Saturday, 14 July 2012

GPS Lady

There I was driving on the highway and listening … no, obeying, every word that the GPS Satellite Navigation System lady is telling me.

Turn left, go right, keep straight ahead … and so on.

To be honest, she was doing pretty good and was not reading the map upside down as happens when I have a certain person next to me guiding the way. Not once did the GPS lady say “you should have taken the left turn we just passed” half a mile after we passed it. And she never told me to watch out for that cyclist, and I’m too near the parked cars, or that I was going too fast in a built-up area.

I was very impressed with the soft spoken GPS lady, especially since she never shouted that I don’t listen and where did I ever learn to drive.

But she did something very strange.

She suddenly said, “I’m going for a comfort break”.

“Hein?” I thought.

Then there was a lot of chatting in the background. A number of female voices talking about all sort of things. They talked about knitting patterns and the price of wool, then they talked about cooking and the best way to make pizza dough, and after that they started gossiping about various TV programs and celebrities.

It was obvious that the GPS lady had abandoned me and left her microphone on; and I was listening to her colleagues chatting amongst themselves in between calls and giving directions to their vehicle drivers.

I continued driving since you’re not allowed to stop on the highway and I prayed and hoped as every mile went by that she’d soon return from her comfort break and direct me to my destination.

I slowed down a little to give her time to get ready, wash her hands, that sort of thing, and return to me.

As the miles went by on my dashboard meter there was no sign of my GPS lady and plenty of signs of my nervous tension reaching new heights.

Then I saw that the highway was splitting into two some miles ahead. I read the notices above the highway saying that to the left you go somewhere or other, and to the right you go somewhere or other totally different.

But which way is my way? I knew where I wanted to reach my destination but did not know how to get there. If I took either of the two roads ahead I could well end up miles from where I wanted to go. I had a pressing meeting to attend and I could not afford to get there late.

I decided to get off the highway and stop at the safest place possible. I got out of the car and searched for an old map book I knew I had. If modern technology gave up on me I’ll get back to the old and tested technology.

A few minutes later a police car drew up and stopped behind me. Two huge policemen in high visibility jackets came out and approached me.

“What seems to be the problem Sir?” asked one of them, “has your car broken down?”

“No … the car’s OK,” I replied hesitantly, “It’s my GPS lady …”

“GPS lady? You mean the announcer on your system. What’s the matter with her?”

“She’s gone for a comfort break!”

“What?” asked the incredulous policeman.

“The GPS lady directing me to my destination said she needed the toilet about half an hour ago and she hasn’t come back!”

Try as I might I could not convince the two policemen what had happened. They suspected I’d been drinking and asked that I take a breathalyzer test there and then to check the level of alcohol in my system, followed by urine and blood tests at the police station.

I protested and they threatened to arrest me. I took the breathalyzer test which of course was negative. I was as sober as a judge who’d lost his GPS lady.

Then it occurred to me to tell them that she left her microphone open and I could hear her colleagues chatting about cooking and knitting.

They approached the vehicle and opened the door. Mercifully, her colleagues were still chatting away. This time they were talking about ballroom dancing.

“Sir,” said the second policeman in a stern face which he could hardly keep straight, “this is Women’s World on the radio. You must have inadvertently turned off the GPS system!”

They let me off with a warning to be more careful, and went away to write their report.

My GPS lady guided me to my destination, albeit somewhat late.


  1. We use the iPad to navigate, Victor. It's really useful but I do wonder what would happen if we disobeyed it. Would it get annoyed or would it be really smart and get us back on track again? I've always been a great navigator myself. In fact, I've had so much experience at recovering from being lost that I don't think we really need a GPS, at all.

    God bless, Victor:-)
    PS. I don't understand Blogger - it's freezing up on me, again, and I'm not arguing or even teasing, this time:-O

  2. Blogger knows it's you Vicky. It knows all right !!!

    I didn't know the iPad can navigate. Does it "talk" (i.e. has speakers) or is it just maps on screen? Do you have to pay to update the map yearly?

    I've been considering an iPad or other tablet but I'm not sure I'd use it that much. A laptop seems the same to me, and it has a keyboard too.

    Tell you what's really serious for me though! When the GPS lady says turn left and the "navigator" sitting next to me says turn right.

    Which lady do I obey ?????????????

    God bless.

  3. Victor, obey the lady who cooks your dinners!! Trust me - we take the scenic route every time we go out and we have never ever killed one another. It's a good track record.

    The iPad has GPS apps but we just use Google maps. It has a little light that tracks us on the road but you really need to have a driving companion to use it. I have 9 of them so it works okay for us.

    I like the iPad much better than the laptop because it's more portable and it has more uses - like the ereader and the camera. There's a few things that it doesn't do but I think the Android tablets might be more versatile. We also have a Bluetooth keyboard in an iPad cover but I find the touchscreen keypad works well enough.

    BTW, Victor, I'm awfully hurt by that Blogger remark. What could Blogger possibly have against me???

    God bless, my fiend:-)

  4. Thank you Vicky for the very helpful information about the iPad and Android. i'll have to look into that further. I'm not very technical you know, (just had a lesson from Sue about poking - ask her about it).

    About my Blogger comment. Blogger knows when you're being mischievous and argumentative in your comments and sometimes it plays up and freezes. But that's what makes your comments so interesting - ask Mary about it. So don't change your style of comments otherwise Blogger will freeze up on other peoples' comments instead.

    God bless.

  5. Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it Monica. Thank you so much for writing in.

      God bless.

  6. You know, Vctor, you are just too kind - and I tease too much! I knew you were joking about the Blogger comment and I'm not so hurt as to be sitting here in a pile of soggy tissues;-) But it really is nice of you to explain why Blogger might not be in love with me:-D

    Hmm... do you think I might be a Shermy??;-)
    God bless, Victor:-)

    PS. Aren't Smileys wonderful? Do know that ;-) really means 'I'm being an idiot and I know it'? And :-D means 'I might look sad and wimpy but I'm cracking up inside'. I really love them!

    1. Hi Vicky,

      I like your mischievous and argumentative comments. They're the ginger in ginger biscuits or the sparkling bubbles in champagne. I'm sure other readers enjoy them too.

      Now to be serious. I've been told by my computer expert that you must be using a "Wifi connection" when you're driving and reading the Google map. Either that or your iPad is linked to a cell phone.

      I've been told I can't just buy an iPad or Android and expect to drive as if I have a GPS.

      This is getting very confusing and there is no smiley to show confusing. I feel like screaming.

      God bless.

  7. Victor,

    The iPad has 3G. This one's prepaid and I usually have 3Gb a month but I don't use a lot of that. Sometimes, our Wifi cuts in and out so I find it's sometimes good to have backup. I got the 3G to use when we go out but I actually leave the iPad at home mostly. The trouble with it being portable is that you can find yourself on the computer too much.

    Now, there is most definitely a smiley for confusing but it's a matter of preference which you use. I like :-{ because it looks dumb and when I'm confused, it's usually because I'm a bit dumb. You, on the other hand, are quite a cluey sort of chap so you may prefer :-/ I think it looks a little bit grimacy - as if you're confused but you really have good reason to be.

    You know, people may think we're having a silly conversation here, Victor, but did you know that smileys are actually very mathematical? For instance, ;-) and :-D actually cancel each other out to become . It looks just like empty space but it really means 'This would be an incredibly serious statement if someone else was saying it.' I love it because I think it's really deep and meaningful .

    Also, :-/ + :-D = :-O. And :-) + :-D = {{}} - or {{{}}} if you're a sentimental sort. See, it's very technical stuff - you really ought to keep some :-/'s on hand. I've got a whole store of ;-)'s but I'm using them sparingly because they have a bad habit of turning into :-('s and that's not so good.

    Are you still confused, Victor - or just a bit :/, now:-D

    God bless:-#

  8. Thanx Vicky. I'll ask someone to explain to me all the 3G bit to me. I don't know whether to go for one of those GPS systems machines, or use an iPad/Android and read maps from that. At home I use a computer and if I'm away I use a laptop.

    About all those smiley things. I didn't know there were so many and their meanings. I've seen them often in e-mails and comment boxes but never understood them. I was told that {{{}}} with a nema in the middle means hugs. But I certainly did not know about the mathematical equation thing.

    Very strange indeed. Why can't people just say what they feel instead of all the symbols and abbreviations.

    I've seen so mant LOL and ROFLOL and so on. For ages I wondered why suddenly there were so many women called Lol. I was told it means Lots of love. Haven't worked out what ROFLOL. Someone said ROF means roll on floor. If that's true it makes the whole abbreviation rather rude.


    God bless (smiling in salutation whilst saying it).

  9. I can't use those letter things, Victor. You have to be good at English and I don't know enough words. I think I'll stick to the hieroglyphics=-}

  10. I know. There are too many of those initials in text messages and e-mails. Then there's the stupid predictive text. When the cellphone "guesses" (often wrongly) what you want to say and says it for you.

    God bless you Vicky.

    By the way ... have you seen Christian people putting JMJ on their Blogs? What does that mean?

  11. Sometimes, the predictive text turns my jumble into common sense, Victor:-D

    And, I actually know what JMJ stands for - Just Me Joking. I use it all the time. Oh hang on, my daughter says it means Jesus, Mary, Joseph - I knew that...of course, I did...

    God bless, Victor:-)

  12. Jesus Mary Joseph. Very strange people should put that on their Blogs. Why not say God bless? Or Peace be with you?

    Thanx Vicky. I did not know that.

    God bless.

  13. Victor,

    Can I interrupt your conversation with Vicky and make a comment? I think it's safe as she's in Sydney today away from her computer, unless she's taken her iPad with her.

    First, I loved your story!!

    We have a GPS and we often ignore the lady telling us where to go. Andy decides he knows a better and faster way. I admire the way the GPS lady doesn't get upset and flustered. She says in her cool and calm way, "Recalculating... recalculating..." We often go the wrong way just to try and annoy her!

    Tablets and laptops? I've got both and prefer my laptop to do any proper work on. I like the large keyboard and using my mouse to click onto stuff. I have an Android version tablet and yes, it's good for when I am out and about. I can pop it in my bag and be connected to the Internet wherever I am. Tablet? Laptop? It seems some prefer one, and some the other.

    GPS or tablet? We use the GPS even though we could navigate with the tablet. You can't fix the tablet to the windscreen though!

    Text talk? I'm with you on this one, Victor. I can't understand half what people say when they start using abbreviations. I'm not a smiley, lol, ROFLOL type person though I could be said to be a JMJ one. By the way, I thought lol meant lots of love too. My sons were getting lots of emails filled with lols. But I have since found out that lol can mean laugh out loud. So I guess all those girls were just laughing at my boys and not loving them after all.

    God bless and thank you for the laugh!

  14. Thank you Sue for taking the time to give all this information. I like the laptop for the same reasons. It has a keyboard AND you can attach a bigger keyboard and a propoer mouse to it when I'm at home.

    I was thinking of getting a GPS. I understand you have to pay a fee annually to up-date the maps by downloading new ones from your PC. Whereas with a tablet you don't do that because your reading Google maps which are free.

    So there's lots to think about and I will not be doing much Lolling about in deciding either.

    I remember travelling to Edinburgh with someone. Now I know Edinburgh pretty well as I've been there millions of times. Yet my companion insisted on using his portable GPS. He stuck it to the windscreen and it was amazing how often the GPS lady was wrong. At one stage she insisted we do a U Turn on the highway, and often asked us to enter NO ENTRY roads.

    God bless you Sue.

  15. LOL! Smiling and laughing here and not the lots of love sign heehee! Again thanks for all the smiles! I loved your story of the GPS lady, I have to relat this to my husband, we are preparing to go on holiday in the UK and we hope to rent a car, it will be quite an experience to use a GPS for the first time! Hope ours will not go on break!


  16. Hi Doreen,

    It's so nice to see you visiting me again. Thanx. Glad you enjoyed this story.

    I must have accidentally switched the system from GPS to radio; and couldn't work out what the continuous conversation was all about.

    God bless.

  17. Good one, Victor!

    You mean every time I wrote lol in comment boxes people thought I was saying lots of love? Oh! That's funny!! I just used it in my post too I think! Good thing I never used the other term - that was a narrow escape!

  18. Yes Mary. I always thought LOL is lots of love.

    And ROFLOL was roll on floor LOL !!!



God bless you.