Make My Day
I'LL JUST TAKE THE BUS INSTEAD
by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
SYRACUSE, Ind. - I've become quite the aficionado of GPS (Global Positioning System) devices over the past year or so. I used to look down my nose at GPS users, because I thought they were incapable of reading a real map. That all changed when I used a GPS on several long car trips.
If you've never tried GPS, you should. They beat street maps any day, because you can drive and use the thing at the same time, and folding it is a snap. And they announce your next turn well in advance ("right turn in 500 yards ... right turn in 200 yards ..."). They don't give you weird directions that only locals understand ("go past where the O'Shaughnessy brothers knocked over Mrs. Murphy's cow"). And they will recalculate your route if you miss a turn or go the wrong direction.
In fact, that's the coolest things about a GPS. If you miss a turn, it will - in a very calm and relaxing voice - say, "Off route. Recalculating." And then it tells you the new route you should take.
Of course, this gets a little annoying if you already know where you're going, but you don't want to take the route the GPS tells you. Then it just gets monotonous.
That's the big problem with GPS receivers. They have no personality or flair. No funny voices or hilarious sound effects. So I'm making a recommendation to all GPS manufacturers to start including different personalities into their devices. Put the fun back into electronic navigation.
For example, there's the Passive-Aggressive personality. Say you missed your turn for the third time in a row. The P-A GPS would shout "What the heck are you doing?! You missed your stupid turn again! My mother was right about you! Pull over and ask for directions!" until you got to your destination.
Or you could even get celebrity personalities, like:
Okay, on second thought, this is all a bad idea. Instead I'll just have the soothing sounds of my wife's voice telling me where to turn or that I'm driving too fast. Oh wait, I already have that.