The glove compartment in my brand new Toyota Camry is just big enough to hold all the instruction manuals. Coming in at just under 1000 pages, the 5-volume set of Owner Manuals is the automotive equivalent of Gone with the Wind (a mere 733 pages)
All those pages are necessary to explain mysterious dashboard abbreviations like BSM, RCTA, TRAC, PCS and EPS. I know about the Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (a fancy term for rearview camera) but have no idea what the other abbreviations mean.
The state-of-the-art multimedia system is truly beyond my comprehension. It took me a semester in high school to learn the intricacies of an electric typewriter. There is no way I can understand written directions that include terms like ID3Tag, WMA, MPC and ISO 9660 format.
Young people don’t need manuals. I asked my daughter to help explain the car’s technology. I reached for the 5 volume set of explanations. “We don’t need that, Mom” she explained. After a few punches of this button and that button, she had the system figured out. She explained how everything worked at a rapid fire pace. I am old. I no longer do anything at a rapid fire pace. I just smiled and pretended I understood.
The glove compartment in my old Camry held maps, pencils, pens, a Sudoku puzzle or two, insurance forms and a variety of lip balms. There is no room for such necessities in my new car since the 6 volume owner’s manual sucks up all the space. Now there is only enough extra room for proof of car insurance and
Confronted with hundreds and hundreds of pages of mind numbing automotive how-to’s, I am taking a page from Gone with the Wind. Just like Scarlett O’Hara, “I won’t think of it now….I’ll go crazy…I’ll think of it all tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.”