Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Being told where to go

The first GPS I ever met was the one in my parent's Buick Lucerne, it came as part of their navigation package. I nicknamed it Sarah after the smart house in the series Eureka.  Sarah is very nice and has a very pleasant voice.  I can picture her, a fresh faced young woman in her mid -twenties, sitting in front of a very modern looking desk, a map of the world on the wall behind her, a sleek computer with an even sleeker monitor resting on the desk.  Perhaps there's a cup of herbal tea steaming beside her.  When ever my folks enter a destination I can picture her fingers flying furiously over the keyboard locating the quickest way to get there and speaking into a slim headset in a lilting melodic voice - "In 3/4 of a mile turn right."  If my parents miss the turn or decide to go a way she hasn't recommended I picture taking in a deep breath and exhaling softly and quickly finding an alternate route.  No doubt when she's not called upon she does yoga.

When I got my GPS for my car I was expecting Sarah's sister.  What I got instead was MAUDE.  I picture Maude being in her late 50's, her hair dyed a very unnatural red.  She's dressed in a leopard skin house coat and chain smokes unfiltered Camels.  There's a bottle of old graddad sitting next to a pot of coffee.  Her desk is an old battered contraption that you can hardly see for all the clutter and dogeared maps and atlases covering it.  In stead of a lilting melodic voice she has an accent that's a mixture of the Bronx and Brooklyn that's somewhat grating due to the number of cigarettes she plows through, not to mention the juice glass of cheap bourbon she's knocks back.

When I ask Maude for directions I get no eager to please response, I get a surly and snarky "In 3/4 of a mile turn right." she doesn't say it but the "You moron!" is implied.  And lord help me if I don't follow her exact directions.  "Recalculating..." she says with such venom that I picture her lighting a new cigarette with the end of the old one, grabbing an Rand McNally Road Atlas circa 1975, flinging the pages one after another  and no doubt muttering curses as she does it.

I suppose I could replace her, find a new GPS that is more kinder and gentler one - maybe not as sweet as Sarah but not as well frightening as Maude. Somewhere in between.  But I hesitate...I mean..after all...Maude knows where i live!


  1. I must admit I got my Maggie (Magellan) for Christmas a couple of years ago because, at the time, The Husband was SO tired of me coming home telling him that I got lost AGAIN.

    And tonight? Well, tonight I though, self, you can find your way home without Maggie.

    Ahem. No, it develops that I can't. I was coming home, alone, listening to a great book by John Connolly, and I so totally missed my interstate exit. Twice.

    Maggie was very polite about it when I finally turned her on. The Husband? Eh. Not so much.

  2. Try speaking sweetly to Maude, maybe offering her a nice glass of Chardonnay. Perhaps if you get her nice and liquored up first...oh, wait. Then you might not want her in charge of your car, huh?

    Better to just burn your car and move.


  3. Cynthia - Maggie sounds like a nice girl and is eager to help. Sarah is that way too, very patient when my Mother mistakes left for right. Maude would probably have let loose with very salty language.

    Tawna - I've thought of that. But I think Maude is more a mad dog kind of gal. I think she once got into the cooking sherry - boy was that an experience. I'd burn the car, but Xog (the car) is rather a sweet dear. Maybe I can find Maude a new vict---er home

    Btw thank you both for following!