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Do you dread opening your car trunk?
Danny  Tyree

My electronic key fob is putting more mileage on me than on the car.

For the past several months, I have tried to build up the nerve to do a thorough search of the contents of my trunk. I am hoping against hope that an overly sensitive trunk-release button on the fob hasn’t left several of my childhood keepsakes strewn along the roadside.

Granted, a neighborhood raccoon has already done a partial job of searching through the trunk (kindly forcing me to scoop up scattered belongings from the driveway before I could hurry off to work) when the trunk stayed open all night because of a stray signal from inside the house. (Yes, my life is a suspense movie. “The stray signal is coming from inside the house!”)

I keep second-guessing myself, worried that I’ve shut up a curious cat in the trunk or that the mere act of my plopping down behind the steering wheel has prepped me for a madcap adventure of leaving a trail of litter. (“Happy trails to get...a ticket!”)

Sometimes I’ll miraculously go for a few days without a hint of trouble from the trunk (or the car burglar alarm - nothing relaxes you like finally crashing on the sofa to watch TV and having the honking car compete not only with the commercials but also with a robocall reminding you about the extended warranty on your key fob), but then it makes up for lost time. I have “butt-dialed,” “nipple-dialed,” “thigh-dialed” and apparently a few internal vestigial organs have volunteered to get in on the action.

Mind you, I’m not soliciting advice about workarounds and fixes. I am taking under advisement all the stuff I’ve read about reprogramming and expensive fob holders and all that. Right now, I just want to vent.

Hair-trigger trunk, alarm, lock and unlock buttons on a key fob are ingenious solutions to problems that never really existed. Who needs a trunk to pop open that easily unless they’re on a tight schedule to deliver an underworld informant to a cement-overshoes ceremony? If you really want to scare away muggers in a darkened parking lot, why not have an illuminated bumper sticker that says, “My Honor Roll student is selling band candy and will track you down via facial recognition software?”

Until I settle on a better solution, when I remember, I separate my keys from my pants as soon as I get home. “Keep your friends close, your enemies closer and your car keys where someone will spill pancake syrup on them.”

The key fobs are supposed to be a convenience, but separating them from your pockets mostly means a lot of return trips to the house. They’re convenient only in terms of keeping Dr. Seuss fresh on your mind. (“Did I leave it on the table, or by that print of Betty Grable? Did I hang it on the fridge? Won’t you &^%$#@ help me, just a smidge?”)

I’d like to dim my headlights and catch the key-fob engineers in a dark alley. They didn’t put much thought into what all could go wrong. What else have they not taken into consideration about vehicles?

(“Nah, nobody would ever turn onto a street named after a tree. So, there’s only a miniscule chance that the ejector seat would ever be activated...”)

Danny welcomes email responses at and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”