Monday, September 17, 2012

Glinda the GPS Goddess Tried to Murder Jeff and Me.

Jeff and I decided on a weekend getaway to Cape Cod, and he had his trusty GPS to get us there.

Now, I'm not used to those things, relying on my usual stone age paper maps to get me there, so the woman's voice on the GPS was unnerving to say the least.

But, I went along with it, and named her Glinda P. Salzmann, because the name just seemed to fit the voice.

Frankly, Glinda is insecure and erratic. She kept interrupting to inform us in her cold, rather sarcastic, vaguely European accented voice: "Recalculating your route due to traffic conditions."

All I could say is "You keep working, honey, but try to do it quietly, will ya?"

But she was undeterred.   She was really going at it while we were stuck in a traffic jam at a construction zone east of Lebanon, N.H.  "Stop recalculating and find us a way out of this standstill," I told Glinda.

I could almost hear Glinda sigh with irritation at me. "Recalculating your route due to traffic conditions," Glinda replied, then fell silent.

She perked up once we finally got out of the traffic jam and started  recalculating incessantly.

"Shut up!" I yelled at Glinda after the 1,578,673rd recalculation in 10 miles.

"Recalculating your route due to traffic conditions," Glinda replied gleefully.

Is there medication for OCD? Because Glinda sure needs it.

Glinda's directions were pretty reliable, if a little, well, indirect. She probably felt bad about getting us into that traffic standstill  in New Hampshire. She didn't want to admit fault, but she went out of her way to get us out of the way of Boston traffic. So she led us on  a circuitous route west of  Boston to access the Cape.

Vermont to Cape Cod via Dubuque, Iowa, anyone?

I don't think Glinda thought we appreciated her much, and let us know it. While we were speeding along  amid the cars and trucks whizzing along  I-93 in Peabody,  Mass., Glinda, out of the blue, said, "Make a U-Turn, now!"  Had we done that, we would have slammed into a Coca-Cola delivery truck, then some jersey barriers in full view of bored office workers in a by-the-numbers suburban worker bee complex next to the highway.

"Glinda, if you kill Jeff and me,  you die along with us, you know," I warned.

"Recalculating your route due to traffic conditions," Glinda replied. I swear she also stifled a wicked laugh.

We finally entered the town of Hyannis on the lower Cape, where our hotel was. When we were near the lodgings, Glinda insisted we turn left at the light. The light was red, so we had to stop. "Turn left at the light!" she prodded.

"But there's oncoming traffic and the light is red," I pleaded.

"Turn left at the light," Glinda commanded.

OK, now I knew Glinda was trying to kill us.

We made it alive to the hotel, since the traffic light turned green just in time, before Glina could manage to push the Jeep through the red light into the busy traffic on Main Street in Hyannis.

 But I didn't sleep well. I knew Glinda was still in Jeff's Jeep, and there was no telling what she was plotting.

Next morning, we got up for a trip out to Truro for a wedding.

Glinda greeted us with "Recalculating your route due to traffic conditions."

Good morning to you, too, Glinda!

Glinda was especially testy as we headed out to Truro. "Prepare to turn right," Glinda said. Jeff complied, slowing down the Jeep to get ready for the heralded right turn.

"Prepare to turn right," Glinda snapped.

"I know, I know, shut up," I said. "We're slowing down, what more do you want, Glinda?"

"Prepare to turn right," Glinda repeated through gritted teeth. I think I then heard her whsiper, "Prepare to die, you two morons."

On the trip back to the hotel from the wedding,  we unplugged Glinda.  We figured we'd rather get hopelessly lost in a Cape Cod salt marsh at night than risk Glinda's possibly deadly wrath.

Heading back north toward home Sunday afternoon, Jeff packed Glinda the GPS away and  turned on his Sirius satellite radio for some music. A DJ with a familiar voice came on: "Welcome to a wonderful afternoon of music. I'm your host, Glinda."

We shut off the radio and drove home in silence.

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