When The GPS Got Cranky

Hi, everyone!  Did you miss me?  I’ve been short of inspiration lately, so I thought I’d spare you the lame/crappy/mediocre blog post ideas and wait until I had something worth sharing.  Here’s what you missed:

  1. Animals That Look Like My Ex-Boyfriends

    Ex #4

    Ex BF #4, courtesy of Frank Peters at Fotopedia.com

  2. Cleaning While Blind, or: What Happens When You Grab Bleach Instead Of Wood Polish
  3. Little Blind Girl Goes To The Shooting Range (that one was actually good, but I’d signed a nondisclosure agreement as part of the settlement)

You’re welcome!  In other news, a friend and I went to a concert a while ago in a Big City a couple of hours away.  We used a GPS navigator to find the location, as neither of us had been there before.  We probably wouldn’t have needed one, except…wait for it…the blind girl was navigating.  The GPS navigator guided us more or less accurately for the interstate part of the journey, though I’m still not convinced we had to use quite so many roundabouts.

By the way, when I googled “intersection types” to make sure I was using the correct term, I also found the following types of intersections:  bowties, hook turn, quadrant, seagull, slip lane, staggered, superstreet, and (my favorite) Texas U-turn.  Did you guys know about all these?  There are so many reasons I’m never learning to drive.  You need an advanced degree to keep all this straight.

Here’s something I bet you never knew about GPS devices:  when they’re low on power, they get cranky.  There’s no other explanation for what happened when we got close to our destination.  I was looking directly at the exit we needed to take when the GPS said “Turn right in 1.3 miles.”  I looked at my friend dubiously and said, “I’m pretty sure we should take this exit.”  The GPS piped up again, and frankly sounded a little peeved:  “Turn right in 1.2 miles.”  I’m not saying it was listening, but it hadn’t given us unsolicited updates before.  It was a little creepy.

Schizophrenic GPS by Incessant Doodling on deviantart.com

Schizophrenic GPS by Incessant Doodling on deviantart.com

Because neither my friend nor I had thought to bring a backbone, we listened to the GPS and went past the exit.  Shortly thereafter, the GPS device told us to make a U-turn and go back.  Mind you, it told us to do this when there was nowhere to make a U-turn for the next few miles.  I think maybe the hyenas from The Lion King got in the device and started arguing with each other about which way to go.  We made a U-turn that I still think was illegal and went back, except that we got mixed up again when the GPS device told us to turn left in 0.7 miles and we ended up on completely the wrong interstate headed in the opposite direction from our intended destination.  We then blatantly ignored the GPS device and tried a little celestial navigation, using the setting sun to determine direction and picking roads that seemed to lead more or less where we wanted to go.

We ended up in the next state over.

I had to call my brother-in-law to ask for directions to get us to the concert.  He, of course, gave us perfectly clear directions that got us exactly where we needed to go.  I guess he was fully charged and therefore not cranky.  We followed his directions and got to the concert only half an hour late.  It was a great show and we enjoyed ourselves very much, until we got outside and back to the car and realized:  we hadn’t asked my brother-in-law for directions for the return journey.  We checked the GPS unit:  critically low on power.

We just got on the nearest interstate and prayed.  The one method that’s never outdated!

4 thoughts on “When The GPS Got Cranky

  1. I must have the same GPS, as I’ve been there a time or two. There was the one time though that the GPS told us to make a U-turn approximately 2,383 times even though we knew we were going the right direction. That’s when we discovered that my husband has selected the town in WA, instead of Oregon! Can’t blame that one on the GPS… Oops…


  2. Our Garmin will drive us all around the perimeter of a state park but will never allow us to actually enter. Every five minutes, it recalculates. Be there in five minutes! PSYCH! I meant three hours.


    • I once had a GPS device, supposedly taking us to a restaurant, lead us down three back lanes, up to the edge of a lake, and then tell us to get out and walk! It reassures me about any coming attempt at world domination by sentient electronics, because I’m pretty sure they could never find us.


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