My new car is pretty and runs great, but its computer monitor knows way too much about me. I’ll hereafter refer to the car as Latoya, because I don’t want to reveal her make and model. I’ll bet you can figure it out.

Because of the shortage of new cars, after buying it sight unseen, I had to wait weeks for it because (as the salesman said), “It’s still on the boat from Japan.”

After I got her, Latoya was helpful and friendly. She beeped a warning if there was a car in her blind spot, or if traffic was slowed or stopped ahead. She’d cheerfully highlight the route back home and estimate the time of arrival. If I parked her and walked away, forgetting that the key fob was still in the car, she’d beep three times to warn me the car was not locked. I appreciated that, even if I found the tone of her “beep, beep, beep,” a bit condescending. It’s as if she wanted to add, “You idiot!”

“Thank you, Latoya,” I’d respond, gritting my teeth in annoyance. I’m not sure if she heard me, but I know she has cameras and sensors all around her, so I’d like to keep on a friendly, first-name basis with her.

But that’s when the nagging started. “Ding,” went my cell phone (which was linked to her) while I was at home trying to relax and unwind. “There are multiple doors unlocked,” she added.

“Yes, I know, Latoya. It’s okay.”

Five minutes later: “Ding, There are multiple doors unlocked. Click here and log in to see further notifications.”

“Enough already, Latoya. You’re in our locked garage. You’re safe. Stop bothering me.”

“Ding. There are multiple doors unlocked.”


Then Latoya started second-guessing me.Whenever I started the car, she’d highlight the route to a possible destination. She wasn’t always right, but at least she made the effort. For a while, whenever I left the garage, she assumed I was going to a nearby park. That’s not a bad guess, since I go there several times a week to take a walk. The salesman at the dealership told me that she’s just intuitive. She’ll assume if I’ve gone to a location before, that’s where I’m going now.

Now she’s started assuming I’m going to the town’s gym every time I leave the house. Is that a dig about my weight, Latoya? If I’ve gone to the gym parking lot recently, it’s because they’re next door to the bakery. I wasn’t working out at the gym; I was buying a donut. Okay, a couple of donuts. Oh, all right, three donuts and a grande Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino. Mind your own damn business, Latoya! And keep your techno-mouth shut, you nosy bitch! My husband thinks I’m on a diet.”

That’s when things really started getting ugly. Latoya started tucking sumliminal messages among the helpful driving tips.

“Thirteen miles to your destination. Quit picking your nose, Denise. Turn right at the next intersection. Didn’t you have time to fix your hair this morning? Arrival time in twenty minutes. That shirt makes you look fat.

“That does it, Latoya! Give me one good reason why I should keep you, or I’m taking you back to the dealer and demanding a refund!…What’s that? I should park you real close to that cute convertible in the bakery parking lot, and in about nine months you might present me with a newly-delivered two-seater micro-car? Well, okay. I don’t think I even want to know how you can make that happen, but I could use another car, Don’t expect me to throw you a baby shower.


4 thoughts on “My New Car is Spying on Me, and I Want it to Stop!

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