Car Is Alarmed




I thought I wanted a car alarm... but right from the start, it’s been nothing but trouble.


Sometimes it barks and clicks but refuses to open.  Other times it clicks and barks, but nothing is locked.  Either way, it usually regards my key in the lock as a violation, and sets itself off.  It’s gotten so my toddler sees me reach for the key and utters his own little “Durnit!” a second before mine. 


I keep begging the dealer to fix it, but he insists it’s working perfectly. “Perhaps, if you spent more time with the instruction book?” 


Good idea.  The book is 50 pages long, filled with sentences like “For optimal use of automatic timing device, activate subsequence A…”!  I’d do better looking up a few car thieves, and asking them for help. 


I wonder, for instance, how they’d handle the timer.  Mine gives me exactly 30 seconds to close one door, race around the car and open anyone else’s or it takes matters into its own hands. 


My problem is, I have two small children.  And there is NOTHING you can do with a small child in 30 seconds, let alone getting him into or out of a car. 


“Come on, sweetie, quit fooling with the seat belt and get out of the car right this second!  Why?  Because if you don’t let Mommy shut the door, we’re going to hear ...” 

“WhooooooOOOOOOOOP!  HONK!  WhooooooooOOOOOOOOP!  HONK!”  



Even when I’m alone with the thing, it’s a menace.  I’m in my car, starting it with the key – I must be a burglar!  It went into a full Code Four, and trapped me inside.  Ignition locked out; doors locked; no way to start the car to either turn off the alarm or re-set it; power windows all the way up… I couldn’t even yell out for help.  Thank goodness for my cell phone.  I used it to call my husband:


“Judy!  What’s wrong?”

“I’m trapped...”

“Where are you?  Honey, I can’t hear you, someone’s car alarm is going!” 

“It’s me, with the car alarm!”

“Just tell me where you are, and I’ll come get you.”

“I’m inside the car, in the driveway!  Stick your head out the front door and you’ll see!”


I can’t imagine what purpose this feature serves.  Frankly, if someone tries to steal my car in the middle of the night, and fails, I want him to get away.  The last thing I need is to come downstairs in the morning and find some criminal, trapped in my car for 8 hours, desperate to escape.    


And if the point of a car alarm is to draw attention to somebody stealing it, I can tell you, no one turns a hair.  


So must it really go on and on?   As far as I’m concerned, if it’s still going after five minutes, you can have the car.  The whole neighborhood will thank you.  Just do me one little favor – would you let me out, first? 



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