Sunday, May 15, 2011
Then again, if the parents realized they have a stupid kid at such an early age, maybe they just gave up and realized anything that keeps the kid occupied for an afternoon isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
In any case this brings us to the case of the idiot who didn’t think they needed to see out of their passenger window or that there would ever be a need to use all the gears in their transmission. You see often times when I would attempt to load a boxed piece of furniture, the only way to fit it into the vehicle and still allow more than just the driver to fit in the vehicle (or in the case of a hatchback actually close the hatch) was to turn the box on its side and place it between the two front seats resting upon the center console.
Personally I didn’t recommend this for a few different reasons of which I will outline here:
First, the weight of some of the boxed furniture was actually quite heavy, and it could easily damage the console. Granted for the typical owner who suggested this, they probably didn’t care all that much about the console on their 1982 Honda Civic hatchback.
Second, if the driver ever had to see out the passenger side window, sometimes the box was tall enough that it made this nearly impossible… not exactly the safest plan in the book. Any attempt to explain this to the driver/owner was typically meant with the “I’m not going very far” retort, as if that really makes a significant difference.
Third, in the event of sudden acceleration, the weight of the furniture could shift backwards and crack or explode the rear window. That probably isn’t a huge issue with the massive power in a 1982 Honda Civic… but you never know.
Fourth, in the event the driver was forced to make an abrupt stop, the weight of the box would shift forward and either crash into the dash and console, or even worse smash into the shifter between the seats and knock the vehicle out of gear (or into a different gear altogether).
It is this fourth scenario that actually was fairly common, and I can recall a few such incidents where this was actually an issue. The first involved a customer who after loading the furniture realized he would only be able to use 1st, 3rd, and 5th gears of the transmission because 2nd, 4th, and Reverse couldn’t engage due to the placement of the box. Aside from the fact that his wrist and arm would need to contort to even make the most basic gear changes, and aside from the fact that he was missing several rather important gears, this particular customer didn’t really seem all that concerned and went along his way.
Another incident involved a woman which found she was unable to move her gear selector out of the park position when the box was completely in her vehicle. The only logical solution would be to open the hatch of her car and allow the box to protrude a foot or so out the back. Then you either leave the hatch open and take your chances, or you tie it down and take your chances. Depending upon weather, an open hatch isn’t always an option which leads us to our stupid incident.
This woman actually asked me to lift up on the box just long enough for her to shift the car into drive so she could get home. So here we have a situation where every time she would apply the brakes on the way home there was a good chance the car would shift into neutral, which would force her to push the box back towards the rear and/or attempt to pull the gear selector back into drive. This is also a situation where a fairly substantial amount of weight is resting on a gear selector which was never designed to hold a weight load at all.
I’d love to tell you how the story ends, but once she was in drive and on her way… frankly I just didn’t care. If she made it home in once piece with no damage to her vehicle that is great, but if I were a betting man I would guess there were a few choice words said at least once during her trip home. Once again, stupidity seemed to serve as its own punishment, and this woman will get what she deserves.