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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on July 7th, 2009, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 10, Issue 17 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 10, Issue 17

Land of the lost

Maps are for cavemen

By ROB KRIDER

When I’m driving somewhere, I refuse to pull over and ask for directions. This absolutely infuriates my wife. She doesn’t understand why I won’t simply pull the car over and ask for help. I’ve tried to explain to her that men just can’t do it. I physically can’t pull over and ask for directions anymore than I can carry a baby for nine months in my uterus.

For me to ask for directions while I’m driving around lost first requires that I admit I am lost, which I have never done. You see, I’ve never technically been lost; I’ve just taken us on the long, scenic route. Sure, sometimes that scenic route is around the same block three times. Hey, we might have missed something the first two times (like the street we were looking for).

After a few years of marriage, my wife started to get wise to my lackadaisical navigation techniques, otherwise known as my ability to drive around aimlessly for long periods (however, never technically lost). She has had to endure me cruising around Los Angeles for hours on end while asking, “Is Disneyland on I-5 or 101? Did they move it again?”

In order to keep me from driving the family through Oregon on our way to San Diego, my wife started to use MapQuest for directions every time we would go anywhere. That just annoyed me, because she always wanted to turn on the computer and try to print up the MapQuest pages the exact moment we were walking out the door. I would stand in the entryway tapping my foot, the kids would be in the back seat of the car waiting (and whining) while my wife would be happily surfing the Internet (she has to check her Facebook page of course) and then eventually going to MapQuest.com. I would finally lose it and announce, “By the time you get the computer on, check your e-mail, and mess with the printer, we could be there by now!”

My wife would just ignore me, change her Facebook status (to say she is currently annoyed with her husband), and then tell me, “We wouldn’t be there by now. Your sense of direction is so bad that you couldn’t get us to the ocean if you were driving on the beach.”

MapQuest turned out to be a bad thing for my driving record, because it gave an estimated time for the trip to take, which I was bound and determined to beat each and every time I got behind the wheel. Anyone who knows anything about men knows that telling one of us it takes three hours and 10 minutes to get somewhere is the same as speaking fighting words. It’s just a challenge, a race, an opportunity to beat the MapQuest estimated time.

Beside my insurance rates being hammered due to speeding tickets, my poor children’s bladders also suffered the consequences.

“Dad, I need to go pee.”

“Too bad, Daddy’s behind schedule right now because of that traffic jam a few miles back. You’re just going to have to hold it a little longer.”

“How much longer?”

“Two hours, tops.”

One of the other problems I had with MapQuest was it required my wife, whom I love, to read the printed directions to me while I drove. My wife has not turned out to be much of a co-pilot, as she doesn’t understand the relevance of speed, time, and distance. For instance, I’ll be blazing down the freeway and she will read to me the next turn, a whole whopping five feet prior to the exit. That doesn’t leave me much time to activate my signal and cross three lanes of freeway toward the off ramp. To break it down to the science of it all, while traveling at 70 miles an hour (that’s 102.69 feet per second for you physics and math nerds), five feet of warning gives me a whopping 49 milliseconds to try and exit the freeway. Ironically, it only takes 1 millisecond for my wife to get pissed at me for missing the exit. A woman’s temper moves at the speed of light.

To avoid future issues with MapQuest, we bought a GPS navigation system, which sits on the dashboard of our car and tells us, with great accuracy, where to go. It looks like a small television but unfortunately won’t play DVDs or pick up the Speed Channel. The device will tell me where to turn left, and it does give me more than five feet worth of warning. Now that I have GPS, I can find where they recently moved Disneyland.

My only real complaint with the GPS is that the little voice that tells me when and where to turn happens to be a woman’s voice. For some reason, after a few minutes, my brain automatically tunes the voice out. Eventually, I can’t hear a thing the GPS lady is telling me, just like how, after a few minutes in the kitchen with my wife, I can’t hear a thing she is telling me, either. Soon enough I make a mistake, miss a street, and then the GPS lady starts yelling at me: “Recalculating. Make a U-turn at the first available opportunity.” Then, the next thing I hear is my wife’s voice yelling at me, “Pay attention to the GPS. Now she wants you to make a U-turn.” With both ladies yelling at me, I start to wonder: “Isn’t technology great?” I guess now I can say I’ve had two women at the same time. m

Rob named the GPS lady Diana to give her a little more personality. He likes to feel close to the women who order him around.




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