Call me old fashioned, call me a bit of a dinosaur, but I have to have a little rant about all the beeps in my world. It would seem that everything beeps at me these days – the toaster lets me know when the toast is cooked with a beep, the smoke alarm lets me know when dinner is ready with a series of beeps, the washing machine beeps at me, the dryer beeps at the washing machine, and the magic electric billy beeps when it’s water is ready for the coffee.
I can’t do anything in a vehicle without a beep – open the door, beep; close the door, beep; put it in reverse, beep; try to sneak it up the backyard without putting your seatbelt on and you’d swear you’d just been sentenced to death by a thousand beeps. I heard so many beeps I thought I was listening to a Kevin Bloody Wilson show on Christian radio! Technology is all around; apparently, it’s because “common sense isn’t that common any more”. Apparently, I won’t know I’ve put it in reverse until I hear a beep, and I can’t experience the adrenalin rush of driving around my backyard with my seatbelt off without my car warning me with a beep.
I recently test drove a new-fangled 4WD with all the beeps and whistles and I have to say, old dinosaur Macca found the challenge of his life. Having had enough of listening to the symphony of beeps, I decided to turn the radio on – something I’ve done somewhere in the vicinity of squillions of times in my life, a simple task even for someone with limited rocket science qualifications like myself … or so it was once. No buttons, no nobs, no crap! It’s a little TV, right there in the cab, but I can’t turn it on, it just sits there with a message telling me it’s dangerous to use it while I drive. Now I have to ask you, what nincompoop would put something in a car that’s dangerous to use when driving and then get so driven on me not using it that he decided to not even give it an on/off button? I tried everything I knew including a series of blows from the side of my fist before deciding to refer to my computer-on-wheels in the glovebox, and it was there that I discovered how clever my in-cab TV screen really was – you see, it was ‘voice activated’.
I was like a vegan in a kale garden, I couldn’t get enough. I’d say ‘Nana Mouskouri’, it’d play Nana Mouskouri. I’d announce ‘Demis Roussos’ and, my friend, the wind would come from the speakers. I thought my new friend could do no wrong until I got cut off in traffic by a Prius driver. I threw my shaking fist out of the window and declared him an ‘arsehole’, when all of a sudden a politician popped up on my radio talking about the retirement age going up to 70.
So much for technology being our friend.