Something nudged my memory today of a voice I haven't heard in a long time...of a 1980s Chrysler we owned some many years ago. It talked to us, that car did. And when the car headed down the road to another owner I almost wished we could have kept its voice... just for the laughs it gave us.
Computerized, it was. A very polite computerly male voice reminded us every time we started the car to "Please fasten your seat belts." I know he was polite because once the belt was fastened Mr. Puter would respond with a gentlemanly "Thank you." To which we, naturally (or unnaturally), would respond, "You're welcome." Until the 4 millionth time, that is. By then our natural politeness had reached its limit and we were more likely to respond with "Oh, Shut UP!"
I want to add that we never said those words in polite company...no, it was too impolite to say "shut up". If we wanted someone to be silent we would admonish them with "Be quiet." Sometimes even "Please, be quiet". But Mr. Puter had pushed us far enough and "Oh, Shut Up!" would fall hissingly through our lips.
Our small grandchildren loved riding in our talking car even though they did not quite understand "Your door is ajar!" They knew "door" and they knew "jar" and did not see how the two could coincide. To their way of thinking they were hearing "Your door is a jar." And even though Mr. Puter was a puter, it just didn't pute. (Is that a word?)
One helpful message I heard only once..."Your oil pressure is low." I stopped and checked the dipstick and Mr. Puter was right! We'd recently had the oil changed and the only thing we can figure is that the attendant failed to put in sufficient oil. Nasty surprise, that!
There were numerous other messages such as "Your fuel is low." And I'm certain there were phrases we never heard...just because the situation never arose for Mr. Puter's much-needed advice. I'm betting he could have, and would have, said such helpful words as "Someone has slashed your tires" or "Picking up hitchhikers can be dangerous" or "Watch out for the deer." Useful things to know under the circumstances.
I wish we had kept Mr. Puter's voice. We could have installed him in our current vehicle and today he would have said, "Watch out for ice. You are in Iowa and it is February."
To which I would have responded, "Oh, Shut up!"
(I must add as small disclaimer: today we have partly cloudy skies and the only ice remaining on the roads is on our side-streets. The main highways and byways are clear and dry.)