So my wife and I didn’t drive one of our cars—specifically the Honda CRV—for several days. We got it in 2019 exactly twenty years to the day after our last Honda CRV died in the driveway. The old one’s fuel pump just gave out, and if the engine is the heart of a car the fuel pump is the aorta. I have no idea where I’m going with that metaphor except to show off how much I remember from seventh grade biology.
Anyway the new one, being two decades younger, has a few more bells and whistles. Actually it doesn’t have any bells or whistles but it does sync up to our phones, which is a nice feature and is why I don’t miss that it doesn’t have a CD player or, like the old one, a slot for cassette tapes. Offhand I can’t think what other new features it has but it must be more technologically advanced than the old one which leads to some occasional weirdness.
As I said it had been sitting in the driveway for several days because we’d been doing a lot of going back and forth that required carrying stuff, including the dogs, that our other car—a van—was better suited for. And when all that was done and my wife decided she needed to put her feet up she sent me out to pick up dinner. On the way I opened one of the windows to let out an errant fly which may or may not have triggered what happened later.
When I got home I parked the car, turned it off, patted it on its hood, and went in without looking back.
The next morning all the windows were open.
It occurred to me this had happened once before, and only once. After all we’ve only had the CRV for two years and only once gone more than a couple of days without taking it somewhere. We’d taken the van on vacation so the CRV was left on its own for a week, and when I drove it somewhere and brought it back the next morning all the windows were open.
The only difference between the last time and this time is this time it rained overnight.
My wife often tells me not to extrapolate. Usually she tells me this when we’re going on a trip and she’s got every part of the preparation planned out and if I try to think ahead and do steps she’s not ready for, even if they’re the right steps, it can throw her off. I’m going to extrapolate anyway and say that this small bit of weirdness makes me wary of self-driving cars. I can think of a lot of great things about self-driving cars. I’d love to be able to take a nap in the backseat while the car went on its way, but they’d have to be much more technologically advanced, and with all that extra hardware and software, well, there’s a lot more that could go wrong.
Addendum: Since Mona of Wayward Sparkles mentioned the terrible flooding that’s devastated areas of Tennessee, including Waverly, where I have some family, I wanted to mention that this post was written well before the rain even started falling and I didn’t mean to sound callous or like I was making light of that. But I did think about something important: if your car is caught in a sudden flood and the engine shuts down you may not be able to open the windows the way you could with the old manual rolling handles. So please keep a safety device in your car and stay safe out there.