The Key

This story bears repeating in English too, since it’s such a /facepalm moment.

As everyone knows, I’m test driving a Toyota Auris Hybrid this month. They don’t use keys in the traditional way, but you can keep it in your purse or pocket – and it’s enough to just touch the door handle to unlock the car. Want to lock it? Just touch the side of the handle, and voila! It’s locked.

Similarly, you don’t use the key to start the car. There’s simply a start button that you press. So, the key is left in my pocket or purse pretty much at all times. (To my brother’s dismay, since I enjoy unlocking the car by touching the handle so much that I refuse to use the key from far away – there are the usual unlock-buttons on it as well – and will make him wait until I reach the car.)

This weekend my dad & co was visiting, and I was letting his wife test drive. I just had the key in my pocket as usual, but sitting on the passenger side, which is no problem. But as we were returning home, Bailey came bounding up the driveway and we had to stop to make sure we didn’t hit him. (He doesn’t quite seem to have understood the risk to his life from running in front of cars.)

I got out of the car and ushered him back into the house. Turned around to wave at my dad’s wife that it was safe and she could come off the road and onto our driveway. But she didn’t move. I waved again, but she still wouldn’t continue driving. Frustrated I called out that it was safe, and she just waved at me.

It took me a few seconds longer to realise that the car had stopped. With me having left it, bringing the key with me, the car had turned itself off. A good feature, naturally. But frustrating for the driver if someone runs off with the key! Oops!


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