Now is the winter of our discontent. Luckily, I have heated car seats. I have beautiful, wonderful, lyrical, thrillingly reliable, marshmallow-toasty, life-affirming, spiritually rewarding, mindful, three-levels-of-warmth car seats. My car seats have never let me down. When it’s cold outside, they are there for me, telling my posterior, “Don’t worry friend, spring is on the way.”
Forgive me if I gush. I first experienced the world of the heated seat last year when I purchased my Mini Cooper Countryman ALL4. It was a revelation. I thought I would be enamored by the Harman Kardon audio system, and I was, but nothing prepared me for the sublime luxury that is having my car seats warmed. The relationship has only grown stronger in our second winter, the winter of the plague year.
For most of my driving life, I went without. I sat in icebox automobiles and froze until the heater eventually kicked in. As a 15-year-old, I worked as the opening act for Willy and Floyd (Bill Luxton and Les Lye) when they did their Christmas concert tours of the Ottawa Valley. A kid magician, I would sit in the backseat dressed in tails, Les’s driver’s side window cracked open, and flirted with hypothermia. Les and Bill were talented gentlemen, both of whom served in the armed forces and did not, consequently, seem to believe in heated automobiles.
My 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit only had heated seats if one of my friends had made poor dietary decisions the night before. My Dodge Grand Caravans came with manually heated seats. Every time one of my toddlers projectile vomited during a long ride – hey presto – heated seats.
That’s why I have found my new heated thrones life-changing. My Mini Countryman’s warmed seats are like a loving unconditional hug.
The heated car seat is a luxury that has a long lineage. Heated automobiles appeared in the 1920s, and General Motors experimented with heated seats in the early 1950s. Saab introduced the first actual heated seat in 1972. Too much heat can be a bad thing, and some drivers have given themselves burns from excessive use. These are minor setbacks. Seat technology continues to evolve. The 2021 Lexus LS 500 flagship sedan features “heated, ventilated seats, four-way Power Lumbar Support, 28-way adjustable driver and rear seats, and driver- and rear-seat massage settings.”
Driver-seat massage settings. Imagine the possibilities.
By now, some of you are thinking, “Come on Globe! A whole article about how this guy likes to have his bottom warmed. That’s 10 minutes of my life I won’t get back.”
Guess what Einstein? You never get any of your life back. It’s not just my columns. The Fates spin the thread of life, measure it and cut it. It’s a one-way ticket. Uno modo tessera.
And do you really want to read another story trumpeting the latest COVID-19 death variant or telling you how the “vaccines are in the mail?” A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but sometimes, in periods such as these, a lot of knowledge is super depressing. Do you think the British made it through the Blitz of 1940 and 1941 by reading articles entitled “How to Behave When You’re Taken Over” and “Types of German Aircraft?” No, in between attacks, they distracted themselves with gardening, theatre and things like heated car seats.
So, forgive me if I hop in my Mini and feel the comforting cradle that is my heated driver’s seat. It’s the big little things that can be the difference between a good day and a bad one. It’s true for life, and it’s true for driving.
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