Saturday, February 19, 2011
Yes, she's green. Very. In addition to the lovely color, she's also a hybrid, a Ford Escape Hybrid.
Her name -- Wowser! -- was given her by a friend when she first saw my new car in the driveway. It stuck.
When I pulled up outside where my longtime women's group was getting together, somebody said laughingly: "An old lady like you can't drive a car like that..."
"Yes, I can," says I. This vehicle is the least "sensible" car I've ever owned and I like her. If I wasn't going to be self-indulgent about a car now, I never would, considering I tend to keep cars for 10 years or so.
I knew I'd done it right when a Mission District homie pulled up beside me the other day, looked Wowser! over, and indicated a big thumbs up. I had to laugh. This boy was driving the kind of Subaru wagon someone like me is supposed to drive.
Several weeks ago in the New York Times I ran across an article about how engineers are trying to unobtrusively build adaptive features into ordinary products so as to attract aging boomers. This one pointed out that we find we can't turn our necks as agilely as we once did, so we might need help dealing with the blind spot beside our cars.
Wowser! has side mirrors that address this. The main viewing area works like any vehicle mirror. But a little cut out at the upper outer edge picks up anything directly adjacent to the car. If I can see something in that section, it is right next to me (as is the passing car in the picture.)
This was confusing when I first used it. Years of driving had trained me to screen out irrelevant information so I literally didn't see what was happening in the cut out section. But since I figured out what it is for, I can train myself to use this useful feature.
Wowser! and I are enjoying the attention we attract.