Monday, April 11, 2016

"Dealing With The Devil"

My GPS is possessed by the devil. I'm sure of it. And this particular devil is female (like I didn't already know that. Bobby Boucher's mama told us that). This particular female devil hates me. 
She's always fussing at me. She's always telling me how lost I am. It's like being married. Except I can mute her. Oh how I would've loved that feature at many times in the past 20+ years. Just as I'm sure that's been said about me. Fair is fair.  

If not possessed then it's at least designed by the Illuminati. What, you thought I forgot about those guys? Not bloody likely. Not when I've got a GPS as proof of their existence!
See, this piece of electronics just looooves the toll roads. And it clearly has no concept of the law. That or, as I said, it just effing hates me. No way can this be accidental or caused by solar flares or that phantom "global warming". 

What's worse is that our reliance on these electronic deviants is so strong. I'll call a shipper or receiver for directions and they'll give me the address. "Well I have your address. What I need is directions. I need to know how to get there." 
They'll almost invariably respond with "well just type the address into your GPS." I usually just tell them I don't have one. Partly because the damn thing is virtually useless for actual directions. It normally does a great job of tracking my mileage through each state though so that's a plus. 

Then the fun starts. "I don't know how to get here..." How the hell do people not know how to get to work?! The devil GPS, I bet. "Well, sir, I'm curious. Before GPSes, what directions would you give people? I'll just use those."
Unfortunately, most of the time I have to give up trying to get useful information out of these guys and wing it, hoping my GPS isn't being full-on retarded that day. It'll have me turning down back streets, alleyways, through someone's back yard, hopping fences and skirting pools. It's insane. "Turn left now", that female computer tells me as I'm looking at a road I wouldn't take a bicycle on. 'I think not, dumbass. I'm gonna stay on this here paved road thank you very much.' 
"Recalculating" recalculate away, psycho. "Turn left in 600 feet." Nope. Ain't gonna do it. That looks like the back of a restaurant. "Recalculating". Go ahead. I'm gonna ignore you anyway. Is there actually a MAP in there or are you using The Force you daft twit?! 
"Recalculating". Of course. "Turn left in 1 mile". Not if there's not an actual ROAD there. Do you somehow think I'm in a hot air balloon or something?! 
"Recalculating". Aaarrgggh! I HATE you. Shut up already! You don't know what you're doing! Let ME drive for a little while!

I'm pretty sure that internally this thing has Eeyore's voice mumbling "no one ever listens to me. Nobody likes me. I might as well not be here." And it'd be right. 
Especially when it comes time to choose a route involving a highway. You know what this stupid machine does? Look, here's proof of the Illuminati's existence right here...

I can be 6 miles from a nice, big highway that goes precisely in the direction I want. My GPS will try to route me through 20 miles of back road goat trails to get me to a highway that has a toll road. If I try heading towards that free one Little Miss GPS loses her electronic mind. "Make a U turn whenever possible.." Are you kidding me?! Is this a friggin Fiat?! I'm in an 18 wheeler you idiot. I'm not just gonna 'whip a Uey' because you say so! Now, if there's hot wings or lasagna involved we can negotiate. Then I give it a slow blink and keep going. 

Six miles later I'm getting on the highway and my GPS is brooding noisily. "I still say you should've gone my way. Why don't you ever do what I tell you? You don't love me do you? Why'd you even bother to buy me if you're just going to ignore my directions? That's kinda what I'm here for ya know..." Only instead of those words I get "recalculating" every time I pass an exit. 
Yeah, it's a love/hate relationship with my GPS. Makes me feel comfortable. We love to hate each other, just like any normal relationship. She nags, she complains, she tries to control me... We haven't set a wedding date but I'm sure if she were human we'd be talking about it. Then she'd try to get me lost on the way to the church. 

Fortunately, however, I spent a long time driving a truck before I finally gave in and got a GPS. So I learned what is clearly now a lost art: I can read a map. Rand McNally sells big ole giant road atlases fairly inexpensively and I get a new one every 6 or 7 years. No point buying a new one every year, they don't generally relocate highways. 
Using this road map I can plan my route from coast to coast and happily ignore my electronic navigator. Mercifully. Now I'm not saying it's always useless. There are times she's good at directions. However, I can't just follow it blindly or I'll end up in places I can't get out of. Especially if there's a toll booth around. I'm fairly certain that if I always followed her directions I'd end up stuck in an alley with a toll ticket in my hand and there'd be mechanical maniacal laughter from atop my dash.