I have a Volkswagen Golf, manual transmission, cute to look at and super-fun to drive. On the down side, it’s thirteen years old, which we can all agree is an awkward age for anyone. Come on, how pleasant were you at thirteen? At least my car doesn’t slam its doors in my face and tell me it never asked to be born.
This adorable vehicle does have some little quirks. There are certain lights that come on and off, warning me of impending imaginary disasters. (The trunk is open! No, it’s really not.) The air conditioning isn’t exactly “working.” And the rear windshield wiper has a mind of its own. The thing goes on at random times (read, sunny days), ignoring all my subtle hints. Like when I turn it to the “off” position. I guess my car really is a thirteen-year-old.
There is one feature of my car that I absolutely hate. This little amenity has screwed me many times. The latest happened just this week.
I pulled up at the gas station, got out, and walked over to the pump. My car, sensing nonexistent danger at the nearby Seven-Eleven, went into lock-down mode. All four doors, plus the trunk. With a loud cha-chung just to rub it in. I was left staring in through the window at my key, lying peacefully next to Useful Items Number Two and Three, my phone and wallet. It’s at this point where I start to despise my car.
Really, Volkswagen? Do so many German drivers forget to lock their doors that you had to design the car to do it automatically? From my limited experience with Germans, I find that hard to believe. The Germans are many things, but flaky isn’t one of them. Personally, I get locked out of my car at least six times a year thanks to this diabolical feature. I forget to lock the doors zero times a year. So do that math on that one, you Volkswagen geniuses.
But maybe I’m missing the point. I should be more careful about not leaving my key in the car. Maybe that’s the reason for the automatic locking: to teach me a lesson about not being careless. To make me a more responsible and thoughtful person, and therefore a more productive citizen. Is that what German engineering is really all about? Maybe my car is not a surly teenager, but actually a wise European sage, and this is all one big learning experience.
Nah. It’s just really, really annoying.