Look, I love my GPS. I’m one of those people whose sense of direction is so “great” she can get lost in her own living room. (oops, right, not left at the science fiction bookcase, then left, or is it right at the mystery bookcase and… why is there a sofa in my way.) The guys don’t like it when I leave a trail of breadcrumbs and besides, Havelock cat eats them.
The GPS gives me the chance to TRY to go places I’ve never been. I can now punch an address into the thingy, and it takes me there.
However, for the last year, I’ve been suspecting the GPS is trying to kill us. There is this edge of malice to the voice, and besides… well… I leave it to your judgement:
10 – Despite the fact that there is a Hobby Lobby in town, and at least three others I’ve visited in the state, and which have been there as long as I’ve been in this state — 20 years — when I punched in Hobby Lobby on a snowy night (my kid needed balsa wood. Which he remembered at 9 pm. Of course) it tried to take me to Oklahoma and swore that was the nearest Hobby Lobby. The inescapable conclusion is that knowing I was night blind, it thought taking me hundreds of miles in the night and the snow was the best way to kill me. Fortunately I foiled it by remembering Wal-Mart was next to Hobby Lobby and searching that instead.
9 – It is absolutely obsessed with getting us to make a u-turn and often advises it in the middle of the highway. You know those guys lost in the grassy median because they’re in compacts and hung up their car? yeah, they followed the GPS.
8 – Drive to Highlighted Route. No, seriously. This is always the first instruction. Look, if texting and driving is so dangerous how much safer is it to drive WHILE looking at the highlighted route? Particularly since half the time the highlighted route is not remotely like any roads around there.
7 – in the same spirit is telling you to turn AT THE LAST POSSIBLE moment. Either in GPS world there are absolutely no other cars on the road, or it expects you to press the hover button and go OVER the other cars. Or, of course, it’s trying to kill you.
6 – Trying to get you to drive into the forest. We still can’t understand this one. Trees don’t grow that fast. HOWEVER once, in South Carolina, our GPS ordered us to drive through a road that was cut halfway through by a massive pine forest. Yes, it continued on the other side, but it was like a mile of forest…
5 – Trying to get you to drive off the road. This only happened in Astoria, Oregon, but it would tell us to turn onto a road… that was 100 feet below ours. We have no explanation for this, and we chose not to drop on someone’s house. (Odd of us.)
4 – Takes you a different route every time. This is a plot so even if you stumble onto its designs, you can’t dispense with it. You can’t even go to the grocery store without it. It took you a different way every time for the last ten years.
(And GPS, I’m on to you. I KNOW I don’t need to drive to Denver to get to the grocery store a mile from my house. I can go through Pueblo!)
3 – It tries to confuse you by “recalculating” while you’re following the route it mapped to the letter. This is an attempt to enrage you and make you lose judgement while behind the wheel. After a while that smug voice saying “recal-culating” makes you scream back “recalculate this” and give it the middle finger. Then the car next to you thinks it was for them and then… well… it’s not good.
2 – when in a strange city and starving, no matter what restaurants it assures you are RIGHT THERE will have gone out. It will drive you all over town (but not past ANY restaurants which is how you know it’s deliberate) to banks and real estate companies and decorating stores. The idea is to make you starve OR eat a passerbye and get the chair. Nefarious.
1 – The number one give away that your GPS is trying to kill you is that it tries to get you to make donuts in the middle of the city’s busiest intersection at rush hour. Fortunately for us it tipped its hand too soon. It said “Make a u-turn” and since we couldn’t figure out why we should we hesitated a moment, and then it said, waspishly “make a u-turn, then make a u-turn, then make a u-turn, then–” at which point we turned right and, foiled, the GPS took it with bad grace. “Re-CAL-culating” it said, in its most chiding voice.
But we know it’s already planning its next attempt.