Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Never Trust Technology

I think my TomTom GPS (I call him Thomas)  has a crush on me. 

We're heading home, and part of the journey takes us around Washington, DC.

It's just past dark and I mention to my husband how I'd love to visit DC again, take in the sights, walk past the White House. From up here on the highway I can see the Capitol dome in the distance. And wow! The Washington monument looms large just ahead. Oh look, there's the Lincoln Memorial. Why, we're so close I can see Lincoln inside.

I joke that Thomas must be flirting with me, giving me as much of DC as he can without getting us off target (which is Harrisburg, PA, for the night). 

Suddenly, a tunnel swallows us and turns us all around. In a flash, Thomas dumps us out onto a city street in downtown Washington. Good grief! It's  Pennsylvania Avenue. Allen swears we're in front of the White House. In a motor home. At night. And there's traffic everywhere!

What is Thomas up to? He's gone mad, I tell you. Simply mad!

There's nothing we can do by ourselves to escape. We have to listen to this maniacal GPS. Only it knows where we are and where it is taking us.  We're prisoners of technology, dependent on microchips as we swirl around lost in big-city traffic. This thing, this dastardly thing I now call  Hal 9000, winds us up then spins us back down into that tunnel. Down, down and around we go. 

Then finally, we're up and out, and back onto a freeway. Ahhhhhh.

But, no. It was a sinister trick.  Hal sucks us off this main road and spits us back into downtown Washington, this time onto a four-lane road with signs warning of narrow lanes ahead. Did I tell you we're in a motor home? One that's wider than an average car?

Why, Hal? Why put us through this? To get my attention?

Well, it works. I'm listening. And I fondle the device long enough to power it off. Then we turn to the maps to rescue ourselves and the rest of the night. Technology free ... well, for a while anyway.

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