Along the Trail: Mirror
“Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” I can’t remember the first time I saw that warning on my passenger side mirror but it was a long, long time ago. I’m not suggesting it dates back to dimmer switches on the floor or dingle balls on the rear-view mirror but it’s been awhile.
I struggle with the idea that things are not what they seem. We have invented electric cars, hybrids, turbo charged engines, and the minivan. North American manufacturers have been relegated to second class makers of automobiles. There was a time in this fair land when a Cadillac was the symbol of success. It meant you had made it. Now it is all about Lexus’s, BMW’S, and Porches. No one gawks at my 2011 Ford Ranger truck.
In this year of 2017, the same message appears on all new cars even though we now have automatic everything, from transmissions to heated seats. Yet no one can figure out how to tell you things are where they should be when you glance to the starboard. I find the reminder of little comfort when I pass someone and wonder, ‘Can I pull in yet?’. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that when you look to the passenger side window the car behind you is exactly where it seems to be? I mean, this is not duck hunting. Camo and distortion should not be the goal.
Think of all the many items that have come along in the past thirty years or so and yet all rear view mirrors carry the same basic message - careful, it is not where you think it is. Ok, then where is it?
In the intervening years since the warning appeared, we have seen the rise of the iphone, the ipad, laptops, Tim Horton’s, fall strawberries, and the crush of social media. So much time has passed even the Leafs have gained respectability. The corn broom has disappeared from curling. Clumping kitty litter has been invented for which Socks and I give thanks. It doesn’t have to be big to be important.
Get in a new car today and it is a little like stepping into the cockpit of a Boeing 737. There are lights everywhere, the instrument panel is a visual display of so many arrows, icons and blinking and dinging that you are scared to touch anything for fear you may be ejected from your seat. I can’t count how many times I have popped the trunk trying to open the little gas lever that is buried down by the driver’s seat. You need three weeks of yoga lessons to be able to bend enough just to get your gas tank to pop open. I have that part perfected now and pretend to be looking for something in the trunk when I hit the wrong lever. Adaption is the key.
Life as we know it is moving on at a fast pace, change is the one constant. Except for “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear!