My new van has a driver’s side airbag, and I’ve become hyper-aware of it. It makes me nervous. I know it’s there, just waiting to go off. Sure, if I ever need it, it might help save my life, but I’m suspicious of it. I imagine it is hiding in it’s little cave, just waiting to suprise me by going off while I’m talking on the phone or eating something. I have visions of the airbag going off, slamming the straw through my nasal cavities and throwing my drink to the back seat.
When airbags are used for comedic effect in TV shows, they’re always kind of pillow-y-looking, but that’s not reality. They’re more like burlap bags waiting to etch your face with their design, if I understand them correctly.
They tell you that if you have an airbag, you need to drive differently, too. No more of this one wrist draped over the top of the steering wheel driving – if the airbag went off, you would hit yourself in the face with your own hand, and that is definitely not cool. It’s all about the “10 and 2” hand positions, or even “9 and 3” more recently. And forget about taping pencils to your steering wheel anymore – that’s right out.
I know there are several safety features built into the airbags so they don’t go off unless they’re supposed to, but they still make me nervous.
“Welcome to McDonald’s, may I take your order?”
“Yes, I’d like a Filet o’ [WHAP]”
I can’t deal with this pressure. The airbag is freaking me out.