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Once in a while they (high tech wizards) come up with a product that is truly not helpful. In fact it totally f-cks with your life.

Like a car key that I don’t have to insert into my ignition. I just throw my keys on the passenger seat, put my foot on the brake and press the start button and suddenly my car is running. It’s called a smart key.

Cool, right?

Except when it totally messes with me.

Like when I come back from a long drive with the girls late at night and the car is packed with crap that needs to be unloaded and I can’t find the keys. Now I know those magic keys are in the car somewhere because the car was running moments earlier.  But take heart, because only a mere 31 minutes later, I find them jammed between the passenger seat and the center console.

Oh sweet keys, I miss you dangling from the ignition.

And then today.

When Rick and I dropped the car off at a parking garage to take the girls to Cirque du Soleil (click here for my review of the mesmerizing acrobatic feats and $12 cotton candy).

We gather our stuff, get our ticket stub and walk about a block and half towards Madison Square Garden when we suddenly realize the garage guy is sprinting after us because Rick still has the car keys in his pocket.

Now even though my husband is the guy who recently lost an entire bag of apples on a hayride, I have to come to his defense.

1. We were so traumatized that the regular $24 parking fee had been inflated to $36 because of a “special event” at Madison Square Garden that we could think of nothing else –  certainly not leaving the keys with the parking attendant so he could actually move the car.

2. When parking at a garage, it’s very easy to accidentally take the smart key with you because it isn’t stuck in the ignition. And there is a still-pissed off parking attendant on the Upper East Side that will vouch that I recently did the very same thing.

And finally, the best part about having one of these magical keys is when I park my car, get out and actually leave the car running because I forget to press the button to turn the car off. This may be partially because I own a hybrid and it’s freakishly silent.

But this crazy smart key isn’t helping. And it’s definitely not making me any smarter.

27 Responses to i miss my retro keys

  • julie says:

    If Toyota was so smart, why didn’t they invent a special little key holder for it? That would be so helpful. It could be right next to the pretty little info screen. My husband recently got a Prius and I have the same problem. It makes me so confused. The first time I took the kids in his car I forgot that I had to put my foot on the brake to start it. I thought the car died and we would be stuck at the park for hours. SUCKED!

  • Kathy says:

    High tech is not always better…I once had a VW bug and if I hit a bump the keys would come out of ignition and car would still be going. I’d have to crawl under seat to find the bastard.

  • I do better with low tech keys. Am I the only one who manages to de-magnetize all hotel keys within hours? I think I spend 25% of my stay standing in line at reception to get a new key. Of course I’ve also been known to try to key into the wrong room – over and over again – putting me at reception over and over again…so I can’t blame all incidents on the hotel key system.

  • stoneskin says:

    I spend half my life trying to retrieve items that are jammed between the passenger seat and the center console. Wallet, keys, phone, whatever. You’ll often see me on all fours by the car scrambling about under the seat.

  • Dixie Chick says:

    I’m not ready for that but my next car will be a hybrid – most likely a Highlander hybrid…I can imagine the years of putting the key in the ignition that has to be relearned.

  • TRACI says:

    I thought I was brilliant when I stuck the key in that little slot by the gas peddles and showed my husband the handy spot meant just for the non key. In which he says: that is where you charge the smart key.


  • francine Kasen says:

    You are sooo right about the “freakishly quiet” remark! My concern is that in the neighborhood when I’m going under 25 and the “MOTOR” is not running to make any noise, that you can accidently sneak up on an unsuspecting pedestrian. Be careful!!! Also, have you left it running all night yet??? We’ve done it more than once!

  • I think after reading this we’re gonna be just fine (probably better!) sticking with low-tech cars. I can’t handle anything more complicated than “put the key in the ignition and turn it on”…anything else would only end badly!

  • Betsy says:

    I also have the Highlander Hybrid. My biggest issue with the smart key is that I hit the “off” button before I khave the thing fully in park or without my foot on the brake. That turns off some things like the engine but not the radio. You have to contnue to hit the starter button and turn the car back on to turn the whole thing off.

  • Jen says:

    same issues here with my Prius, I LOVE it but the key get me stressed out! Plus Luke will take my keys, and runs into the garage to play in the car. The fact that he can easily start my car now forces me to leave my keys way way back on top of the fridge. Just what I need, one more thing to “Luke-proof”…

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Stop multitasking, flying up your own asshole all the time; relax and let the kids ‘play and entertain’ themselves. ‘Modern Parents’ think they have to provide entertainment or ‘classes’ or ‘cultural enrichment’ 24/7. Was ‘Circque du Soleil’ anymore entertaining to the kids than the Vomit Wheel at the local park? Now I’ll read your review…

  • Margaret says:

    I agree. Smart keys scare me. There’s no way I could trust myself with one. I was too stressed out when I had one for a day as a loaner. Never again, I tell you!

  • Mwa says:

    I love my little smart key! And I leave the car running even when it has a “proper” key, so that won’t make a difference. I only hate the fact that I can’t leave my key in my handbag on the front seat and open the boot. I always need to go fetch my key after trying it once.

  • Ok, first–are you some kind of Circus Junkie?

    We’ve had a Prius for years (yes we ARE better than everyone) and I love the smart key, but I too have left the car on and wondering why it kept beeping at me as I walked away. Whoops!

    My husband hates keys so much he says we all might as well have cars you still need to crack up.

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kelcey kintner