This was first posted on The Phil Factor on 07/20/2013.
For my job I do quite a bit of driving, so I have a GPS for my car. We’ve all seen the commercials where the guy professes his love for his GPS before regaining his senses, realizing that it is just a mechanical device. That won’t be my problem. I often do talk to my GPS as it’s talking to me, but we’re usually arguing. On a previous model I even switched the voice to that of a British woman, hoping that the accent would make it seem like much less of a nag. It doesn’t. Here are a few sample conversations between me and my GPS:
GPS: In two tenths of a mile turn right………….in one tenth of a mile turn right
Phil: I know! I can see it!
GPS:….in 200 feet turn right….
Phil: I know, I’m turning right!
GPS: Turn right
Phil: Shut up! I’m already turning. Leave me alone!
Or another example is when we disagree on directions. For instance yesterday I asked it directions to a specific restaurant and it wanted me to get on a toll road for something like a quarter mile.
GPS: Take ramp on left in 200 feet.
Phil: No. I’m not going to pay a toll just to go a half mile.
GPS: Take ramp on left
Phil: No. I’m not going to. I can see the restaurant from here.
GPS: As soon as possible make a U-turn.
Phil: No, I’m not going to go on the ramp. SHUT UP! I can see the restaurant.
GPS: Recalculating. Travel two tenths of a mile to destination on right.
Phil: See? I told you!
My relationship with my GPS has become so marital-like that just yesterday I took pleasure in sarcastically correcting it’s pronunciation of a street name.
Perhaps my terse demeanor is why my GPS sometimes gives me wrong directions and possibly tries to get me killed. It often has no regard for my safety when it directs me through crime infested, gang run neighborhoods, or down streets that are closed for construction. I think it’s out to get me. At some point I imagine myself pulling the thing off the dash and flinging it out onto the highway as I’m traveling at a very high rate of speed, laughing maniacally as it tumbles to it’s tiny electronic death still babbling at me. “Turn left in…oof…make a U-turn..oww….why Phil, why?”
If I’m ever stranded on a desert island I’m sure as hell not taking my GPS with me to keep me company. To quote the great philosopher, me, technology is the opiate of the asses.
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Have a great Thursday everyone! ~Phil