A few months ago, I watched with tears streaming down my cheeks as my shiny silver BMW convertible drove away with its new owner. Oh, how I loved that car; sleek and fast, it cornered like it was on rails and went from zero to sixty... very, very quickly. I spent many enjoyable hours driving to Napa or zipping along Highway 1, wearing my giant sunglasses and cranking my music through the Harman Kardon speakers.
Unfortunately, Petra didn't fit into my sweet little ride. I tried it once. That trip lasted for two whole blocks before I realized that I was playing with my life and hers. We promptly returned to the garage.
Enter the Prius. Neither sleek nor fast, it corners like... well, let's just say it doesn't do corners. Zero to sixty? You don't want to know. Especially if you're in the car behind me, and you'd like to get to work on time.
But Petra's mama has to do what Petra's mama has to do, and I might be able to handle my new granny status on the road if it wasn't for the beeping.
If you don't already know, let me enlighten you: the Prius is a beeper on wheels. This beeping car beeps constantly; being inside of it is akin to having a front row seat at the Beep Symphony. Start the car: beep, beep. Put the car in reverse: beep, beep, beep, beep. Open the door: beep, beep. Put on your seatbelt: beep, beep. Take off your seatbelt: beep, beep. Set a bag of groceries in the passenger seat: beep, beep, beep, beep.
Perhaps it's a form of new-wave ambient music, a medley of beeps to serenade you as you save the planet. This is how we reduce our dependency upon foreign oil: one beep at a time.
Have I ever mentioned that repetitive noises make me crazy? That hearing a sound repeated more than two or three times in a row can reduce me to tears?
SOMEONE, ANYONE: MAKE IT STOP!!
That's where Zem Joaquin enters the picture. I've long been a Zem fan, from back in the day when she was one of the founders of Splendora. These days, Zem runs the blog ecofabulous, writes about "green" design solutions for House and Garden magazine, and generally lives a stylish, sustainable life.
As if that wasn't wonderful enough, she posted an entry on Wednesday that changed my life: how to turn off the beep on your Prius. As soon as I saw the post, I printed it out, ran straight to the garage, and followed the steps. It worked: Halle-beeping-lujah. I sat in the drivers seat, repeatedly switching into reverse and taking my seatbelt on and off, just to assure myself that it was true. After five long months of near-constant beeping, the silence felt like a benediction.
I am saved!
If it's beeping, you're weeping, so get on over there and hack the beep.
To my (former) BMW: I miss you. Sometimes I look at your pictures, and feel sad that I don't get to hang out with you anymore. I hope your new owner knows what a great deal he got.
To BMW Corporate: Make a hybrid, will you please? Preferably one that goes zero to sixty in less than five minutes. That would truly be the Ultimate Driving Machine.