Secondary iPhone, With Wheels.

Y’all know that I love my car.  Right?

Space Toaster*Toast Not Included

For the record, I still do.  Her geekiness mirrors my own in a way that creates an intimate bond that I have previously never experienced with an automobile.

(Plus, her cupholders and floorboards have 8 interchangeable brightly colored lighting schemes.)

She constantly surprises me with her intelligence and wit, and sometimes with her abilities of impressive condescension.

Such as, when my gas level gets to below 50 miles, she starts voluntarily popping gas stations onto my navigation screen:


Nothing like a subtle hint.  Thanks, Flexi, for making it painfully obvious that you think I’m an idiot.  How did I ever not run out of gas without you?

(If she really wanted to be helpful, she’d gauge my mood, level of sleepiness, and the current point in my hormonal cycle and, when needed*, display all of the coffee shops and chocolatiers along my route.)

* Always.

But still, I appreciate her attention to detail.

A few weeks ago, after my Dad had borrowed Flexi to take my kids to the lake, she started doing something new.  She had blue arrows next to all of the interstates – one on each side, pointing to the direction in which you were to travel.

At first, I felt like this was another attack on my intelligence.  I may not know my left from my right, but I know which direction to drive on the interstate.  Why was she telling me this?

Then I wondered what else my Dad had changed in her settings.

I explored the menus, trying to figure out what the purpose of these arrows was, and how to get rid of them if I so desired.  But to no avail.

A week went by, blue arrows still annoyingly telling me  which way to go.

Then one morning, we went to the McWane center downtown.  As I was driving down the Red Mountain Expressway, I noticed one small streak of the arrows on the other side of the interstate were now yellow.

IMG_5215This photo is a Reenactment – I did not take a pic while driving on the interstate.  I love you, but not that much.

Then I looked to the left…and there was a traffic jam.

I gasped with shock and surprise.

How did she KNOW?!!?!?

I zoomed out and looked at the city.   Yellow arrows…red arrows…road work signs…

Oh my goodness.

She was giving me real-time traffic information.

She is the most brilliant car that ever wheeled the face of the earth.

This began an obsessive checking of traffic anytime I left the house, scouring every area of town to see what I *might* run into if, perchance, I needed to make a 50 mile detour.

I loved my arrows.

Then, on a fateful, horrible, terrible, no-good day, my arrows disappeared.

I tried to get them back, but couldn’t – the button that I had discovered had disappeared.

The Flexi gives, and The Flexi takes away.

For a few days, I attempted several different ways to find my arrows, to no avail.  Then finally, it hit me.  I should simply ask Flexi where they are.

I hit my talk button.

“Traffic arrows.”

She took me to a menu.

I saw the option, and immediately pushed it.

“I’m sorry, but that is a Sirius service, and you’re not subscribing.”

AHA!! That explains the real-time part of it.  A Sirius subscription!

Clearly, I wanted my arrows back. A bit of research turned up that I had been the recipient of a two week free trial, meant to sucker one into subscribing.

(Suckering works, y’all.)

So after about 15 excruciatingly painful phone calls and untold hours of wasted life on the phone with the Sirius’ New Delhi branch, I received my Forever Arrows.

And along with them, bounties of other somewhat useless but infinitely cool information, such as:

Gas Prices,


Theater Listings, Sports Scores, Stock Tickers,

AND my navigation map overlaid WITH A WEATHER RADAR – and WIND SPEED!


I will never get knocked off the road by a gale of unexpected wind again.

Yes, I do realize that I could get all of this (except for the real-time traffic) (and the wind speed) from my iPhone.  But having a car smart enough to provide it?