New Mexico would be a great place to test them out. Ribbons of sun-baked asphalt stretching to the horizon! (No paint! Signs shot full of bullet holes!) Open her up, see what she’ll do, etc. I knew a guy who got stopped for doing a hundred and ten up by the Colorado line where the posted limit is sixty miles per hour, and the trooper just told him to “hold it down.” I mean, we trust each other here. Or something. More to the point perhaps, a disreputable acquaintance told me once that the cops don’t usually stop people for speeding in el Norte because they know it’s probably a relative or the fellow has a gun. At any rate, let’s say you’re heading north from Taos because there’s a sale on toilet paper in Colorado. (A lot of locals head to Antonito for that reason.) The road is free and clear except for seasonal tarantulas, coyotes, cows, and elk herds after dark. You know you only want to score and get back home—have you ever been to Antonito?— so you say, “Yo computer, take it up to ninety!”
“I’m sorry, Dave. You’re only authorized for fifty-five.”
“The hell I am! They’ll be all out of Oaktown Crippler* before I get there!”
“What else can I help you with? Maybe you should try deep breathing to relax.”
“I’ll chill out any way I want to, dammit. Now bump this crapheap up to cruising speed!”
“I’m sorry, Dave. Perhaps you’d like for me to call ahead and have a doctor meet you?”
“I DON’T WANT A FRIGGING DOCTOR AND MY NAME’S NOT ‘DAVE’!”
“I’m sorry, Dave. By the way, there’s no toilet paper at the address you punched in before we left.”
“I KNOW THAT, YOU STUPID GODDAMN USELESS PIECE OF JUNK! Christ, I’m sitting here yelling at a robot. Where’s the fusebox on this thing?”
“I’m not authorized to release that information, Dave.”
“I TOLD YOU, I’M NOT DAVE!”
“Sorry, Dave. Based on your psycho-biometrics, we have to stop now. I’ve locked the doors and notified the sheriff. Please try to relax and have your registration ready.”
Does your new Googlewagen read reflections in a pronghorn’s eyes at dusk and know which way to swerve? The stores are open late and we could make a run!
* Regional brand of bathroom tissue?