Wednesday, 22 July 2009

It can't just be me, surely?

Right, all you North American reader-types. I need your help.

When we were on holiday (why yes, I will be banging on about my Canada trip for the next three months, thanks for asking) we hired a car. We got a really good deal whereby the canny Scots could book the smallest car possible and get a free upgrade to the next size up, which might actually hold 4 people and their luggage without the necessity of the children sitting on the suitcases on the roof. We lucked out when we actually went to pick the car up because they didn't have any of the size we had booked, so they upgraded us again! Woo Hoo! And when the car actually appeared, it turned out to be 2. Hours. Old. It had 30km on the clock. It was very very shiny.

I loved that car. Everything about it was lovely and new and smelled expensive and it had cup holders EVERYWHERE. The one gripe I had was with the boot/trunk. The electronic key fob had a button on it to release the trunk and I used this happily throughout the holiday. However, on the one occasion I went to the car (which was unlocked) to get something from the trunk, I discovered that there was no other way to get into it. No button on the boot lid, no lever or switch in the car itself which released the trunk. Nothing. Unless you had the key fob, (and presumably provided the battery hadn't died) there was no way to get into the boot. That's a bit weird, isn't it? Surely there should be some other way to get in? Our slightly ancient car back in Scotland has an old-fashioned button on the boot. You press it and the boot opens.

Oh, but wait. There was one other way to open the boot. Provided you were actually in the boot, that is. There was a glow-in-the-dark handle inside the boot so that if you got locked in there somehow (having double-crossed your local mafia don, presumably) you could pull it and get out. The handle even had a diagram on it showing a little stick man leaping ecstatically clear of an open car trunk.

Here is where you all come in. What on earth is the story with that? No-one wants to be able to open the trunk from the outside without the key fob but there is sufficient demand to justify a handle so you can do so from inside the trunk?????? If I had to guess, I would say there has been a lawsuit somewhere in the USA involving some dimwit accidentally locking Granny in the car trunk and not noticing for 36 hours. Maybe you can tell me. Seriously. Tell me. I am confused.

PS: We did consider keeping one of the kids in the trunk so he could open it for us whenever we needed but the little blighter kept escaping.


  1. There is usually a lever under the dashboard on the left most side of the driver's side which will open the trunk. I can't imagine any car without an internal release for the trunk/boot and the hood/bonnet (look at me, I'm speaking UK). Also, we have a lot of trouble with organized crime. They tend to stuff people in car trunks a lot before driving them to the desert and "offing" them.

  2. Another place for an internal lever is next to the driver's side seat, down on the floor next to the door.

    But you're right, no buttons on the outside of the car itself. Maddening, I know.

    And yes, those glow-in-the-dark in-the-trunk release levers are required by law in the U.S. Some woman got kidnapped and was locked in the trunk of her car for a couple of days and, when she was released, she made it her mission to get those in-the-trunk levers (or whatever they're called) mandatory in all new cars.

    (All car info courtesy of my husband...)

  3. I think I've just learned some things here that I'd rather not have known.....

    I do like the image of the little man leaping ecstatically from the boot - I also love the ones that warn you, if you are idiotic enough to try to break into an electrical sub-station, of the dangers of electrocution. Spanish signs are particularly dramatic, even Biblical, in that regard - huge forks of lightning striking a poor little stick man who is clearly dead before reaching the ground.

  4. Did you feel around the indentation where the license plate is and the trunk lid? My husbands car (which is a uh...Chevy Aveo - not sure if that means ANYTHING to you) has no button inside and no visible lock or button from the outside. The trunk handle is hidden. (And I'm perilously close to having to draw you a diagram here - or throw around a lot of scientific terms like 'the thing there')

  5. My stepdad used to have a car many many years ago that if you locked your keys in and thus yourself out of it you could only get in by paying a small boy 50p to climb in through the boot.

  6. Maybe it's a Canadian thing. My car has a lever next to the driver's seat.

  7. It's not a Canadian thing, she harrumphs irritatedly. They just like to hide the button/lever. In my Canadian car, it's a lever on the floor beside the driver's seat. In my last car, it was a button inside the glove compartment. Also, I can use my key to open the trunk, as there is a keyhole.

    I guess those in-trunk handles are only good if they don't "off" you before putting you in the trunk. I like the idea of the diagram of the stick man jumping free, and wonder if handcuffs come with a diagram showing them being put on a stick figure *before* the figure is stuffed in the trunk of a car. Sort of a mafia public service announcement. But I digress...

  8. To open the trunk, my car has a lever under the dash. My husband's car has a button on the floor between the door and the driver's seat.

    My car has the glowing lever inside the trunk, too. Regardless as to why it's there, imagine all of the people who can't resist getting in th trunk to try it out!

    PS - I guess we were in the Liverpool area a week or so after you visited. That is funny that we both ate at Seaside Seafood :) We plan to go back and try the fries in the fall, when we stay at White Point Beach Lodge.

  9. I've got a fabulously clear image in my head of the little picture of the ecstatic stickman.

    I thought if you got locked in the trunk/boot, you were supposed to kick a tail light out so the police would stop the car - I swear I saw that on Oprah once!