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Dumb or Dumber
(09/02/2009)

Dumb or Dumber
By Tony Mazzagatti

Now I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person. Of course I recognize my extensive short comings compared to some very intelligent people that I know. Many of them are even my friends. But when it comes to matching wits with a mechanical or, heaven forbid, an electronic device I have a hard time admitting defeat even in the face of today’s formidable technology.
Although this account has only a fleeting connection with Porsches I’m sure given the opportunity to duke it out with a newer Porsche than I currently drive the competition would be just as tough. Recently I borrowed Jim Navarro’s VW Touareg to tow my 911 to an Open Road Racing event in Elko, NV. Even though I had successfully locked the VW using the “switchblade” style, space age inspired, high tech, key fob pushbutton alarm/locking thingy numerous times over the previous three days the intelligence test was about to begin. One evening in the hotel’s parking lot and after locking the doors with the “even a child could use” pushbutton thingy I decided to confirm my handiwork the old fashion way. I turned back to the vehicle and tried the door handle just to be sure it was locked. Oh no! It didn’t lock! I tried again. Got the beep, saw the lights and watched the buttons retreat into the window sills. I pushed the button again. Beep…lights…buttons. Tried the door handle. THE DOOR OPENED AGAIN! Had I fallen prey to a false sense of security thinking that I had been locking my friend’s car over the last few days?  Had I actually been leaving it vulnerable to Gypsies, tramps and thieves? As it got darker and darker I tried the locking and testing exercise at what felt like a thousand times. No matter what I tried, even locking it manually and closing the door it still would not stay locked.
Enter one of those more intelligent people that I know…my wife, Diana. Sounding like one of the car alarms we joke about she says, “Step away from the car”. Yeah right. You’re going to tell me, Mr. Car Guy, how to solve this problem. Now I haven’t been married for thirty seven years to this woman without learning something. So, away from the car I stepped. She tried the door handle and it wouldn’t open! I said “Wait a minute. Let me try that” as I walked back to the car. THE DOOR WAS UNLOCKED and IT OPENED INSTANTLY! Now I don’t drink and I’m pretty sure God doesn’t have it in for me just yet but I don’t get it. As it turns out, if that demonic NASA pushbutton thingy is within a few feet of the car, even if it’s in your pocket, this car figures that you’re going to want to get in so it automatically unlocks the door for you. Move close…unlock, step away…lock, move close…unlock, whether you like it or not. Moral to this story - if you want to be smarter than your car RTFM (Read The “Factory” Manual).





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