I was watching my youngest play the other day, and something he did sparked a memory.
He had grabbed a handful of his toy cars, and placed a number of them in his pockets. Now, this may not sound like any grand event… but the spark that went off in my mind may have burnt a few floating thoughts to the inside of my skull. I was instantly transported through time, back to when I’d do the same thing. In fact, I’d always have a car or two in my pocket, wherever we went. It just seemed like the thing to do. After all, those little cars were my treasures, and whether I knew it then or not, were a symbol of things to come for me. Furthermore, think of how great a toy a die cast car is: Easily portable, powered by imagination, and tons of replay value. They always seemed to serve a bit more than their intended purpose. They were, in a way, that gateway to freedom.
Fast-forward many years, and those of us who had been transporting little cars in our pockets were then placing the keys to a car in our pockets. The object may have changed, but for a car-obsessed kid, the things an ignition key can symbolize are just as great as those first die cast replicas. It was the key to the kind of stuff dreams are made of. The treasure it unlocked still had that magical quality about it.
Oddly enough, the key fob I carry for my Challenger is a lot like those first treasures, and it, too, serves purposes greater than the first ignition key I placed on my key ring… and replaces it, as well! This is not only the first new vehicle I have owned, but the first that, by design and not age or wear or other anomaly, requires no ignition key at all! While this may not seem like some giant leap forward for some of you, for a guy who obsessed over the location of his keys for so many years, this is as close to peace of mind as one can be! Beyond the thrill of holding passage to a car I had dreamed of as a kid, having Keyless Enter-N-Go only adds to the magic. (on a side note: How brilliant would having this feature have been in some old heist movie? None of this “I dropped the keys!!” nonsense. Assuming I ever get past the wiping-off-every-speck-of-dust phase, I’ll perfect the across-the-hood slide, jump-in-through-the-window action film maneuver, and gently press that Start/Stop button. Brilliant it shall be.) It’s one of those features that you don’t give much thought to prior to having it, but soon becomes something you’re not sure you’d do without. I used to be of the mindset that push-button start, keyless entry and the like were only aiding to separate me from the car. Yet, it’s done quite the opposite, and brought me just a bit closer to the wide-eyed kid I once was, carrying these cars around.
I suppose that brings us to the one difference between my days as a toddler, toting those cars around in my trouser pockets: Those cars would be brought out at every possible moment, while that fob suffers from my neglect, spending time with lint and other objects in my pockets (as a Dad of three, there’s no fear of coins or other nonsense scratching it). Yet, it’s always there, ready to do the job. And to keep that spark of imagination burning bright well after I’ve parked the car. Funny how a key fob can do that.
With that in mind, what technology in your Dodge has become a part of you? Is there one feature on your car that you’d be hard pressed to do without?