Saturday, August 6, 2011

GPS, Grand Pandemonium Strategem

I noticed last week, while carpooling with my co-worker Walt, that he was no longer looking out his windshield and using the road to see where we were going. Instead he was watching his GPS screen and swerving when it indicated a bend in the road.

Since he was kind enough to pick me up AND pack a lunch for me, I tried not to pick on him too much about it. But I did draw the line when he tried to veer off into a local farm.

“But it’s showing me I’m going to turn right,” he said.

“Yes, you are but not right now. This is a farm and that is a barn. Don’t even look at this anymore, you don’t need it.” I said, covering up the GPS screen.

At the end of the work day we needed to find our way home. Immediately after turning onto the highway, Walt turned on the GPS. This was good because I was not sure where we were at the moment either. Because I’m lazy, I’m going to switch the speaking format now because I don’t feel like dealing with a bunch of punctuation. 

            Female GPS Voice:  “Turn right onto Kline Road”

Me: Walt, this is a dirt road- we tar & chipped back this way last year. We go up past that farm where the road does a 90 degree turn between the barn & the house.

Walt: Oh yeah! I remember that! I thought this looked familiar. Let’s see where it takes us.

Feeling eager for a new adventure, I agreed. Plus when you’re the passenger in someone else’s car, there’s really no point in arguing- you’re pretty much trapped.  We twisted and turned back a dirt lane, between a barn and a house. Then the GPS gave us our next move.

            GPS:  “Turn left onto Geiger Lane."

            Me: I know we did this road for sure last year. Remember, we had that new kid on the roller and everyone kept forgetting to tell him which road we were doing next?

            Walt: Oh yeah!

            Me: Why is it taking us this way?

            Walt: I don’t know.

            GPS: “Turn left onto Culligan Road.”

            Me: HAHAHAHA! What the heck?  This feels to me like we’re making a big loop.

            Walt: It sure does. (Walt is a man of few words. Sometimes.)

            GPS: “Turn left onto Stoystown Road.”


           Walt: Hate when that happens.

           Me: Why did it take us the whole way through the country side!?? (Followed by more peals of laughter from me.) Why didn’t it just say “Turn your car around Idiot, you’re going the WRONG WAY??!!” 

          Walt: I don’t know.

          Me: (More laughing and eye wiping for the next 34 miles.)

On another occasion last year when there were more of us carpooling to work, we were using the GPS to find our way to Ligonier. We almost made it. Then suddenly, the GPS told us to turn right. We turned right although Granny (another co-worker riding with us) was adamant about the fact that we should have turned left. After a few rambling miles that made no sense to us, Walt asked to see the GPS.  He pushed some buttons and after a few moments asked Bill (our taxi driver that day) if he lived in Such-N-Such Corner. Bill said yes he did. Walt deduced that the GPS was no longer taking us to Ligonier but back to Bill's house. 

Granny was right. We should have turned left.  We were late for work that day. 

1 comment:

Mike said...

I'm disillusioned with GPS too. Remind me to tell you about our GPS detour in Norfolk VA.