By WR Jones
I have always been prone to getting lost. If I had been one of the early explorers leaving Virgina to probe the west, I would have found Virginia Beach. “Well boys, there it is, the mighty Pacific ocean. Sure is a mighty thin country. I don’t think we can support a population big enough to warrant the supper lotto.”
This week I reached a new personal low in navigational incompetence. I was in Dallas, Texas. I always drive with a GPS. Even when going from my house to the grocery store 2 blocks away. I have gotten into the habit of listing to the female voice tell me where to turn and paying little heed to what is going on in the real world.
So, I’m going from the hotel in Dallas to a company for a meeting. I punch in the address and off we go. The female navigator is telling me to turn right in 0.5 miles onto such and such road. Got it, thanks honey. I had the GPS setting loose in the center console and unbeknown to me the touch screen was touching and touching and touching and reprogramming my destination. Turn here, turn there. Finally she says arriving at destination. Huh? This doesn’t look right. What the hell. I was just at the meeting site yesterday. How could it change this much overnight? I picked up the GPS and saw it had programmed me to a new location. Ok, so I missed the meeting by an hour or two.
That afternoon I was going to the DFW airport to return home. I programmed the GPS for the airport and off we; me and Stella, my GPS voice, went. This time, smart as a whip and always learning, I made sure the GPS was not touching anything. “In 0.3 miles turn left onto Storey Road. Turn left on to Storey Road.” There is no turn onto Storey Road, I’m on it already. “Recalculating, drive 1.2 miles and turn left on ….; then turn right, then turn right, then turn right again.” Now I’m going back the direction I came in. Ok. Drive 0.8 miles and keep to the left to such and such road. I do that and as I keep to the left I see the fork in the road. Then as I pass the fork, the bitch tells me to keep to the right onto road A which I’m now watching disappear out of reach on my right. I’m screaming at her, “YOU STUPID COW, tell me BEFORE I get to the fork.” She stays calm. “Recalculating. Drive 18 miles straight ahead you complete idiot. I now know you can’t handle turns.” Really, it is like driving with a woman you are about to divorce and she will get everything.
If you see me driving around and around in your neighborhood perhaps you could call my wife to come get me.
What a beautiful drawing of a hand. But now I see your problem. Not only do you need Stella TELLING you where to go, you should have a hand POINTING in the correct direction!
My GPS voice is Svetlana.
your blog and your writing are adorable .
i spent a good time reading it all .
thank you !! have a wonderfull weekend !!
Love this, Bill.Probably because I don’t have that GPS thing yet. I have to listen to my friends tell me I should get one everytime I asked them for directions. The drawing? Nice woman’s hand study. Thanks for great reading as always.
HA HA..that happened to me the other day. I finally took the road I knew I was supposed to be on and shaved 1/2 mile off my route!
You so funny, man!
You should change it to the James Bond voice…I think men understand men better…And he’ll have you arrive “Shaken, not stirred!!”LOL
The drawing is great. You’ve been doing really nice work, Bill. Did you get my telepathic messages saying so?
We once had our GPS accidentally set to pedestrian, and she refused to let us drive on the highway. She is Nigella, and speaks lilting Queen’s English.
I like it when there is a sign that says “Turn here, Connie.” It’s really easier that way. Really nice drawing.
You know why this one is PARTICULARLY funny?????
Yes, you guessed it… we have ALL been there!!… well, okay, I’VE been there. Done both of them… (had it change directions without my knowing it, and all of the above.)
I’ve even had the da*&^% thing end me up in the middle of a corn field when it was obvious to anyone (except me while driving) that there were NO buildings anywhere near where I was…. and corn was NOT my pre-planned destination!
Hope you found your way home, Bill!!
Carol – I’ve always felt it would be better to use her hand to point the direction instead of using it to clout me in the head.
Caio – Thanks.
Leslie – I will still go with the GPS. I don’t want to think about how to get lost like before. This way, head down, let that cow take me where she may.
Rebecca – lucky you. I’ve never known what road I was supposed to be on.
Pegi – I don’t know. I’m kinda used to the nagging.
Dar – thanks. I have been getting those messages and the ones that tell me to walk on water. I must have misunderstood as I ended up walking under water. It is a whole different breathing ball game down there. The voice never mentioned it.
Connie – me too. I have a sign like that at the end of my driveway so I get the right house most of the time. My sign says “Turn here, Bill” instead of Connie.
Marian – I did find my way home thanks to the return tag my wife pinned to my shirt.
It’s not you. It’s Texas. Stella was framed.
Shayna – shouldn’t you be preparing your lesson plan?
There is something odd about those roads in Texas. How else could I get lost EVERY day?
OMG…I just spit water all over the place laughing at this post. You have no idea how funny it really is. You see, as a Natural Born Dallasite, I STILL get lost in Dallas. So many of the streets change names or can be the same name in another part of town. It’s insane. I felt so sorry for your poor GPS system. It wasn’t her fault, really!
By the way…very nice drawing.
Another graceful sketch – very beautiful – and a good story – all those unexpected pitfalls in modern tech – very funny – I will look out for you as I go – but if I see you then you really are lost.
Thanks for periodically stopping in to take a pulse on my blog. Still standing. hellish summer.
Thanks for the laughs on yours, and the excellent art.
firstly, your drawing is well done, secondly, I can’t believe you didn’t throw that thing out the window!
These comments are hilarious musings on an equally funny post.
Is your job stand up commedian?
Nice drawing! Thanks for the comment on my blog, I love that red too.
Yah, we had the same trouble with the GPS, I think its weak-minded and is so messed up it doesn’t even know it. We flew from California to Florida last vacation. We asked it how to get home from Orlando to Ft. Pierce and it drew a line across the US from California.
They are kind of fun if you want to get lost on purpose and don’t have to go anywhere.
Gwen – glad you enjoyed my suffering. I do know that Story Road does not have a turn where Stella thinks it is. Still you may have saved our relationship. I will give her another chance.
Swatch – If I show up in your neighborhood. I’m probably supposed to be in Paris.
Liz – hi. Your paintings are a little more complex than the average so I can see it may take some time. Still you could put an update or tiny part of a painting or a photo of your husband’s shoes.
Mary – it is a love/hate relationship with Stella. Without her I’m lost all the time. With her I have a 50/50 chance at getting to where I want to go.
Lori – good observation. Maybe Stella is a bit slow minded. It is a kick at times when looking for a grocery store she leads me to the middle of a corn field. Maybe she wants me to make it from scratch.
I think Stella is just who you need in your life…someone to stay calm always and take the heat from your temper!
I’m glad to know I don’t have to waste any money on a GPS. I’m sure I could get lost just fine without one.
Actually, a GPS (if it worked) would be a wonderful help especially in Dallas. The few times I’ve been there I felt like I was in the twilight zone trying to find my bearings. The city fathers must’ve been drinking too much tequila when they decided to map out those streets going every which way but north-south, east-west.
Susan – you may be right. She does stay calm but she is very repetitious, “Recalculating”. I hear it in my sleep. I can’t even get the turns right when I’m told.
Diana – The GPSs are getting very reasonable now. I would not go anywhere without one. They do lead you astray now and then but really are incredible at finding what you need. It is so nice when you land in a strange city at night in the rain and must find a hotel 20 miles away. And it doesn’t matter if it is New York City or Chicken Crotch Iowa it knows the way. I just happen to be so inept that I get lost even with a GPS but then it helps me find my way back albeit in a wandering sort of path.
GPS’s are the work of the devil, and consequently being God-fearing (just in case there is one, or the other) I refuse to have one in my car. Our guitarist, a gadget junkie, got one when they cost the gross national debt of a small African country, and routinely arrived at our allotted destination a good half an hour later than I did. Now, he’s either using it wrong, or he’s got a secret woman I don’t know about, and given how he’s let himself go, the former is unlikely. I feel that GPS technology has allowed people to lose touch with ….erm maps. Maps show you where to go, in relation to other places. THEY’RE GREAT. A GPS forces you to abandon your sense of direction, like when you used to remember everyone’s phone number before the wretched mobile phone arrived on the scene. Oh god, I’m turning into a Luddite. But at least I can find my way home….
I couldn’t survive without my GPS. I’ve learned that if I just trust the dang thing it’ll get me there! It’s always an adventure to take a route you’ve never taken before. It’s like putting your fate in something other than you. It’s NOT easy…
I will admit a few times….I liked my routes better as at times it took me through some rough neighborhoods.
As your one reader said…”we’ve all been there”.
Try getting lost in lower Wacker in Chicago. You are lost in mazes underground and then the GPS STOPS working because you are in a cave of underground tunnels. “Lost Satellite”… That’s no fun!
Kev – damn. You are like an old fashioned explorer. I’ve used maps in the past in my “manly” phase. That is how I ended up in California while on my way to accept a job offer in Maine. You use a map to find somewhere; you got more balls than a pool table.
Dawn – I’m with you. I’m unconscious whether walking or driving. With the GPS I get lost over and over but it finally lands me near the spot I was aiming for. I do overwork it by continually missing the called out turns even though they are called out two or three times. I just find it taxing to pay attention to that little box while I’m driving, texting, and having a beer.
you could save a lot of gas by going down to your local traffic circle. You can go around and around it as long as you like. You will always know where you are. Can’t get lost.
Nice drawing! I remember seeing a little drawing in Reims’ Musee de Beaux Arts way back when, when I was travelling. The drawing was no larger than three inches tall and about an inch wide, of a woman’s hand on her thigh in about the same elegant pose that your drawing shows, above. It was by Fragonard or Boucher, can’t remember which now.
It was of such beauty that I stood there in wonderment for a good five minutes and every time I went back into the Musee, I went looking for it and stayed to marvel at the artist’s ability to draw such beautiful detail all in proportion, so small and of course, in that beautiful sanguine red chalk.
K – thanks.