Something strange happened during the automotive revolution: The engines got smaller, the batteries got smaller \u2014 heck, even the cars got smaller. Somehow, though, our car keys only got larger. It\u2019s as if Alice took a drive through Wonderland.Cars used to come with two slim keys: One for the locks and one for the ignition. You could fit them in a pack of gum. Today\u2019s car keys wouldn\u2019t fit in a pack of wolves. My last car came with a key fob that could have held the spare tire. How can it be that my 60-GB USB drive is no bigger than a thumbnail, yet I need a fob the size of a small child to open my car door? It\u2019s a Honda, not Capone\u2019s vault. Like most things, it\u2019s probably because there was never any money in the old design. \u00a0Today\u2019s car keys are intricate gadgets that cost more to replace than the transmission. They require batteries, for crying out loud, with tiny screws that only the car shop can open. Only the auto industry would consider the act of adding batteries to an ancient Egyptian technology as innovation. Car keys worked just fine without tacking on unnecessary functionality. In fact, most modern car keys are no longer keys at all. They\u2019re bloated lipstick containers with buttons we always manage to push at the wrong time. Granted, my mom loves that she can open her hatch from across the parking lot to remember where her car is, but was the physical act of turning a key really so hard? It\u2019s not like we\u2019d already cured cancer and scientists were running out of things to do. Instead, my key ring resembles something a 17th-Century prison guard would lug around. My car keys are part of an unruly mess inside my pockets that already includes my house keys and a set of work keys for my file cabinet, closet, and a few drawers. As if this Jacob Marley-esque rattling chain of keys wasn\u2019t enough, my gym card and AAA tag hang from it like forgotten souls, used only slightly less than my valet key (which, despite lacking any electronics and meant only for the ignition, is still fatter than Scrooge\u2019s Christmas goose). Because keys are metal teeth that live to eat through my pants, I\u2019ve gone through a series of leather muzzles to leash them, but none are ever big enough to handle today\u2019s car keys. They end up clipped like reindeer to the outside of the bulky case, an exercise in futility. I\u2019d pay extra just to have that tiny keypad next to my car door again; I\u2019d bite the bullet and open the hatchback by hand. Alas, it seems these enormous car keys are here to stay. I\u2019ll continue to smile awkwardly while you struggle to turn off the car alarm you accidentally pushed, and you\u2019ll politely look away from the beeps and flashing lights as I keep hitting Unlock instead of Lock. And both of us will greet each other with that uncomfortably telling question, \u201cAre those car keys in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?\u201d You can read more at RobertFWalsh.net, contact him atrob@RobertFWalsh.net or follow him on Twitter @RobertFWalsh.