May 19, 2017
Chick Street Fight at 70 MPH
These are confusing times for people who grew up in the olden days – meaning way back in the 20th century. Back then, when you went on a road trip, you got a road map printed on paper and all folded in upon itself. You would carefully unfold your map, decipher the lines and legends to plot your course, and try unsuccessfully to fold it back into its original state.
That all changed when satellite navigation devices were developed – electronic gizmos that could instantly show you where you were in the world to within just a few feet and tell you what you needed to do to arrive at your intended destination. Now you would think that would be a giant leap forward, and it was, but as with all such advances, there were unintended consequences.
For one thing, many married men end up driving long distances with their wives, and for some reason, most of the voices for the navigation devices are women. Being a relic from the previous century, I can’t really speak for married gay men or married lesbian women, but I do know this: Married women don’t like being interrupted ever, and they especially don’t like other women telling their husbands what to do.
A man might be driving down the interstate at 70 miles-per-hour, while his wife is talking about what color to paint the bathroom, a new paella recipe she clipped from a magazine, or even how it looks like it just might rain. In other words, just every day stuff, which is all fine, except about that same time, the navigation device robot woman will say something such as “in one-quarter mile, bear right, get in the left lane, and take the exit to southbound Interstate-95.”
It’s not that she has something more important to say than the wife does, but the information is very timely. You only have a few seconds to act on the information in order not to get lost. And as the captain of the vehicle, the driver might raise his hand for his wife to be quiet so he can hear the directions and execute the necessary maneuver to get the family to the final destination.
The problem is, women don’t like their husbands to raise their hands and shush them, so he can listen to what another woman has to say, even if the other woman is a computerized robot. Now, I have to admit that sometimes the robotic navigation lady can be annoying. “Turn left in one quarter mile… turn left in two tenths of a mile… turn left in 300 feet… turn left…
The other day, however, I had one robot lady on the Garmin device and another robot lady on my iPhone, both giving me directions on how to get to the same place, and each had slightly different ways to proceed. It may be just my imagination, but the two seemed to be getting a little pissy with each other. And my real-life wife was the most irritated of all. I’m trying to decide which of the robot ladies to follow, and she just wants them both to shut up.
“It was like a menage a trois, plus one, but not in the good way. “I don’t care which one you want to follow, but shut one of them off,” the real-life wife finally snaps. Now I like to think of myself as a manly man. A woman doesn’t tell me what to do, not by any stretch of the imagination. But in this case, I made an exception, followed directions, and did what I was told.
I suppose I could get a male voice to give me directions – on most devices it’s merely a choice, but I don’t like asking another man for directions. I feel like he would tell me the whole trip at once. Turn left at the next light, go 2.4 miles, take a right on Jackson Boulevard, go three blocks, make a U-turn and you are there. And if I asked any follow-up questions, he would get sarcastic, and start calling me a momma’s boy and telling me how I needed to listen up, follow directions, and stop acting stupid.
And the worst thing is, my wife might agree with him.
– George Lee Cunningham
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