Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Latest, Top-Secret, Issue

Most of you probably think I have a lot of issues. I'd argue if I could, but I can't, so instead I will talk about the biggest issue that is currently plaguing our household. Really, it's just plaguing the Wife and me. The kids couldn't care less. Ah, to be a carefree youngster again, huh? But instead, I am a quickly graying adult with issues...oh well.

So, anyway, our latest issue involves the van. Yes, we are the owners of a nondescript gray minivan that looks a lot like all the other nondescript gray minivans on the road today, many of which are owned by fellow parents at the two older kids' preschool. You should see all the minivans in that parking lot during drop-off time. It would boggle your mind.

We used to be able to make our gray minivan stand out from the others by putting a bright yellow "Spam" ball on the antenna. Not that it was a ball made out of Spam, although that would stand out too, but instead a foam ball, painted yellow, with the word "Spam" emblazoned across it. It stuck nicely on the end of the antenna, and performed two tasks very well: helped us find our van, and kept others out of our van, because nobody wants to be seen driving around with a Spam ball on their antenna.

I say we used to be able to use the Spam ball, because we no longer can. At some point on our latest trip to Oklahoma, around Christmastime, our antenna broke off a couple of inches above the hood of the van. When we realized this had happened, a wave of sadness swept through us all. We got over it quickly, and now at least we can tell it's our van by the lack of an antenna, so it's all good, as the kids say.

The lack of a Spam ball is not the issue I am writing about, though. No, we have much bigger van-related issues. Last week, the battery in the van died, which is not a huge deal. I have replaced many batteries in my day, many of which were much harder to get out than this one. The whole procedure took about 15 minutes, and that's only because I needed to change a headlight at the same time. Yes, replacing the dead battery went very smoothly. The problem only arose when we went and took the van out for a spin later that day.

Apparently the makers of our minivan seem to think that the radio in said minivan is a hot commodity, for they installed an anti-theft mechanism that turns off the radio whenever the van's battery is changed. So, we couldn't turn the radio on without the top-secret code that it's programmed with.

"No problem. Where might that be?", we both wondered.
"Oh, probably in the owner's manual.", we said.
"And, where might that be?", we also wondered.
"Well, we have no idea!", both the Wife and I exclaimed.
If there was really a key like this that I could push and get our top secret radio code, I would be giddy beyond belief!

Yes, neither of us knew where the owner's manual was, and we still haven't found it. We've looked in all the usual spots we could think of, as well as a ton of rather unusual spots, but we still haven't found it. And there's no other way to cheat the system, at least as far as we have found. So, we have no working radio in the van. It's driving us a little bonkers. In fact, as I was driving around this morning in complete silence, which was not fun, I began to wonder if it would have been better to leave the new battery out, so we couldn't drive the van at all... I told you I have issues...

Oh, and if you have any ideas on where our owner's manual may be, please send them my way. If you help us find it, we will be eternally grateful!

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