My father-in-law is ten feet tall, and casts an even longer shadow. A true man’s man, he kills his own meat, fills the freezer with fish, built his own house, routinely works with extremely high voltage, flies a plane, fights in wars, climbs canyons, is a superior marksman and expert photographer, built his own computer, has the ultimate set of tools, and single-handedly maintains a fleet of two cars and at least 8 other internal-combustion engines. He goes four-wheeling in a two-wheeler and can grill on both charcoal or gas. He has eyes of steel and a handshake stronger than iron.
When I was first married and faced with some mechanical problem, I often heard these painful words: “My daddy could fix it!”. I’m pretty handy, but begin to reach my limits with things made of metal and/or plastic. So I try not to talk about cars around him too much.
During our visit, he caught wind of the fact that our car stereo has been inoperational for some time. It seems that when we changed our battery, the radio thought someone had taken it out of the car, and so asked for a five-digit code to identify us as the righful owners and to begin to produce sound and light once again. Naturally, these five digits were nowhere to be found, though the gentleman at the dealership offered to pull out the radio to fix it for about three hundred bones. Which seemed a bit steep for me, so the wife and I just rode in silence. My best plan was to get free installation of a new hundred-dollar radio, but I wasn’t exactly doing anything about it.
Anyway, Mr. Incredible did some research on possible solutions to the problem, most of which we had already tried. Still, he and I looked under, over, and through almost every part of the car to try to find the mythical white sticker with five digits on it. Until which point– and at about ten o’clock at night– he announced that we would remove the radio, retrieve the serial number, and call the dealership for the eagerly-awaited code. Which we proceded to do, removing the entire center console plus the ashtray and cupholder and cigarette lighter in the process. The moment of truth came with a tug as the radio slid out, revealing the serial number. With the five-digit activation code scrawled across the label in pencil.
Theft deterrent? Not so much.