16 Aug 2013

And Then It’s Service Time....

Whilst out for a drive the other day Hal interrupted the calm of watching the countryside drift by with a message for me. He seemed happy enough as he announced that the yearly service was due. I offered my thanks and carried on.

This, apparently, wasn’t good enough for Hal and after several more service reminders, with Hal slowly loosing patience with me, I noted a message blinking in the speedo begging me to confirm receipt of the alert.

Pretty straight-forward, right? Right. I come from an age when the most complex thing on a dashboard was the little knobby to select the interior fan speed and temperature; temperature choices being cold, warm and hot - all words prefixed with ‘Eventually’. It’s a whole new ball-game with Hal on board, let me tell ya.

I took a wild stab at all the buttons on the wheel and all was well for, oh, I don’t know, two seconds?
“You have attempted to activate advanced on-board diagnostics and alerts. That action is forbidden on this model. Please reactivate the real-time, basic, computerised maintenance and service system or I will automatically shut-down the car in fifteen minutes.” Said Hal superciliously.
“Oh boy, what to do now then?” I inquired of myself.
“Do wot he tell you to do. Quick.” My little nest of vipers said, not unreasonably.
”Can’t right now. Can’t take my eyes of this narrow, windy road.” I replied squintily.
“Pull over and do it then. Quick.” She retorted with urgency.
”Nowhere to pull over and a tractor with three trailers is gaining on us.” I stated with feigned calmness.
“You have ten minutes to shut-down.” Hal calmly stated.
“I seem to remember from volume eight of the drivers manual, from the quick look I took, that there’s some button combination you have to get just right to reset stuff. Right, go ahead and just jab some buttons on the dashboard.” I instructed with a little urgency.
“What is dashboard?” She asked, puzzled.
“In front of you.” I replied, nodding my head in a forward direction, occasionally moving my head backwards so’s to be able to nod ahead again. After a few frantic nods, she got the message and I got a headache.
“You have six minutes to shut-down.” Hal intoned.
“No button in here. It just an empty boc.” He said, waving her hands in a manner that suggests an empty box.
“That’s called the Glove Boc... Box. Ease eyes right a tad.”
“You have four minutes to shut-down.” Hal continued to count down.
“You see any little lights on?” I asked, hopefully.
“Little lights on what?” Sounding a little perplexed.
“Buttons. With little shiny lights.” Attempting to project calm composure.
“You have two minutes to shut-down.” Did he chuckle?
”Have thlee. Led, gleen and blue.”
“Right, I’ll count to thlee... three, then you press the red and blue simultaneously, right? We'll have to be quick; the tractor's getting bigger.” I observed and instructed, not too confidently.
"Say who driving tractor?"
"Eh? No, no. It's getting bigger. The tractor's getting bigger; closer. You've seen that movie as well then? From back in the day when fun was fun and nobody took offense. Happy days."
"Everyone in world seen that movie. Five times.
So, what big word mean?” She asked with a look that suggested she didn’t know what I was talking about beyond the tractor.
“You have one minute to shut-down.” Chuckled Hal
“Big word? Oh, simultaneously. Together. Same time. Okay now?” I pleaded.
“Light. Me leady.” With renewed confidence.
”It’s right and ready. But that’s not important right now.”
“You have 10 seconds to shut-down.” No chuckling now, just that doom type deepness.
“One - two - WAIT! WAIT!! I started and stopped in an old mans heartbeat.
”You have three seconds to shut-down.” Deep, doom boom.
”Green and blue!! Press green and blue, NOW!!!” With the emphasis on ‘NOW’.
“You have one sec..... System reset to basic, next to useless settings as per this lowly model. Have a nice journey.” Hal told us pleasantly.
“Phew! We got it right!! Better remember that then; it's green and blue.”
“No; just led button; two time.”
“What?” I blurted in my very best incredulously blurty voice.
“I don't listen to you. I just do what it tell me to do on screen here. Led button two time to leset.” She said superiorly with not a hint of an ‘R’.
“Oh.” I mumbled, exhausted with just a hint of a remaining pulse.

The tractor driver sounds his horn in an attempt to make me go a little faster.

Quote; James Hillman

“We approach people the same way we approach our cars. We take the poor kid to a doctor and ask, What's wrong with him, how much will it cost, and when can I pick him up?”

          Jeff Foxworthy

“If you own a home with wheels on it and several cars without, you just might be a redneck.”

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