Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Road According to Sophie

My good friend Tonia has gifted me the most precious of gifts: a portable navigation system. For those of you not familiar (I doubt there are many…if any), I am considered by some to be “directionally challenged”. This is never a problem, unless you want me to physically go into my vehicle and drive somewhere that is not within my “inner circle” of approximately 5 predetermined places.

Then, we’ve got a problem.

Hence the navigation system…or “Nav” as it’s known to those of you who’ve had them forever, already.

I have named her “Sophie”. I don’t know why….she just sounds like a “Sophie”. I found myself absently wondering if the “Navs” in Britain have an English accent, and thinking “how cool would that be?...but they’d probably kill you with the shipping if you tried to order one….”) This was my second day with my trusty companion in my car and I regretfully report that we’ve had our first fight falling out disagreement.

Here’s exactly what happened:

I’d dutifully typed in the address of my destination. I’d become mildly concerned when she’d suggested I make various turns where no roads were present, but I chalked it up to the weather…or hormones (I can say that ‘cause I’m a GIRL)…or simply a glitch in an otherwise perfectly flawless existence…whatever. Sophie happily announced that we’d reached our destination and even though she clearly claimed our destination was on the right (and I could clearly see it was right there on the left), I was just glad to be NOT LOST.

The real charm was when I keyed in “Home” a few hours later. I knew the route that I would normally take and I’d suspected that my way was the l-o-n-g way, but it was also the o-n-l-y way I knew to get myself home. I was therefore ‘specially curious to see what Sophie was gonna suggest as an alternative.


Her first suggestion looked too congested for my taste, so I blew right by. To this, I heard the word “recalculating”…and I realized this was Sophie’s way of saying “You missed the turn, Schmuck.” (Insert long-suffering sigh here.) “Now I’ll have to refigure the entire trip to include this gross error on your part.”

So, together we travelled down a somewhat familiar road…until she announced that I’d be making a left in .2 miles.

“What?” I said, as the connecting road I’d normally follow wasn’t coming up for another mile or so.

“Turn left in .2 miles”, Sophie repeated (rather indignantly, in my humble opinion.) “Don’t make me tell you again.”

“But I don’t know this road…” I sputter. “…and it looks awfully small to be a….”

TURN LEFT NOW.” Sophie instructs. “DON’T MESS WITH ME.”

So, with a small whimper I hang a sharp left onto “No-man’s-land Road” and 50 feet later, I hear “recalculating” coming from that blasted dash-mounted-box and I can swear I can hear her snickering in the silence that follows.

“SOPHIE!” I yell. “CRAP!” And I pull a u-turn and head back onto the main road.

Sophie’s silent during these maneuvers and then proclaims “recalculating” once again.

For the record, I gave her the silent treatment the rest of the way home.

She wound up taking me the exact same way I always go….

So much for technology.

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