…so I thought the GPS was supposed to keep me from wandering around in circles?

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

I like maps.  I like planning my route, calculating the best routes, rest stops and note worthy attractions.  I like leaving a congested highway and making my way on back roads, with only the most basic of maps to keep me heading in the chosen direction.  I’m famous for my “shortcuts” – and most of them involve dirt roads.  Reading maps has given me an innate sense of direction (note: unless I’m in DC, then all bets are off).  I can be on a dirt road surrounded by cornfields – and simply “know” which direction leads to home. 

As a map connoisseur, I rejected the GPS with the conviction a Coke Classic lover showed for New Coke.  I snickered over stories of hapless individuals driving into walls or off of bridges while following their electronic masters.  Really? A little common sense, please! You see? This is what happens when we rely on electronics instead of our brains, people!

Pride goeth before a fall. And mine fell when I landed a training contract that required me to drive all around two states, making dozens of stops along the way.  I started with my maps, of course. It took HOURS  to plot my route.  I eventually succumbed and bought a highly rated GPS – and I was on my way!

I took to my new GPS toy the way a dieter takes to dessert buffet.  It was so easy! All I had to do was follow Lola’s (yup, Lola!) rather annoying insistent vocal commands – and I magically arrived at my desired destination! So easy!  I’ll admit to feeling frustrated by her determination to keep me on the major intersections – I much prefer short cuts and back roads.  And so, I would deliberately turn OFF Lola’s preferred path – and when she got too vocal in her objections – I shut her off.  I think everyone should come with an OFF button – don’t you?

But Lola has had the last laugh.  Recently I’ve noticed she will bypass the most direct route to thrust me into an abyss of back country roads, bewildering intersections and unclear directions.  Recently I followed her through a convoluted path only to realize, once I had arrived, that I started on THE SAME ROAD! Really! (and I swear I heard her laughing hysterically after she told me to go Right than make an immediate U-Turn)

Lola and I are still fighting for control. She has her good points – don’t get me wrong. It’s her sense of humor I find particularly annoying.  So if you happen to see me driving by, yelling at no one, don’t call the paramedics.  Lola and I are simply expressing our difference of opinions.  And, if she wins, you’ll find me in some back alley, making a U-Turn.


Think Pink Ribbon

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