I woke up early the next day at about 6 AM. After preparing myself for the trip and checking out the hotel, I went to the car. The first thing I did, after I turned the car on, was to turn off the devilish navigator, lest I find myself at the bottom of a lake or a river. I did not need the navigator then, since I knew my way to Chicago. Instead, I decided to familiarize myself with the car options and push the car to its limit to evaluate her performance. I should have done this before, but the erratic behavior of the navigator denied me this pleasure. 

“What differentiate Mercedes from other cars?” I posted this question, several weeks before, to one of my friends who owned a Mercedes. 

He answered: “The unique thing about this car is that it hugs the ground when you drive, and the faster you go, the more it hugs. And it feels good!” 

Somehow I felt that this is a disadvantage not an advantage. I felt this car should hug me not the ground. After all, I paid a huge amount of money for her. This money is equivalent to the dowry of four brides, and I don’t even get a hug!  Wouldn't you feel bad if your bride decided to hug the ground instead of you? But it was too late to do anything about it, and I had to accept my lot. 

I pulled out from parking lot slowly till I reached the main road that took me to I-90 west. I went to the highway pressing the gas cautiously. While I was merging, I saw a car coming fast on the lane that I am merging to. I let the car pass and moved to the left lane. I pressed the gas a little, and behold, the car started galloping. I felt as if I am in a taking off airplane. The g-force was pushing my back against the seat; the front end appeared to be lowered; and I listened to the sound of the engine, but there was nothing audible. Was the car hugging the ground? 

When I looked in the visor mirror, I saw the car that passed me limping far away like a toy car.  I looked at the front, I found myself on the tail of a new Honda Accord. The driver of the Honda was a well dressed lady, who changed her lane to let me pass. I pressed the gas, and I passed Ms. Honda like a wind. I looked in the mirror again and saw Ms. Honda as if she is moving backward. I smiled and waved my hand saying: “So long Ms. Honda” 

As I pressed the gas harder, the car became smoother and quieter. The road was open with no cars in sight. I felt that it is time to test the functions of the buttons I saw on the dashboard, the seats, and the doors. Under my knee I found several buttons. I pressed the longest one, but nothing happened. When I continued pressing, the sides of the seats started to inflate and the seat encompassed me. 

“My goodness, the car hugs me.” I cried. 

I looked at the passenger seat, and I found the same set of buttons. I realized that this car can provide hugging services not only to you but also to your significant other. I pressed one of the button one the dashboard, and in a minute, I found myself on a hot hugging seat.  This is what we can be considered a truly worm hug. 

After this sensation, I found myself behind a noisy old Dodge. The car was rumbling along, as if she is gasping for air. She reminded me of my old Chevy. I slowed down and tailgated her. But the stubborn driver did not yield to my intimidation, and I had to switch to the right lane to pass him and to avoid suffocation from the fume of his car. The driver, an old man, looked at me with disgust and continued driving with the same speed. In my way I passed a Toyota, a Volvo, a Chevy, a Ford, a Nissan, and many cars. All of them consented to the superiority of my car, and gave me the right of way. 
While I was looking at my victims in the mirror, I saw in the horizon a silver car. I did not pay attention to this car, and continued driving feeling that no car would be able to catch me. I looked in the visor mirror again, and to my shock I found the silver car tailgating me.  I was surprised, but my surprise did not last after I saw the Tri-star Mercedes emblem on its hood. The driver was a beautiful woman in her thirties who appeared to be a well to do professional. She pulled closer to me as a warning to let her pass. I had no choice but to yield to her wishes. Once I switched to the right lane, she pulled majestically away making my car shivers. I looked at the back of the car, and I realized immediately why this car was able to catch up with me in no time. The car was an AMG E500 Mercedes, with more than 450 HP engine. 

As the AMG passed, I followed her. This was an opportunity for me to check the performance of the distronic.  The AMG increased the seed to 65, 70, 80, 90, 110, and finally stayed at 120 MPH, and I was on her tail. When I reached her speed, I set the distronic to that speed. 

“Now, if she slows down mine will follow suit, and if she speeds up again, mine will do likewise,” I said to myself. 

This will not only allow me to test the device, but will protect me from the police. The police will detect her first, since she is in front. I knew that this was a devilish feeling, but I promised myself to feel sorry for her, if she was caught. I continued following Ms. AMG till we approached the city of Cortland in NY, when she started to slow down and change to the right lane. I assumed that she was preparing to exit. 

When Ms. AMG moved to the right lane, my radar sensed that there was no car in front. And in no time, my car jumped trying to reach the set speed of the distronic which was 120 MPH. While I was passing the AMG, I glanced at the driver. She gave me an innocent smile with a noticeable wink. I felt good; after all we have been road companions for sometime. 

While I was trying to figure out the reason of the smile, I saw something froze the bold in my veins. I saw a man pointing an RBJ rocket launcher towards me. I focused on the man and his launcher, and I discovered that this was not an RBJ, it was even worse; this was a policeman with his laser speed detector. I pressed the break to slow down the car, but it was too late.  The  policeman jumped in his car in an acrobatic move, flashed his light, and followed me. I knew that I am the culprit, and I have no choice but to stop on the shoulder.  I saw Ms. AMG passing me waving her hand as if she is saying: “you ate the bait!”  I realized now the meaning of her smile. She set me for bait; she saw the police officer and slowed down and changed the lane to let me fall into the trap. 

The police officer came to me and said: “Sir, you were driving at 89 MPH, which is too high for 65 MPH speed limit.” As usual, I pretended that I did not know that I was speeding. He said politely, “Sir, give me you driver license and the car registration.” I gave him the paper, and he went to his car to prepare the ticket. 

I looked at the passing cars and saw the drivers I passed early looking at me with big smiles on their faces. I saw the Honda, the Toyota, the Nissan, and the rest gloating with happiness about my bad fortune. Then, I heard the familiar rumbling, and when I looked behind me I saw the Dodge limping with a dark cloud of gas behind her. The driver looked at me with a yellow smile that penetrated my chest and gave me the sign. 

The officer handed me a ticket, with 215 dollars fine, and let me go. I went back on the highway, but I realized that I cannot speed, or risk arrest if I am caught. This was the hardest thing. I still have 600 miles to Chicago, how can I drive all that distance at the speed limit? But, I had to do what I had to do. After 10 hours of dull driving, I arrived to my home tired. This was not from driving, but from the dull slow speed I was forced to drive at. After showing the car to my family and everybody test drove it, I went to sleep thinking about the erratic behavior of the navigator. But this issue had wait till the morning, since I needed some sleep badly. 

In the morning, I took the manual from the glove compartment and started reading about setting the navigator. I discovered the mistake the dealer did when he was setting the navigator. The original navigator setting was as follows: (a) avoid free ways, (b) avoid toll ways, “(c) do not avoid Ferry and (d) avoid tunnels. The dealer changed the setting to (a) do not avoid free ways, (b) do not avoid toll ways, “(c) avoid Ferry and (d) do not avoid tunnels, and then he pressed the “OK” button. What I discovered was that pressing the “OK” button does not change the old setting to the new setting; it will keep the old setting valid. What he should have done was to press the “Back” button to activate the new setting. 

As can be seen, according to the old setting, the navigator was required to avoid free ways, toll ways, and tunnels, but take ferry. For this reason, the navigator was driving me on local roads, avoiding the highway. It appears that the navigator was taking me to Canada to find a ferry to dump be on it. This may also explains driving close to water for a hope of finding a ferry.  I looked at the navigator DVD, and I found it was a burned copy of an old edition of Mercedes DVD. The dealer appears to have the habit of taking the original DVD from cars to sell them on eBay for several hundred dollars. Then he put instead a burned copy in the car.  This explains the incidents of the bridge and the dumpster. It seems that the bridge was under repair and the motel was demolished after the disc was created, hence the navigator did not know that the bridge is closed and the motel became a dump. 
 

After realizing these facts, I felt relieved. At least no one is after my life.  The only thing I want to try now is to set the distronic on, and take a nap to see what will happen. I promise to write about this experience in another article, if I am still alive. 

The End 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 Part - One        Part - Two          Part - Three
 

© Ibrahim Abdel-Motaleb 2007

 

 

 

The Egyptian Chronicles is a cooperative effort by a group of  Egyptian authors pooling together their talents for the sake of  Egypt's Future.  Articles contained in these pages are the personal views and/or work of the authors, who bear the sole responsibility of the content of their work. This Monthly Electronic Magazine is a non-profit , commercial free zone and is answerable to no one.


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