I drive an SUV- a compact one to be sure, but nevertheless an SUV. It’s a Mazda Tribute if you must know. On one hand SUV’s make you a lot more visible on the road. But the downside is that it has some blind spots-serious blind spots. For instance when you are backing, if a relatively short person or child is behind the car, you won’t be able to see them. It’s my greatest fear that I will back over someone. So any time I go to the store or mall, I look for a pull-through parking space or I go ahead and back in the space.
Several months ago I was getting my 3,000 mile oil change at this quick lube place, and I noticed that they had this little “back up” noise thingamabob for $6.99. Basically, you stick it to one of your backing lights. The sound is light activated. So when you put the car in reverse, the backing light causes it to start beeping. Oddly enough, I didn’t buy it until a couple of weeks ago.
So I slapped that baby on the back of my car and prepared to feel all powerful. Oh! It was sweet. I gave it a test go in my driveway. I sighed in relief knowing that I wouldn’t have to fear backing over a pedestrian.
The next day, I drove to church. As I can to a stop light, I thought I heard high pitched beeping like that thingamabob on my car. I looked around, but I didn’t see anyone else out (I have to leave for church 8 am; I’m one of the Sunday school teachers in the 2 year old room). So I rolled down my window and sure enough it was beeping. It was really cold out, so I thought maybe the freezing temperatures were messing with it. So I pulled into a parking lot I was passing. The noise stopped. I got out and inspected, but no noise. So I got back on the road. It started beeping again. Later on down the road I stopped at Panera to get my usual pre-church breakfast and the noise stopped.
But when I got back in the car, I noticed something odd. The thingamabob started beeping when I drove in sunlight. Anytime I passed through shadow, it stopped. Surely not, I thought. But, it surely was. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at the lights on the back of the car, but there is this reflective material around the bulb. So as the sun shone on my car’s derriere, it was bouncing off that reflective material and through the little hole on the thingamabob and therefore activating it. Oh I don’t think I mentioned it but I live 29 miles away from my church–due west. So in the morning my car’s backside is to the sun the whole way there. Yes, other drivers could indeed here this beeping. On the way back from church, the sun has travelled to the point that my car’s backside is still exposed to the sun. So I just beep.
It was quite embarrassing. Did I mention my job is due west of my house. It was a mess. Every time I came to a stop light, I kept pretending that I couldn’t here it. Additionally, it got confusing since it beeps when I was backing (like it should). So February 1st, I yanked it off my car. These days when I back, I just keep honking my horn. Well- it was only $6.99. I guess I really couldn’t expect more.
So what about all of you. Have any of you bought a cheap contraption that had some unforeseen issues? Let’s here it. Oh, if this post inspires you to write your own post, put the link in the comments so I can visit. Oh html doesn’t work. Just type the url, iWeb can handle longer strands without breaking.