Monday, December 15

Wanted: One Sledgehammer

Remember my car, Audrey? You know, the one that tells me she may eventually need gas by dinging like a doorbell beneath the finger of a 2-year old? DINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDING. The same car that started calling me names within a week of having her?

Yeah, she hates me.

And is trying to kill me.

Now, before you get all "Gah! Quit being so dramatic!" you should know that Audrey is like 99.9% computer. When I turn the key to shut off the engine, she sounds EXACTLY like a bunch of servers after you press and hold the power key for a cold shut down. NOOOOoooooooohateyou.

Artificial intelligence is alive and well, and it's coursing through the angry veins of my ol' Audi.

Some time ago I figured out that Audrey is so totally bluffing when she starts throwing a fit about needing gas. I have mastered the art of driving her until precisely two gallons of gas remains in her tank. She thanks me by acting all stoopid when I try to start her with anything less than a 1/4 tank. I would think she has fuel pump issues (gee, wonder how that would happen), but she doesn't. Nope, she has ATTITUDE problems. If there is less than 1/4 tank of gas, Audrey will use her super-computer brain to keep the car from starting exactly once. Just once. It's like a little jab, "You think you can treat me like this? I want gas, beyotch!" Then she starts. And potentially could drive another 70 miles before getting down to two gallons of gas.

You see that? I said TWO gallons of gas. Every other car I have had I ran down to ONE gallon of gas. Audrey has scared me into doubling my gasoline tolerance.

She hates me.

Not only that, she thinks she knows more than me and is absolutely going to kill me while proving it.

The other day I was cruising back from gymnastics with Alexis. Now, when I have Alexis in the car, I toss my Danica Patrick costume in the trunk and drive like a normal human being who knows how to (sort of) obey the speed limit. Seriously, I drive nice when she's in the car. Really. In part because I like her and want to keep her around for a few more years, and in part because she'll yell, "MOMMA! YOU'RE DRIVING REALLY FAST!" if I don't.

So I was nicely driving down a windy road on a blustery cold evening. There wasn't a hint of ice or snow anywhere to be found, although Audrey's dash reported that it was certainly cold enough for snow. Not only did she have the cute little snowflake all lit up, she reported that the temperature was 27 degrees.

Suddenly, Audrey jerked. And again. It was like some invisible force had lifted my foot off the gas and pumped the breaks REALLY HARD. I was all WTH? but when it didn't happen again, I forgot about it.

Until it happened again later last week. Once again it was a chilly winter day, and once again the roads were totally dry. Once again I was driving nicely down the road when suddenly JERRRRK JERRRRRK. This time I realized that at the precise moment that Audrey was all STOPGO STOPGO a little orange light had flashed on the dash.

So I decided to get to the bottom of the madness and consulted Audrey's owners manual. I turned to page 27 and was told that the little orange light was Audrey's ESP light.

Yes, ESP light.

Page 27 also told me that if I wanted to know more about Audrey's ESP, I needed to turn to page 114. Page 114 told me (totally paraphrasing here, but not exaggerating), "That's Audrey's ESP light. It comes on sometimes. For more information, go to page 27."

Ummmmm . . . thanks?

So, I dug deeper. I looked up "ESP" in the back and was directed to pages 27, 114, and 146. Fortunately, page 146 actually told me something other than, "Yes, that light exists." It told me that ESP, in this case, stands for Electronic Stabilization Program.

(At this point, any guys reading this are all "GAH! Women should not be allowed to drive!" Shooosh. Men shouldn't be allowed to talk.)

Electronic Stabilization Program, according to Audi, "help make the vehicle easier to control in handling situations close to the limit. . . ESP detects the car's intended direction and responses. It applies the brakes on individual wheels . . ." blah, blah, blah.

In other words, Audrey is under the impression that 35 mph is "close to the limit" and she doesn't think I'm smart enough to know when to pump the breaks, so she does it for me while PREDICTING where she thinks I need to go.

If Audrey ever rolls off a bridge after I take a sledgehammer to her DINGDINGDINGDINGY dash, it won't be my fault. The goober car has ESP and should know how to run and duck for cover.


  1. I still love that she called you a Butthole. And, maybe she's acting up b/c Carl's in her trunk being naughty?? Send him to Tranny and she'll forgive you.

  2. this is what you get when you name a car after a man-eating plant.

  3. First, loved the "men should not talk aside". thank you for that.

    Second, I cannot even use cruise control on my car, so if I had a car that suddenly decided when brakes would be applied, I would be back at the dealers so fast saying, "give me a car that doesn't drive itself. No ESP, thank you."

    I hate cars. they are a necessary evil as far as I'm concerned.


  4. That is crazy! And creepy! Why the heck did you buy that lunatic piece of machinery?

  5. @Jen--We bought Audrey because she was cheap and gets better gas mileage than my Mitsubishi did. Cheap girls will always do you wrong . . .

  6. I'm telling you...the machines are taking over (see Terminator):P

  7. Do your appliances treat you like this as well?


  8. What a dirty slut! Kick her tires a few times from me.

  9. Welcome to the glamorous and exciting world of owning a fine, quirky, German automobile. It doesn't matter if you buy the cheapest VW or the most expensive Mercedes, they all act like they are possessed at some point. This is a documented fact.

    And don't talk badly about it her, because she will hear you.

  10. I'd be afraid of her sneaking in and trying to kill me in my sleep.

    I'm just sayin

  11. OK, the "men shouldn't talk" line, priceless! I am scared of your car, I thought the magic doors on minivans was enough to freak me out.

  12. ESP??? You have got to be kidding! Obviously a man came up with that. Could they not have named it something other than ESP?

    So if she has ESP, and knows what is coming, I am thinking she could at least give you a heads up about what she is about to do, instead of leaving it to the element of surprise. I think your car is possessed.

  13. This is where I draw the line. So, now my car is going to be a backseat driver? Awwww, hell no!!

  14. This actually terrifies me a little bit.

    I'm not down with my car deciding when the brakes need to be applied - something like that could be dangerous!

  15. I have an audi. I hate it. Of course they are cheap because they are devil cars. The electrical system has a short that no mechanic anywhere can find and fix for any amount of money that happens to result in no sound coming out of my speakers. The radio works, the speakers work, they just don't communicate. The last time I took it to get it inspected it cost me $2400 for nothing much. Evil evil evil car. I would get a new one but I'm too deep into this one. I own the effer outright so I'm stuck with it. Ugh. All your readers should take this as a warning to never never never buy an Audi. They look all pretty and drive like a dream for a few minutes then they turn on you!

  16. @Jennifer--I wish I had read all that BEFORE buying the devil car. I'm totally stuck with her now. Gah!

  17. Wow your car is a computer! Visions of the computer in the movie War Games just came into my head.

  18. oooo my vdub totally had it's esp freaking out once, it freaked out on totally dry road when i wasn't sliding at all. we had to get it checked out at the dealer and it was all good. i hate having to decipher the little icons in the stupid manual. i have an emissions light that freaks out sometimes and all the manual told me was "emissions light"

  19. I hate electronic gadgetry in vehicles. We should totally go back to get in, turn the key, and drive.

    Cool picture. Very cool.

  20. My Jetta has ESP, but it only activates when the roads are really bad (like when you can't even see the reflectors or the highway due to all the snow/sleet).

    My Jetta has a button to turn ESP off.... mine's near the shifter - maybe you have one too?

  21. @Amber--The owner's manual is REAL animate that you shouldn't turn off the ESP. I'm not sure why exactly, but I suspect that it might result in Audrey going cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

  22. LOL. Having flashbacks to my old Jetta. I swore it was built by the orphans of "Our Mother of the Perpetual Check Engine Light." Constantly in the shop with problems that no one could ever fix, and every 3-day holiday weekend I could count on something going wrong at 4:59pm Thursday. However, it handled like a champ in the snow. Well, you know, when it was running.

    When I got rid of it, I turned to the most basic car I could find, and haven't turned back since. I won't go with cars with gadgets that engineers design because they feel I'm too stupid to drive correctly. Besides, more gadgets = more stuff that can (and will) break.

    Lesson learned: When buying cars, use the KISS theory (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

  23. She sounds scary.
    Perhaps Audrey's name should really be Christine.

  24. Holy cow! That gives a whole new meaning to auto pilot. I think that would make me seriously crazy.

    So crossing an Audi off my car list.

  25. I now know why I love my little crapper and don't want a new car. My husband says I need one, but I figure she is only 12 years old and I know all of her quirks and I don't want a car that is smarter than me. I will have to point out he doesn't want a car with ESP, she may tell me things he don't want me to know. heh!!

  26. Computers are evil. Computers in cars? Extra EVIL. Haven't you ever watched all those 5,000 movies about computers taking over the world? yeah, it is so going to happen. Hello...Cylons? yeah..totally going to happen.

  27. Bahahaha! that is hilarious (although dangerous!).'s like Christine - only smaller!

  28. Audrey sounds more like a Christine.

  29. I had a Nissan Frontier that had ESP. Dang thing WOULD NOT let me go over 88MPH. It started fussing if I got over 75. Do you know how long it takes to drive from Houston to Dallas at 70? GAAACK! And believe me, you WILL get run over if you try!

    I'm with all those who say that the machines are taking over. Heck, look what computers have done to our brains! LOLOLOL!

  30. OH! forgot to tell you THANKS A LOT for making me spit coffee all over my keyboard with that "Shooosh. Men shouldn't be allowed to talk." line! ROFLMBO!

  31. Knowing something about cars, you have me completely in stitches over here!

    And, if you're looking for Mr. H to buy you a new one, you might want to start printing the blog stuff sooner and "accidentally" leave this one where he can find it. LOL