Inner child found driving on the road of luxury

Until last week, I thought I was successfully entering the world of "adulthood." Of course, had I handed you my driver's license, you would have told me I've been an "adult" for some time.

I've since found out, however, that we never truly grow up. Don't believe me? Well, come on a little test drive, and I'll prove it.

I had the opportunity to take a 2000 Cadillac Deville DTS for a spin around Boston. And although exciting for some, this wasn't going to affect my "adult" status one bit.

"It's just a car," I told myself. "Just a means of transportation." That was before I saw this $54,000 beauty. You know the excited tingles of a first date? That's nothing!

This stealth bomber of a vehicle sat there, an Italian suit among sweat pants.

"You want to drive it?" Pierre Carter, a General Motor's rep asked. Oh baby, did I ever!

From the second I sat in the vehicle, I knew I wasn't about to just "take a drive." Oh no. I was about to take on a whole new life experience.

I shifted the car into gear. "Krunk!" Whoa! All the doors automatically locked. Oh yeah, this was going to be fun.

Out on the road, Pierre explained some of the gadgets offered by GM. "See this box?" he said, pointing to a small box on the windshield. "That controls your wipers. It figures out how hard the rain is falling, and then determines how hard the wipers need to work." Say what? I looked out the window in hopes of a freak thunder shower. Nuts! Not a cloud in the sky.

It was now time to try out the On-Star operator assistance system. Pierre pressed one of the three buttons on the rearview mirror. We heard a call go through, a ring, and then.... "This is On-Star." The operator identified Pierre by name, and then asked how she could help. He asked her to demonstrate how she could unlock his doors, if he locked himself out of the car.

"Certainly. Can I have your pin number?" With that, she told us to wait just one second, and then "Krunk," all the locks popped up at once. Whoa!

"Could you now show us how you can honk my horn and flash my lights, in case I forget where I parked my car?" Pierre asked.

Again, "Certainly, just one second." And within seconds, our car was beeping and flashing away.

"Let's try the navigator," Pierre continued. My eye was drawn to the funky computerized screen displayed where a radio usually sits. He programmed our destination, and the navigator told me things like "go right" or "your destination is on your left."

These toys are all disguised under the adult title of "safety" features. But come on, night vision? How fun is that? If my air bags deploy, the car automatically calls 911? Need I say more?

So the results of my test are in. We aren't really adults. We're the same as kids, just with cooler toys. And sure, I could fork out the 54 grand for this toy today (smirk), but I think I'll wait until the 2001 models come out with their new voice-recognizing, Internet-connecting, "reading my e-mails aloud" system. Oh, how the fun continues.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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