A magician doesn’t reveals his secrets. But this one was about to.

“Just walk up to the door and it automatically unlocks,” he said, with zero fanfare.

My mouth dropped open. Pulling a rabbit out of the keyhole couldn’t have gotten a better reaction.

“That. Is. Amazing.”

“Yup,” said the car salesman, in a way that did not at all reveal that he thought it was even remotely amazing. “Keyless entry.”

We were shopping for a new vehicle, and I was NOT getting a minivan. That chapter in my life was over. The kids are older and I wanted a cool mom car. Something that could fit everyone and their stuff and their friends and their friends’ stuff and groceries and tents and bales of hay, should I ever decide I want to transport bales of hay.

And it had to be roomy. And comfortable to drive.

All of which meant ... I was buying another minivan.

The sting of purchasing the vehicle equivalent of Mom Jeans, however, was soothed when the salesman showed me, what you’d call the van’s “bells and whistles,” none of which were actually bells or whistles.

“Let’s try your Bluetooth,” said the salesman, with the same level of enthusiasm demonstrated during his keyless entry trick. “Push the button and say who you would like to call.”

I paused, feeling like Harry Potter about to speak to his broom for the first time.

“CALL MY BABIES DADDY!” I said, shouting my husband’s phone contact name into the open air like someone calling a farmer in from the field.

The phone at hubby’s hip in the back began ringing. I wriggled in my heated leather seat in delight.

The van came home with me a few days later and I began the process of getting accustomed to life behind the camera. I’ve got back-up cameras. Side cameras. The other day I couldn’t figure out how to shut off one camera so I drove down the road knowing exactly what was happening on my right passenger door the entire time. Nothing was happening, of course, but I felt very informed.

“You know I haven’t even sat in the front seat of the minivan yet,” said my husband, days after my new ride arrived

“Hmmm,” I said, betraying neither positive nor negative feelings regarding this statement.

Truth was, I was perfectly fine with everyone staying out of all the seats. I’ve seen what those people do to things. Which is why I pushed my son out of the sliding doors when he tried to get in. He had muddy shoes.

“Oh no you don’t,” I said, locking the door.

Keyless entry, nice. Keeping the new van new, that will require some real magic.

Martha Petteys writes a weekly column for The Post-Star. She can be contacted at petteyshome@gmail.com or visit or on Facebook.


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