Riding the magic carpet

Just this past weekend Ol’ Dutch decided to make the long journey up to Kansas and some of my past digs to see family.

Fast Freddy, my father these past 67 years, needed a visit and so Miss Trixie and I pointed the Jeep north and soon were basking in the flat lands of my youth.

It was good to get together and the trip had a two-fold purpose as my nephew had recently married and was having a reception and so we took my dad and mom up to that event.

Mom wanted to make a day of it so since five members of the family had recently purchased new homes, we visited all of them so Mom could see all the decorating they had done. At each house, she and Trixie would take the grand tour while the men of the house, Dad and I would sit in the living room waiting because men generally don't care what bedspreads are on the beds or pictures are on the walls.

I think the most interesting thing about the trip was getting to drive my Dad’s new Nissan Rogue car to the reception and around the house tour. I had not been in a newer car for some time and boy was I in for a treat.

No sooner had I hit the onramp for the interstate, but the darned thing started to talk to me. Now I am used to the phone bossing me around, but this thing dinged and beeped and whizzed constantly.

If a car came up beside us it dinged and beeped and a light came on over by the side mirror to warn you about the danger in the blind spot. The navigation screen was unbelievable, giving me all sorts of information most of which I did not need but found entertaining.

I was just getting comfortable driving and had found the cruise control and had settled back for a nice long drive up the interstate when something very disturbing happened. Suddenly I found myself fighting some invisible force that was trying to take over the steering.

This wasn't like Miss Trixie and her back seat driving instructions, but it felt like actual hands were turning the wheel as we sped along at 75 mph. I about halfway panicked until Fast Freddy explained that it is the self-driving mode.

For it seems it has this function much like a Swami riding a magic carpet that looks out ahead and follows the lines on the pavement. It was difficult to get used to I have to admit but the farther I went the better it seemed and soon I dreamed of just taking my hands off the wheel and browsing the Internet for house materials.

But that idea was squashed as Dad said it would slow down and stop if you took your hands off the wheel so there goes that idea.

So, we sped along out of my control and soon entered some traffic. Now the car began to slow and match the speed of the traffic ahead. And Ol’ Dutch, even the big thinker began to realize that a person can probably get a pretty good nap with this car as it will pretty much take care of you no matter where you go.

And since I cannot hear, the dings and beeps would not keep me awake either. It took me some time but soon I came up with the idea of getting some of those Halloween hands to put on the steering wheel and then Ol’ Dutch could put the old chair back and catch some serious ZZZ’s.

Miss Trixie, upon hearing this idea let out a sigh and I could tell that at least with her along I would never get to experience the jet-set age of new-fangled inventions we are living with. Obviously, she has more to live for than Ol’ Dutch as she always makes me pay attention when driving anywhere.

We had a great time coming and going and if the darned thing would just see the deer and elk and avoid them it would be about as good as we can get.  It may not be the Jetsons future that we were promised folks, but it's getting there anyway.

Wherever you are on this Thanksgiving weekend, I pray you have plenty of food and lots of love.


Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected]. Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.com.