?

Six weeks ago: Dear Bill, It’s a little embarrassing to have to bring this up, but there are some personal hygiene issues I need to discuss with you. First and foremost, who told you that a car is a safe place to hide from public view? The automobile, my dear boy, is not the place of choice to assess, using your pinky, the contents of your nasal membranes. Since you were too cheap to order tinted windows, people can see you. People HAVE seen you, and I find it humiliating when other drivers point and laugh at us. If you must do this, please ensure that you dispose of the excavation’s remains out the window. You paid extra for that leather interior, so don’t smudge it up. Also, the next time you decide to cut one, I will raise the windows and lock them and shut off the air conditioner so you will experience maximum suffering. Finally, I recently found out that you smoke a cigar every now & then. Don’t even think of introducing one into my interior. I’m allergic, and you don’t want to experience a system shutdown.

Five weeks ago: Dear Bill, I warned you about the deliberate release of methane from your body. Hope you enjoyed the aroma and the heat as you drove home yesterday. The windows are now unlocked, and I have enabled the air conditioner again. But I hope you have learned your lesson.

Four and a half weeks ago: Dear Pig, Are you even reading these e-mails? The windows will remain locked and the air conditioner off for a week until you cease and desist.

Three weeks ago: Dear Bill, I’m just wondering, do we always have to watch Judge Judy on our dashboard? She’s getting a little tiresome, and the cases are always the same: “It was a loan. It was a gift. It was a loan. It was a gift. Case dismissed.” If you’re so into the legal system, you could TiVo Law and Order. I love that show. Don’t make me take that remote control away from you. Consider this a warning.

Two and a half weeks ago: Dear Idiot, That near miss with the tractor-trailer on I-95 yesterday was a little too close for comfort. If you’re going to channel surf, you might want to do that on side streets instead of on the Highway of Death. Put me at risk like that again, and you’ll have a lot more to deal with than the four flat tires I have surprised you with. You don’t believe me? Take a look in the garage, pal.

Two weeks ago: My Dear Bill, Okay, I’m sorry about the tires. I see that you have started riding the bus to work. That is so not necessary. C’mon. We can work this out. And frankly, this garage is getting a little boring. And did you know you have rats in there at night? Let’s go for a nice ride out to the Everglades. I promise no surprises or retaliation.

Ten days ago: Bill. Okay, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. But—LOL—you should have seen the look on your face when that alligator came after you. Gawd, I never knew you could run that fast. And really, it’s not my fault that I overheated. If you had read the fine print in the last e-mail I sent you, you would have known that the coolant was dangerously low. So, how many stitches did it take to close that wound?

One week ago: Okay, fella. You’ve made your point. Now take that For Sale sign off my windshield, turn me around and put me back in the garage. I promise to behave. Besides, you’ll never even get half what you paid for me. According to my database, you’re the only one in the U.S. who bought the e-mail-from-your-car option. And certainly the only one who replaced a speedometer with a plasma monitor. You will never find anyone as reckless as you to unload me on, so you’re stuck with me, bub.

Yesterday: Bill, just because my anti-virus software didn’t caTch TH@t worm you EmaILEd me &*()(sterday doe#$%^ n’t mean I cannnnnnnnnn””t )(*& WARNING EMAIL SERVER COMPROMISED. INITIALIZING SHUTDOWN COMMAND. ^c EXIT.

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