Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Not your daddy’s car

While her Ford Flex is having prangs worked on and a door replaced, my wife got an insurance-company-paid rental. She got a cute little Buick.**

The car is small. Not what used to be called “economy car” small, but much smaller inside than her Flex. This morning when we were going out, my wife had the trunk lid open by the time I got to the car. She said, “I think your walker will have to ride in the back seat.” I looked at the trunk space, She was right.

I folded the walker and put it in the back seat, closed the door and got in the passenger seat. It was too close to the dash. I found the seat adjustment control and pushed it for “More Back.” There was none. The seat was as far back as specified by the manufacturer. My knees were not exactly touching the dash, but  were not exactly level, either.

At the VA clinic, where I was scheduled for a shingles vaccine, I opened the door and began the process of getting my legs out. I commented, “People who design these things should have to ride in them.”

After the VA visit, we went to IHOP for a late breakfast. As she parked the Buick, Priscilla said, “Can’t open the door unless the car is in Park.”



I said, “What if you need to shove somebody out the passenger door?”


“What if you’ve been kidnapped and you’re in the passenger seat and the kidnapper slows down at a curve and you need to open the door and roll out?”

“Nope,” she said. ”You’ll have to wait until your kidnapper comes to a complete stop and puts the transmission in Park.”

I tell you what. Car designers are not making it easy for those of us who just want to go from here to there and back home. Apparently  designers believe any one of us is likely to be grabbed by a small terrorist and stuffed in a car made for people under 5’6”.

(** Before today, I never thought I would use the words “cute” and “little” in conjunction with “Buick.” Used to be, when things American dominated, foreign potentates rode in big black Buicks. Arab sheiks? Big black Buicks. Latin American dictators? Big black Buicks. Soviet Communist Politburo members? Russian copies of big black Buicks. Then something happened and medium-size Mercedes became the symbol for sheiks, dictators, and other authoritarian rulers. Russians still make copies of big black Buicks, and are not likely to copy Nazi-looking Mercedes. At least some things haven’t changed.)   

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