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Perhaps ours is a culture that has become self-absorbed to the point of narcissism. Whether or not that is the case is not really what I’m after today. What I am after is to express a few examples that I have noticed and to bring attention to them, should the offending party ever stumble across these words (unlikely) or better yet to set an example for those who might be guilty of this in their own day-to-day.

Aggravation the First: Car Alarms

I really don’t get why these even exist in our modern car buying culture any longer. It is not as though they ever serve the purpose they were designed to fulfill. I can’t remember the last time that I ever heard a car alarm go off and thought, “Gosh I better alert the authorities or at least go see if I can intervene with the attempted theft of a vehicle.” I am far more likely to respond with (in escalating order, depending on how loud and long the alarm has been going off) “Good God, that’s really annoying…What the hell? Where’s the owner?!…[looking out window] Holy Christ! They’re just standing around loading crap into/out of the car!!! Turn off the damn alarm!!!…Where’s my smashing bat?! This ends NOW!”

An individual in my neighborhood chooses to open his car door every morning around 6:00 a.m. without turning off his car’s alarm. It goes off for about 30 seconds without fail until he turns the car on and the alarm stops. Perhaps the person does not know how to turn off the alarm, maybe he/she bought it from a private party, and the instruction manual was somehow lost. One would think a simple google search with the make/model of the vehicle for a how to would lend itself the proper way to do so. Or, which is far more likely, the person simply doesn’t care and has learned to ignore it, and for the 12 or so houses surrounding, could give a crap about everyone else snapping awake at 6:00 a.m. whether they have to be awake or not.

Perhaps I am too touchy about it, growing up in my hometown, there was hardly ever a need to even lock your car door, let alone your house, much less a need to set something as pretentious as a car alarm. We had no street lights, and on clear summer nights, the moon was so bright you could navigate the neighborhood quite easily. So, something like a predictable alarm sounding that early in the morning in our area would have yielded a pretty swift response, in the form of large bullet holes along the side of said vehicle, or a remodelling using a baseball bat, courtesy of the cranky second shift factory worker you just woke from a solid slumber. Ah, those were the days.

In the end, the car alarm ends up being rendered useless, because if I heard it going off, and the car were really being stolen, I wouldn’t do anything about it. I would figure, “Oh, it’s just that asshole again” and go back to whatever it was I was doing. The car alarm has lost its purpose, a cry of wolf which now goes largely unheeded, with the exception of general annoyance and ire-drawing from one’s neighbors. And, to be truthful, anyone who’s going to try to steal the car, even jacked up meth-heads know exactly how to disable the car alarm prior to it going off. Which makes me wonder, are any of them available for hire? I have a few vehicles in mind.