Thursday, November 6, 2008

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

It was a crappy weather day here in the northeast. It was warm…bordering on balmy (by November standards), but between the wind…and the rain going sideways, upside-down and every which way…umbrellas were completely and utterly useless.

This equals one very bad hair day.

Driving home in the spitting rain was no picnic either.

Wipers on.
SQUEAK!
Wipers off.
Can’t see, so wipers on again.

I’m driving in relative silence…something I occasionally enjoy in lieu of the usual ear-splitting volume of whatever my latest favorite musical selection happens to be. The car’s the only place I can sing at full volume without being told by someone…I won’t say who…(it’s Taylor or Connor) that my singing is either too loud, too awful, or sometimes both. Yes, folks…kids can be cru-el.

I realized I hadn’t told Sophie we were heading home, so I punch in the two commands that notify her of my final destination.

Ten seconds later, I was on sensory overload:

Somehow, Sophie’s settings had changed so that I would receive a loud CHIME prior to her audio driving directions…her voice had also magically become MUCH LOUDER. I found myself having the crazy thought that she’d somehow been promoted to Queen Sophie in her home NavigationLand and she now had special proclamation trumpet-people to demand the attention of her simple-minded, usually-lost-without-her-subjects (that would be ME) before she had to waste any precious royal breath on the pitiful likes of us.

Or me.

What was I saying??

So, I hear (CHIME!) “WHEN POSSIBLE, MAKE A U-TURN.” And I’m thinking, “What? Why? Why do I have to make a u-turn? Am I going the wrong way? Why is this thing chiming? God, that's annoying. Where the hell am I, anyway??”

(CHIME!) “MAKE A U-TURN!” Sophie demands.

(CHIME! CHIME! CHIME!) “MAKE.” “A.” “U.” “TURN.”

I’m frantically trying to find the volume control on Sophie (forget about making that u-turn…I’m getting the beginnings of a monster headache…) when I hear another voice.

THIS one says “CALL FROM….(garbled-botched-something) CELL.” And then, my cell starts ringing.

I say “What the hell….? My cell phone does NOT TALK!”…as I root around in my purse for my handy-dandy-hands-free-bluetooth earpiece-thingie that I had to put in my bag to remember to charge in the house because I cannot locate the car charger for said thingie.

I missed the call, which created yet another CHIME! I stab yet again at Sophie’s touch screen in a futile attempt to lower her voice, or cancel my direction-request, or maybe just SHUT HER DOWN and I errantly hit the button for my cd player (located right below Sophie’s perch) and some woman’s explaining the nuances of "The Secret", which I didn’t even realize I still had.

My cell started talking again, then ringing…so I answered it the old-fashioned (albeit illegal in the state of New York) way. It was Tonia. She hears me say “HELLO?!”; followed by CHIME! and Sophie’s voice says “RECALCULATING.” (which I’m convinced is her all-time favorite word); mingling with some woman talking about “negative thoughts bringing about more negative thoughts”.

Tonia says “What’s going on over there? Sounds like someone needs a vacation!”

ARE WE THERE YET?

I’m never gonna stop the rain by complaining~
Because I’m free~
Nothing’s worrying me. ~BJ Thomas

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