Saturday, June 18, 2005

And Car Alarms too

While we're on the subject of things that are dumb, I'd like to give a shout-out to car alarms. I think they came into fashion in the eighties as a way of alerting you that your car was being tampered with and/or jacked. The logic of an alarm is a hard one to argue with unless you feel like me - awakened by beeps, whoops and loud warbles, at strange hours.

A lot of people in my neighborhood have car alarms. Predominantly put into use by the owners of hummers, explorers, and cars far too fancy or big for their users, these alarms ring consistently throughout the night. I know what you're thinking. I must live in a high-crime area where no car is safe and no thief too humble to steal giant cars. That is not the case. In fact, I live in a low-crime area where alarms defend these giant cars from people walking too close and trucks rumbling past.

I think I'd have less beef with alarms if I felt like their owners answered their call more quickly. I would bet that in most cases, one's car owner won't recognize one's car alarm. And so they ring on into the evening, whoop whooping at just enough of a ridiculous pitch to raise the whole neighborhood - alerting the community that someone has just leaned against someone else's shiny and grotesque trumvee (the hummers with the flatbed in back - I think they have a different but equally absurd name. While we're on the subject, isn't hummer a colloquial term for oral sex? Is there a connection? Does anyone else laugh when Governor Schwarzenegger says his family only buys hummers? No? That's cool.)

The solution? How about alarms that ring or flash solely in the owner's apartment or on their person? In a world where people don't seem to care too too much about how other people in the neighborhood sleep, the first person alerted should always be the owner. When I grew up on the Lower East Side, my parents would often have to call the cops to get a car alarm turned off. Don't get me wrong. When that car got towed away or had its window broken to solve its alarm problem, I found it greatly amusing. But still, I think we could have used the sleep. We were often very cranky and needed more rest.

Get a club. Get a kill switch. Be more dilligent about turning off your alarm or better yet, never using it. Most car thieves - who routinely impress with their knowledge of circumventing security measures (they used to get around the old club by freezing the lock with liquid nitrogen and smashing it. That's neat. ) - will not be dissuaded by an alarm. And if you're using an alarm to scare a thief like the ones who have chiseled out my lock and broken my window and rifled through my scratched up mix cds, well, those thieves move way too quick to care if something loud is whooping around them. Give some respect to those jackers and your neighborhood and trade in the hummer (haw!) for an alarm-less station wagon from the late nineties.

We'll all sleep better.


Blogger S said...

Yes car alarms are mad annoying. There is a great scene in the indie film "Margarita Happy Hour" when all the moms sing along to the tune of the average NYC car alarm. I do that a lot.

But on the side of the car owner, I have a lot of experience with the protective mechanism that is the auto alarm, my friend.

Here are a few examples of auto alarms somehow coming in handy...

1. My auto alarm once prevented a thief from stealing just "a couple" of things from my truck.

2. Mu auto alarm could have saved my car radio many years ago, HAD I actually recognized the alarm as my own (supports your point, really). (I remember thinking, Damn that alarm is annoying. Sho 'nuff, it was my car making the racket and my stuff getting jacked.)

3. I feel mad safer knowing that my new convertible has a car alarm, for many reasons. And my current car alarm sound is so not average.

I think #3 is key. If you are going to have an alarm, make it a unique sound to your car and a ring tone!

I can't wait.

1:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home