It’s story time again. This short one is not about education, although there might be a lesson in there somewhere. It involves a drive-in movie theatre and a car boot.
The drive-in was a wonderful part of my childhood. The movies typically sucked, and the tinny sound from the hook-on speaker definitely sucked, but it was always great fun. And of course it is now a was. The Northland Drive-in, where I must have seen at least a hundred movies, is long gone. They’re pretty much all gone, although Dromana, which also holds fond memories, is still around. In Melbourne, only Coburg still exists.
Last year, while I was busy getting hip, my family discovered the Coburg drive-in. They had a great time, but there were differences from the olden days, and there was a problem. The first difference was that the majority of cars, including my family’s, faced backwards, away from the screen, with chairs and kids and food and drinks around or in the open boot. The second difference was that the movie’s audio was received through the car’s FM radio. All good, and better, although it necessitated having the car radio on and the car lights off. Which was the problem.
It shouldn’t have been a problem, but it was. That was because there was no obvious way for Ying to convince our stupid VW that she really didn’t want the boot light on. The nearby viewers were distracted and justifiably annoyed by the light, and after trying numerous combinations of car settings, Ying gave up and, dutiful mother that she is, watched the entire movie with one hand covering the stupid boot light.
The kids had a blast at the drive-in and wanted to go back. Of course it was given to me, the nominal Man of the House, to solve The Problem of the Boot Light. With zero skills in either cars or electrics, I got nowhere fast. There was no obvious switch, nor any easy way to get to the bulb to simply take it out. The manual for the stupid VW was no help. So, off to the internet it was.
We weren’t the first to have encountered this issue, and there was no shortage of internet discussion. People wrote about hooking up an electrical switch, and overriding “lights out” messages, and all manner of technical ingenuity that I would never contemplate trying to implement, and which seemed way too difficult for dealing with one stubborn boot light. And then I found the answer. Some guy figured out the simple way to trick the stupid VW into thinking that its boot was closed:
I click the latch 1 click, and that turns the light off.
Problem easily, humorously solved, and a number of drive-in movies subsequently enjoyed.