Living Retired — ‘Key Fob Foibles’
Living Retired – ‘Key Fob Foibles’
Do you know what is worse than owning a car with a key fob? Owning two cars and two key fobs.
We did not have key fobs when I started driving. The key to starting the car was – get this! – a key. And my dad had it. When Dad agreed I could drive his car he handed me the key. It was on – get this! – a key chain.
These days car keys have gone the way of the full-size spare tire. Instead of a car key we now have a cumbersome ‘Remote Keyless Entry Fob’ that you attach to – get this! – a key chain. Just saying.
The engineer who designed the Jeep I drive could not leave well enough alone and went to ridiculous lengths to come up with – this is for real! – a ‘5-button, battery-operated, proximity smart key’ key fob.
If you examine my key chain you will see I am a minimalist. It has a house key, a post office box key, and two clunky key fobs: one for my Jeep and another for Jan’s car. I do not have a plastic thingamajig from Niagara Falls, a bottle opener, or a 3 in 1 miniature flashlight, compass, and salad spinner dangling from my key chain.
I don’t have much use for key fobs because they allow me to do way too much with our two vehicles. Our key fobs have five different buttons you can press:
Button 1) unlock the doors.
Button 2) lock the doors.
Button 3) open the trunk.
Button 4) is a nifty feature for lazy baby boomers like me. I can be slouched in my Lazy Boy recliner in the family room and press this button to start my Jeep out in the driveway AND turn on the seat warmers. Talk about putting out the welcome mat for someone to come along and carjack your vehicle.
Button 5) is the bright red PANIC button. When you desperately press this button it honks the horn like hell at a decibel rate equivalent to an AC/DC concert! This PANIC button would really come in handy when I cannot find my keys – but the PANIC BUTTON IS ON THE KEY FOB I CANNOT FIND!!!
The Remote Keyless Entry Fob is a built-in radio frequency identification system which is a fancy way of helping forgetful baby boomers like me find our car when we come out of the shopping mall. One press of the door lock button honks your horn – and assuming you remembered to replace the batteries in your hearing aids that morning – you will hear the horn and locate your vehicle. That is what is supposed to happen. But…
Last Saturday morning walking out of the mall I pressed the button – but nothing happened. The horn didn’t honk. I pressed it a second time and listened carefully – nothing. Hmmm. Fifteen minutes passed. I paced up and down the entire mall parking lot feverishly pressing all the buttons on my key fob – but no horn honks. OMG! Someone must have stolen my Jeep! Thank heaven I had my iPhone.
“Jan, I am at the mall. I have been through the entire parking lot pressing the key fob trying to find where I parked my Jeep. Dear, it is stolen!”
“Gary, of course the key fob can’t locate your Jeep. You drove my car. The Jeep is in the garage. Press the other key fob – the one for my car!”
At home I pulled Jan’s car into the garage and parked beside my Jeep. In the house Jan muttered something about keeping me under lock and key. Just saying.
You have heard of butt dialing your cell phone? Now we have butt dialing your key fob. Not to brag but I am the king of butt dialing key fobs! Jan is always coming into our house saying, “Gary, your trunk is wide open. Did you sit on your key fob again?”
Butt dialing or not, the bottom line is we cannot live without our key fobs.