A short story about the very helpful GPS.
A short story about the very helpful GPS.

Recalculating - by Fleur Lind


MY WORKING life has its fair share of rough roads, pot holes, reduced speed or long delays, loose and uneven surfaces and soft edges.

I have covered more kilometres globally than you, your extended family and network of friends have had hot dinners.

I offer my helpful, informative advice and direction to you.

Regardless of your social status - if you're wealthy or living on a shoestring or somewhere in between - if you have me in your life, you are on the right track.

I am the quietly spoken and always polite invaluable piece of electronic hardware with hi-tech software that sits calmly on top of your dash.

I am a global positioning system, known as a GPS, and you need to show me some respect.

As you consider your roadtrip the night before, you check maps then plug me into my charger and leave me on the coffee table to energise while you enjoy a blissful slumber with those travel bugs dancing around in your head, lulling you into dreamland.

The sun rises, I get unplugged and put in position with my suction thing sticking to your front windscreen.

You tap my screen a few times to tell me where you want to go.

The car engine purrs or roars into life, depending on the muffler you've got. Then the car sound system cranks up.

Three, two, one ...

By the first corner, the fun starts. Well, it's fun for me.

While you slept last night, I was also planning the trip ahead. My quiet, calm demeanour sets you off every time but that's just the start of it.

I've already decided and determined your most direct route, regardless of what address and instructions you have tapped on my face.

I know you don't want to go that way or take that turn and am completely aware you have no options for the u-turn where possible that I am repeatedly telling you to make, in my irritatingly soft, calm tone.

You're in four-lane traffic or a one-way street, or a narrow country road in the middle of nowhere, so how the f--- are you going to do that, I hear you scream?

After I see the grimace and stress lines form clearly on your face, I give a quiet, contented sigh and cut you some slack. I then announce, "Recalculating.”

At this point, the colourful insults start. It amazes me how you come up with new ones for each trip.

But for all the aggression being flung, my response remains resiliently sweet.

After all, it's my way or the highway.

What's it to be?

Fleur Lind

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