Rants in the Pants, Episode 13-Don’t Tell Me What to do!

I don’t like being told what to do!

A few days ago, I bought a car. My old one had decomposed and though I loved it dearly, what can you do with a bucket of rust and paint chips?

I found a car that was only three years old and was selling for a great price. Looking it over, it was clear to see that this car was apparently in fine shape. The paint job was intact except for a couple of scratches. The interior was immaculate and the engine ran smoothly. In fact, the car was in such good shape and such a low price I had to get my mechanic to look it over just to be sure there were no hidden problems that would cost a fortune. My mechanic gave it a clean bill of health but even as I was handing over the money, I couldn’t help but suspect there was some deeper reason this person was selling the car so cheap.

After exchanging money and signatures on the paperwork, I slipped into the comfy driver’s seat. Nice! It had a spify instrument read out and a screen off to the right side as well. There were lots of bells and whistles all over the place. When I turned the key, the engine roared to life and the screen to the right lit up with a message that drove me to perturbation: “I will drive safely and obey all the rules of the road yadda, yadda, yadda.”

“What the hell?” was my first reaction. But I shrugged it off telling myself this would be a minor inconvenience.

Down the road a way, I encountered one of the many large potholes that our tax dollars can’t seem to mend. There were no cars coming in the opposite direction, so I swerved gently over the line to miss the hole. Immediately, the steering wheel pulled the car back to the right side of the road and I hit the hole with a big thump. Again, “What the hell?”

My income has seemed to shrink in the face of rising prices, so I have taken on a second job to make ends meet. It was clear, however, that this car would not make a good getaway vehicle for my second occupation. But I do take solace in the fact that if I ever leave a bag of cash in the back seat, a message will appear to remind me: “Look in the back seat.” I encountered this message when I stopped for a cold drink. Apparently, the car thought I had left something important behind.

A little farther down the road to perturbation, a vehicle I was following slowed for a right turn.   The car was what I considered a good distance, so I took no action except to take my foot off the gas positioning it directly over the brake. My car, however, slammed on the brakes as if a crash were imminent. Had I not been belted in, I might have hit the windshield. Damn! I found out later that the car, in order to keep me safe, would not let me drive it at night without headlights no matter where the switch is set which will lead me to having to answer questions from an irritated spouse woke up by the headlights and wanting to know where I’ve been all night. I ask you, which is more dangerous, having to remember to turn on your lights while driving at night or having to explain your late night indiscretions to an angry spouse?

This car was telling me how to drive and I didn’t like it. From the steering to the braking, it was doing what it wanted to do and not what I wanted. The screen that appeared at the beginning of the drive came to mind. After the message there was a button at the bottom of the screen. Only one button. It said, “I Agree.” Well, I don’t agree and I want a button on there so I can express my disagreement.

I don’t like being told what to do.


  1. Deneicy on November 18, 2023 at 11:30 am

    Funny. So does your SMART car tell you when to take stretch and breathing and meditation breaks like an iWatch? Ask if you’re hydrated? Check your blood pressure occasionally? Contact-trace your passengers?

    • Ira White on November 19, 2023 at 7:44 am

      The car does not monitor my bodily functions. I suppose, if one wanted, they could have that put in a car but I don’t know why.

Leave a Comment