"I write so that my handful of pebbles, cast into still waters, will create a ripple."

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Into the Desert

This week, in a sudden impulse I pulled into a BMW dealership and took a test drive in a 2014 BMW 288i.

“Drive it faster,” the salesman implored from the passenger seat. “See how great this baby corners.”

I didn’t know salesmen still called cars “babies.” This guy didn’t even know my last name. He didn’t know if I had a driver’s license because he hadn’t asked to see it. But he was willing to put his life in my hands? He was right—it was a total rush. Not sure I’ll ever feel the same about a car.

That night, the six-o’clock news was all about the new “smart cars.” Maybe it was the timing. I thought about the thrill of rear-wheel preferential cornering. I remembered the soar of the tachometer in the BMW when I shifted into Sport mode. I thought about turning all that over to a robot while I sat in the front seat doing what? Knitting? Reading?

My sister longs to have a robot. She can’t wait until she has a computer girlfriend to fetch a glass of water, answer the door, vacuum her floors. and laugh at her jokes.

“What would happen if your robot fell in love with your smart car?” I joked. “Thelma-roid and Louise-bot. They would hit you over the head and stuff you in the trunk. The robot would help herself to your favorite shoes and your mother’s pearls. They would dump you in the desert somewhere on their way to Mexico where they would live happily ever after with your car and your money.”

We laughed, but the tang of possibilities lay heavy in the air.