Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My GPS Rant

I love technology.

If I hear a song on the radio or coming through the walls from my neighbor's house, all I have to do is hold my iPhone in the air for a while for a few seconds, and it will listen to the song and then tell me the title and artist of the song.


If I need a sports score, recipe, weather, or the home address and social security number of the cute waitress at my coffee joint, all it takes is a few clicks on the internet for the stalking to commence.

If I get lost on the road, I can simply pull out my iPhone or GPS and it will tell me where I am and tell me how to get where I want to go.

But wait a minute.

The last fact that I mentioned implies that my GPS knows all of the roads and can track me as I travel on those roads.  It knows how fast I am going on the road, and it knows the exact path that I am taking to get to my destination.  It developed my route for me, for God's sake, and if I mess up and make a wrong turn, it will find a new route for me in seconds.

So there is NO REASON, whatsoever, that my GPS should "lose signal" when I drive through a tunnel.

Sure, you can make the argument that it doesn't affect me at all when my GPS loses its signal when going through a tunnel.  Once I am out, it simply "finds itself" again and I am on my merry way as if nothing happened.

But dammit, GPS, how are you SO DUMB?????  You know that I am about to go through a tunnel, because you just TOLD ME TO GO THROUGH IT!  If I go in the South end of a tunnel, you can be damn sure that I am going to come out of the North end, seeing as how it is impossible to pull a U-turn in most tunnels.

You are smart, GPS.  And quite frankly, you are kinda sexy, especially when you say certain roads in your hot British accent.  So I have to ask: when you "lose signal" in a tunnel, are you just being coy?  Are you flirting with me?

Because how do you explain such an intelligent and connected piece of technology being so dumb?

I could understand if I started my journey in the tunnel -- if I woke up after a night of heavy drinking and found myself lying naked in a tunnel, in the tender embrace of a naked bum, with whom I had spent my previous evening pilfering aluminum, drinking booze, and stealing from unlocked cars.  Unable to remember anything from the night before, I am armed with nothing but a massive hangover.  Not even a pair of underwear.  My snuggle-buddy-bum clutches a GPS in his hands and I have to slowly pry it away, taking great care not to wake him up.  For if he wakes up, he might call me "Chauncy" and force me to do things, the scariest of which is informing me of what I did the night before. 

So I am careful.

Like Indiana Jones, I carefully pry my prize from his hands and replace it with an empty bottle of cheap vodka.  He snorts and kicks, but remains asleep.  No giant balls come rolling to smush me*.

*Yes, the "ball" innuendo was intentional.

I take a deep breath and turn on the GPS, hoping to the gods that a robotic woman will tell me how to get out of this labyrinth of a tunnel.  I don't even care if she has a British accent, I just want her to tell me to go left or right.  And I hope that she doesn't mind that I am not in a car.

The screen glows and ignites in a glorious display of lights and colors.  I wouldn't have been surprised if it shone a secret map on the walls of the tunnel, illuminating a map to the lost world of Atlantis.

But there was a much more important task at hand.  There was a light at the end of the tunnel to my left, and a light at the end of the tunnel to my right, and I did not know which way I was supposed to go.  Time was of the essence, for my hobo captor would surely wake up at any moment, confused as to why his hands now held a plastic bottle of Bankers and not the GPS which we had procured the night before.

A message appears on the GPS: "Do not attempt to enter route information or adjust this device while driving."  I press "Agree" and move on, just as I do while I am driving.

A British woman greets me, but does not grant me the knowledge I seek.

"Unable to find signal," she tells me.

"NOO!" I instinctively scream.

This wakes the hobo.  "Come back to bed, Chauncy," he tells me.

Without a signal, the GPS is powerless.  And without a GPS, so am I.  For a tunnel is a mystifying maze of darkness and deception, and I know that without technology, I am destined to be trapped in its depths for eternity.

So I shrug and re-assume my position as the little spoon. 


*   *   *

And that, friends, is the ONLY scenario in which a GPS should "lose signal" in a tunnel.


-Youngman Brown


37 comments:

  1. Oh, perfection. You could not have written a better blog post. Divine. Love the tunnel!

    As for the GPS with the alluring British accent: I do not have GPS (I have, ahem, maps made of paper-- yes I am poor and Amish), but my friend Chris has GPS. When I drive with her, I hear the soothing words of her sexy female British navigator, telling her which way to go. And then when Chris misses her turn by mistake, the voice gets (slightly) irritated and says, "Recalibrating" or some such $10 Scrabble word. Then the voice (which Chris has dubbed "Cressida" because Chris does not know many British names and Cressida sounds vaguely British) instructs Chris to "make a u-turn."

    I gotta hand it to Cressida-- she is quick to think of a new plan. Illegal though it may be.

    (And yes, by the way, I am a straight married woman with two children. But if on the off-chance I suddenly realized after 40 years that I was a lesbian, I think Cressida is EXACTLY the type of woman I would go for: in control, plus cool under pressure with a hot voice. Rahr. What's not to like?)

    xxo
    MOV

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    1. Thanks for the compliment, MOV. And I have full faith that you are straight.

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  2. Ah, this always gets me in Boston. They have multiple off ramps in the tunnels, and when I lose signal, I'm screwed.

    I have one of those fancy-shmancy GPS that suction to the windshield, and you'd think it'd memorize the route because it's sole purpose in life is to relay directions to me. But no, it decides to have a brain fart and wipe clean my designated route just because a few feet of concrete seperates me from the sky.

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    1. So annoying. That being said, I would be lost without them.

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  3. I totally pictured you little spooned up with a homeless fella. I only use the Google maps on my iPhone. It never loses me in a tunnel. But every time we go to Alameda my boyfriend says, "What if the big earthquake hit NOW?" And at that particular point, I wish Google maps would lose the boyfriend in the tunnel.

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    1. It is easy to picture me spooned up with a homeless fella.

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  4. LOL The GPS is definitely flirting with you in her sexy English accent!! Little do you know, she's not even English....

    Seriously though, it really shouldn't lose signal in the tunnel. Or how about when you're in the city surrounded with large buildings? You might as well be in a damn tunnel b/c it loses signal every two damn seconds!!

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    1. I don't spend enough time going through cities, I guess. But that is way worse.

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  5. I always forget to update my GPS. And then I find myself driving through what appears to be a green field.

    Honestly? I don't trust my GPS, with her perky little australian accent.

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  6. Dear Chauncy,

    For real? Naked with a bum in a tunnel after a night of non-stop criminal fun? All to illustrate the failings of your sexy British lady? Your imagination is awesome. And do you know that you made me sniggle and snort while I was reading it at work? Now all my coworkers think I'm a weirdo.

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  7. I was watching something on TV on GPS, something about how there are *only* like a dozen satellites floating in space that control of ALL global positioning systems and all this other complicated mathematical crap about how they calculate your position.

    Anyway, what I learned was that GPS devices do not indeed carry with them little magical navigation wizards but instead are based on highly mortal technology - bastards are just faking their omniscience.

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    1. I'd actually be extremely interested in watching that program.

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  8. LOL! This was an awesome post. Loved it.

    I'm always talking back to the GPS bitsy. Thanks for taking us through downtown Philly at 5:00 p.m. and adding three hours to our ride home! It makes me crazy b/c The Husband will listen to her, instead of me, even though I actually know what roads we need to take to avoid all the traffic! On our last road trip, I told him, if he didn't silence her, I was going to toss that bossy beotch right out the car! LOL

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    1. Ugh. I once tweeted a message to my GPS, cursing her for bringing me through Philly and adding an hour to my trip.

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  9. My brilliant GPS is absolutely convinced that my dentist works at Hardee's. Oh. Somebody just explained to me that he's actually someone hoping to be a dental student someday and he really does work at Hardee's. No wonder it hurt so fricking much when he filled my tooth. He drilled with the shake machine.

    Love,
    Janie

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  10. A beautiful romantic unwashed tunnel of love. Sure it smells of stale piss, but with a hot British voice and a bum who loves you, what more could you want in life?

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  11. Why can't I buy a 'skin' for my GPS and change the voice? I want an angry Samuel L Jackson yelling at me:

    "Turn LEFT, motherFUCKA!"

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  12. Come on now, be realistic, how often do you look up recipes?... And cocktail recipes do not count

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  13. Gotta turn off those "Location Services" every now and again to truly be off the grid.

    You know GPS stands for Grid Phinds Sue (say that fast)

    WG

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    1. With a blog like this one, I will never ever be off the grid.

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  14. I used a GPS once. I got angry because it didn't know where 'Sesame Street' was.

    Forever-a-grandma. Sigh.

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    1. Sesame Place is right near me, for what its worth.

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  15. My wife asked me what we did before the invention of GPS last night. I looked at her and said, we got lost and our trips took a lot longer.

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  16. I have a borrowed GPS this summer. Last Friday it consistently tried to get me to turn down a road through private property, conveniently ignoring the fact that we were in rural Oregon and I'd probably be shot. Ruthless bitch.

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    1. Roll up yer windows and lock yer doors!

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  17. I want your damn GPS...mine is a fucking bitch (much like my Siri) and just snarls at me when I miss an exit or don't like her directions. I don't fucking care if you are "recalculating" whore...just do it! You aren't the boss of me!!

    Where was I...Oh, yeah, Chauncy. Well, um, have fun with that. If you can let us know about where you were I can come looking for you and bring you some clothes. I can't imagine life with your bum lover is going to be much fun.

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    1. It would be more fun if there was still some vodka.

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  18. You know what I hate about mine? It seems to think I'm rich, so it always tries to take me through the toll roads. Bitch, if I had money, do you think I'd be taking driving directions from a talking plastic box? No, I'd be having my butler drive me in my limo. Sheesus.

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  19. We both did posts on GPS! Wow, great minds think alike! I often lose my signal and so does my GPS. I lose it a lot more often than I should.

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  20. Damn those tricky tunnels! I do want to know how often you wake up to the scenario you described... Go on, you can tell us.

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