Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Car Clutter-Be-Gone

"Hey, why don't you drive?" "Uh, ok, but..."
  [vote for,

Like many people, I often leave on the passenger seats of my car various things like CDs I’m listening to, mail I just picked up, and so on. Not trash, but the flotsam of daily life. I usually drive alone so this bothers nobody but me.

When out with friends, it often happens that one is suddenly asked to give others a ride. This leads to the inevitable subtle embarrassment of having to clean up the crap off the passenger seats in a hurry with your passengers standing right there.

Many cars have a fold-down rear seat that provides access to the trunk. My car has a small door at the rear seat armrest that allows long items like skis to be carried. In any case, I think this trunk access could be put to use here.

The key is a fine nylon mesh netting that is normally pulled flush against the front seats. The edges of the netting are attached to cords that run up along the door edges in a mechanism akin to those automatic seat belts that pull close to you when you shut the door. The cords lead to little winches back inside the trunk.

An extra button on your remote activates the system. As you approach the car (before you unlock it) you hit this button. The back seat opens to the trunk (possibly in a way that dumps its contents there as well). The spools wind, yanking the netting up off the seats, scooping everything up toward the ceiling, and then back into the trunk. The back seat then returns to its normal position.

You hit the other button to unlock the car, and you are free from embarrassment.

krelnik, Jan 19 2003

Seat Organiser http://www.galls.co...tail.jsp?item=VE148
Stops stuff lolling about on the passenger seat [oneoffdave, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       don't you just hate those sneers as you hurriedly clear up, used tissues, empty diet coke bottles, boots, spare shoes, books, audio tapes, cat travel box, screen scraper, de-icer, gloves, cat? where did you come from?, blankets, shopping, shopping lists, spare...
po, Jan 19 2003

       Alternatively, leave it down in case your passenger misbehaves or you get bored of their company.   

       Very useful for people who ordinarily feel uneasy in conversations if they're not stroking the trigger of a trap door.
Monkfish, Jan 19 2003

       do you know many people like that, then? <strokes white cat gently, yes, my precious - feed you very soon>
po, Jan 19 2003

       If it pulls the junk back onto the seat when you're done, I'd like one of these! +
Amos Kito, Jan 19 2003

       I was reading about recycling cars recently. Apparently there are machines that scrunch the ex-car into tiny pieces and sort it into metal, glass, plastic, rubber, etc. There is even a special unit that collects all the coins that had fallen down in between the seats.
dalek, Jan 19 2003

       Hmm... If you didn't need the stuff perhaps a trapdoor in the floor could activate while a mechanism tilts the seats; dumping everything onto the ground beneath the car. Cleaning could also be done while driving. Take that officers.
ImBack, Jan 19 2003

       There's nothing inherently embarrassing about CDs. It's the empty sandwich cartons, parking tickets, juice boxes, chocolate wrappers, final demands, banana skins, biscuit crumbs, empty defrosting aerosols, Reader's Digest Competition entries, crisp packets, cigarette cartons, magazines, screwdrivers, blown bulbs, christmas cards, miscellaneous screws, spent air fresheners, half-eaten apples, 3lbs gravel (assorted), 8-track cartridges, unused car polish, and the emergency demister that looks suspiciously like a torn, grey pair of old jocks that are embarrassing.
egbert, Jan 20 2003

       [eggy] you bought my old car, sorry about that.
po, Jan 20 2003

       I think I owned that car at some point too
oneoffdave, Jan 20 2003

       I managed to convert a new girlfriend to an ex-girlfriend in one smooth, easy move on our second date when I arrived to collect her with some "clutter" on the front seat which I then got her to help me load into the boot (trunk). Seeing the "clutter" was bad enough, the contents of the boot turned her pale. (By the way, we're talking things that go 'kaboom' in the night here - nothing kinky, and all perfectly legal).   

       After that she never returned any of my phone messages. Her loss.   

       These days, the ride in the car is a sort of screening test. If that put them off, no way will they cope with the rest of my stuff and better to know that sooner rather than later.
8th of 7, Jan 20 2003

       <sigh> wish I had a car to complain about having to keep clutter free. </sigh>
kaz, Jan 20 2003

       Kaz, consider youraself lucky. Sure, cars are convenient, but you are free from their harsh slavery: gas, insurance, tickets, new tires, oil, cleaning tar scum on the inside of the windshield only to have it reappear by the next day. Although I've never been on one, I think we should all just go back to riding horses. . .with heat, and CD players.
notme, Jan 20 2003

       Just get rid of the Barry Manilow cd
rickstix, Jan 21 2003

       //What about that smell?//
Reminds me of a story...

       A couple of years ago when I worked at a high tech startup, I used to work late into the evening quite a lot. I would often go to dinner with the same couple of people who also habitually worked late, and we would rotate who drove.   

       I drove to dinner one night, and one passenger got a "take home" container for the remains of his meal. When we arrived back at work, he absent-mindedly left it in my car, on the floor under one of the seats.   

       I was battling a persistent head cold and/or allergies at the time, so I was always stuffed up. I couldn't smell at all, so I didn't notice the aroma of the food container.   

       Fast forward to a week or more later. I'm still stuffed up. I'm getting ready to leave the office, and a woman whose office is near mine asks for a lift to her car, which was parked in a parking lot quite a walk away. Being Mr. Chivalry, I say no problem.   

       I open the door to my car, and she immediately says, "Jesus, what died in here?" Oh crap, there go my browny points. I apologize for the smell (which I still can't detect) and drop her off.   

       I feel around under the seats as I continue driving home and soon find the food container. I immediately remembered whose it was and understood.   

       If my life had been a movie, I would have looked straight up and screamed that guys name while the camera zoomed out.
krelnik, Jan 22 2003

       you missed the bit in the story where you admit to fancying said lady or you wouldn't give a rats'
po, Jan 22 2003

       that goes without saying
krelnik, Jan 22 2003

       There seems to be a need for a mechanism that would replace all the dross back in the seats to give the car that "I don't give a rats'" look.
JellyHead, Jan 22 2003


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