Friday, June 12, 2009

The Navigator

I purchased a Garman.

This is a little GPS gizmo that gives you real time driving directions in a firm, but friendly, female voice. I think they chose a female voice because most men are married, or have significant others, and are used to taking orders from women (“Dear, if I follow your directions can we make whoopee tonight?). Women on the other hand are probably more comfortable with some sisterly advice than with the ravings of a bullying male. (“What the hell is wrong with you? You missed our damn turn!”).

I am liking the little thing so far, since I have absolutely no sense of direction. Whichever way I am heading feels like up, or north, to me. I have to turn the map with the direction I am supposed to be heading pointed up to determine if my next turn is a right or left. The whole sun thing doesn’t work for me either, because I can never remember if it rises in the east and sets in the west or the other way around. Aside: I wonder if people who have a sense of direction feel like they are going down, or falling, when they are heading south?

I waited to get one because they have been expensive and Kathie and I had a bad experience with one on a rental car in Florida. The directions said that tapping the home prompt would route us to the Budget Rental desk at the Tampa/St. Pete airport. Instead, it took us to an alligator infested swamp in what we assumed was the Everglades. This being Florida, an airport or Wal-Mart will appear there soon, but we couldn’t wait.

It has been useful in my job with the Census. I was recently sent to Trenton, a city with which I am totally unfamiliar, to do some address canvassing. My little Garman got me to my start point with no problem. After a tiring day of walking the streets, dodging free-range pit bulls, and a near fatal encounter with a kielbasa and kraut on rye, it was nice to not have to worry about finding my way home when I returned to my car. When the screen prompted “Where to?, I just tapped home and off I went smooth as pie.

I think the Garman folks are missing the boat though. They should come with a device that helps us navigate the highways and byways of human intercourse. Such a device would eliminate panicky name groping (“The male approaching from your left is Steve Donnelly, your neighbor. Be sure to inquire about his prostate.”); or skillfully reroute us when we have wandered astray on the Rue de Faux Pas (BEEP, BEEP, ROUTE CORRECTION: “Oh, it must be that stunning, loose fitting frock you are wearing that led me to inquire if you are pregnant. Where DID you get it?").
For someone like me who spends so much time on the Rue de Faux Pas that he is considering buying a pied-a-terre there, such a device would be very useful indeed.


bam said...

Human interaction would have been a better choice of words. Human god, I almost fainted.

Mary Lois said...

I wonder about your readers. Fainting at the mention of human intercourse? What century is this anyway?

Jerry Andersen said...

The first definition of "intercourse" in Websters dictionary is 1: connection or dealings between persons or groups. Of course, interaction would have been correct as well but would not have titillated those with a low titillation threshold.