I don't have a GPS, so it was quite a disconcerting experience for me to drive a car that had one. My friend Gidget had programmed her GPS to get us to this restaurant. I've been there before; she hadn't. While I was driving her car, I was surprised when a female voice said, "Your exit is coming up. Prepare to take the next exit!"
"Wow," I said, "that was something..."
"I know!," my friend, Gidget, replied, "I love this thing! I never have to worry about getting lost! You should get one!"
"Eh, I don't know. I do just fine," I said.
She laughed and said, "You still have a road atlas in your car! Get with the times, grandpa! Get a GPS." She was right. I still carried a road atlas; it was three years old, but it still worked well for me.
I smiled and said, "Hey, I don't have a problem with getting lost. And if I did, no big deal. I'll eventually find my way around."
She laughed and said, "Trust me, I never have to worry about getting lost with this baby."
Oh, but she spoke too soon.
I was going to keep going straight and ignore the GPS, when it stated, "Exit now. And make a left turn left under the overpass."
I told Gidget, "You know, I usually take another exit further down to get to the restaurant."
"Oh, just follow the GPS," said Gidget, "it knows the best way to get there."
As if it was agreeing to what Gidget said, the GPS announced, "You must exit now." And I did. But when we got to the overpass, the left side was blocked off for construction! Still, the GPS said, "Make a left turn under the overpass."
I looked at Gidget, one eyebrow raised and smirked, "Um, that way is blocked by construction, so we can't turn there."
Gidget looked at me, then looked at the closed off road. She sighed and said, "Well, now what?"
I smiled and said, "Don't worry, I know another way there. We'll just take a side street up ahead. It'll only be another ten minutes to our drive."
But as I started to go straight, the GPS announced, "You are going the wrong way. Turn around immediately."
I ignored the voice and kept going straight. But the GPS kept saying, "You are going the wrong way. Turn around immediately."
I asked Gidget, "Is there anyway to turn this thing off?"
Gidget said,"Yeah sure." But as she fidgeted with the controls, the GPS kept saying, "You are going the wrong way. Turn around immediately."
It was getting annoying, and I swear, I thought I heard the GPS starting to sound angry as it repeated, "You're going the wrong way. Turn around immediately."
I couldn't help but think, good gawd! The machines are taking over! Any second now, it's going to say 'Resistance is futile! You will comply!' And then it's going to assimilate my friend and me.
Luckily, Gidget turned it off, and we laughed about it at the restaurant afterward. But still, the whole experience was mildly disturbing. It's one thing to have back seat drivers tell you where to drive. It's totally another matter when it's the car telling you where to go. I think I'll stick to my atlases for now. I don't have to worry about them telling me to drive and crash into construction.