I wasn’t expecting the phone call. I hadn’t scheduled any appointments with DePaula Chevrolet – normally I do my “Black Friday Tuneup” efforts on, I don’t know, the real Black Friday.
But there it was, DePaula Chevrolet’s name on the Caller ID on my cell phone.
“Hi Chuck, this is DePaula Chevrolet, how’s your 2013 Chevrolet Cruze working out for you?”
“Just fine,” I replied, “In fact, I recently paid the car off free and clear.”
“That’s great. But we want to talk to you about something.”
Please don’t ask me to trade the car in and start car payments on another car. Not unless you’ve got a cobalt blue 1972 Pontiac GTO “The Judge” model in your showroom.
“Mr. Miller, our records show that your car needs an oil change. Can we set up an appointment for you to come in to our dealership and get your car’s oil changed? According to your vehicle service contract with us, you are still listed for unlimited free oil changes.”
So I set up an appointment for next week.
And then I asked…
“Did you receive some sort of alert from my car regarding an oil change?”
“Yes, Mr. Miller, your Chevrolet’s OnStar alerted us that you were in need of an oil change.”
I may have mentioned it before… but as much as I really enjoy my candy-red 2013 Chevrolet Cruze “Dracourage…”
It has a very bad habit of being a snitch.
When I bought Dracourage in 2016, the DePaula Chevrolet technician installed some software on my cell phone that allowed me to interface with the car’s diagnostics. Apparently that software was also installed at the dealership, so if anything ever happens to Dracourage … an alert goes from the car’s diagnostics program both to me AND to DePaula Chevrolet.
So what does this mean?
It means I’ve got a tattletale for a car.
And the weird thing is – I never ordered the full compliment of OnStar service – after the initial six month trial run, I just let it operate in the basic mode, where it e-mails me diagnostics and leaves me alone.
Forget Facebook targeting your likes and dislikes and other targeted advertising…
I’ve got a sedan that acts like one of those conscience scenes in the movies.
I can see it now. I’m sitting at the casino, winning big bucks, when I get a message on my phone…
“Lemme tells ya sumpin, Chucky baby, you gots to get away from that slot machine before you take all yer quarters n’ dollars n’ give ’em to Andrew Cuomo’s slush fund, bruddah. So say yer prayers, eat yer vitamins, and come take care of me, I’ve been in da parkin’ lot fer twenty minnits and it’s damn lonely and cold in here!”
Yeah, you read that in a Hulk Hogan voice, didn’t you?
I can see it now. I’m planning for a date, and all of a sudden there’s a message on my cell phone…
“Lemme tells ya sumpin, Chucky baby, you gots to get me over to Hoffman’s Car Wash ‘n get me scrubbed inside ‘n outside, cuz right now I looks like a damn pig sty. Dude, I’ve seen what you eat, bruddah, you leave da food wrappers in here all da time. And would it hurt to buy a damn Yankee Candle air freshener so my insides don’t smell like Essence of Funky Feet? And why don’t you take her to a drive-in movie, so I can enjoy da date as well, bruddah?”
Yep. Or just imagine that it’s 6 in the morning and I’m trying to write a blog post for today, and I get this message…
“Lemme tells ya sumpin, Chucky baby, you gots to get away from bashing the Times Union all da time in dat blog of yurz. You left da paper and you retained ya dignity, don’t let Rex Smith treat ya like a disposable diaper. You’re better than dat, bruddah. And get me some K-Chuck Radio blog posts, would it kill ya to do dat? Tell me brah, whatcha gonna do when the greatest midsize sedan in da world runs wild on you?”
Just remember this. If your car begins to snitch on you, if it tells the world all about where you go and what you do and how well you take care of it…
Trust me. It’s not the only device in your world that does such things.
But if you’ve got one that snitches on you all the time…
At least it’s more acceptable snitching when it sounds like the car wants to bodyslam Andre the Giant.