The Politically Incorrect Mom


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Navigation to Hell - via Baltimore

On my recent trip down South, I traveled with friends of mine who have an 11 month old baby. I can't say "getting there was half the fun". On the contrary, there were moments when I was sure my sanity was being tested. Not because the baby had to stop every 50 miles for a diaper change. Not because the baby was growing irritable with the long drive. Actually, I think the baby handled the trip better than I did - at least on the way down.

My friends just bought a new Lexus SUV so I dutifully agreed to follow them in my car - what with their handy-dandy navigation system and all. I had also printed out Mapquest directions, just for good measure. Not that Mapquest is infallible. Lord knows I've been sent, by Mapquest, the wrong way down a one-way street. But this was an easy trip - all we had to do was take Rt 83 to Baltimore and then take 95 the rest of the way to North Carolina, right? I mean, how hard could it be?

Ahem......I had to ask.

Left at the mercy of the Lexus navigation system, a 9 hour trip turned into a 14 1/2 hour trip and that was just the beginning. Taking us off the beaten path and onto rural roads where the speed limit was 35 and the wildlife created an obstacle course for travelers was the last thing I was expecting from a vehicle that cost more than my first home . Oh, there were several discussions over the walkie-talkies, my technological contribution to the trip, (which worked better than the navigation system) during which I tried to be patient, gently reminding my fellow travelers that this trip was taking a lot longer than it should have.

Yes, I realize that the navigation system in an automobile is just a machine. The "machine" is not at fault. That's not my rant - not even a little.

My rant is about the people who think there really is a lady living in their dashboard who knows the best way to get anywhere in America. My rant is about people who have traveled South on several occasions and know that you never, ever, ever get off the "loop" around Baltimore or Washington and try to take some other route. The Baltimore-Washington Parkway, for example, is a 4 lane (two in each direction) highway. The "loops" are anywhere from 4-6 lanes (in each direction) depending on where you are. If you have a brain in your head, opposable thumbs and your blood is red, you can look at a map and see which way is going to be the shortest distance (or the fastest commute) between two points. It should also be obvious that any trip past the Capital should not land you ON Pennsylvania Avenue...not even close.

Evidently, the lady who lives in the dashboard mystically takes over the reasonable thoughts of drivers and passengers, rendering them totally senseless and ridiculously defensive of the lady in the dashboard. On the occasions I foolishly suggested that perhaps we should pull over and have a look at a map, the response was always, "We don't need to. The navigation system says we're headed in the right direction."

"...must follow lady in dash.....must not disobey..."

I had two highly intelligent professionals in the car ahead of me - one an attorney, the other a doctor. Both had been brainwashed and rendered virtually defenseless to the powers of the lady in the dashboard.

So, here's my take...
Not only does the lady in the dashboard suck the common sense right out of any head within ear-shot of her annoying voice, the lady living in the dashboard is on crack. People who think all their troubles have disappeared because they have a navigation system are also potentially on crack. Nothing, and I do mean NOTHING takes the place of a good old fashioned map - whether you know how to re-fold it or not - and the common sense of a driver who knows how to read one (I'm amazed at how many people don't know how to read a map).

I'm beginning to wonder if these systems are the design of disgruntled Democrats trying to turn normal people into lemmings. Think about it...If Al Gore invented the Internet (stop laughing), perhaps that genius mind of his devised a plan to turn the normal people into lambs, lining up for the slaughter. Of course it doesn't matter whether it works on Democrats or not, they're already mindless followers...

So, here's the PI Mom recommendation...
If you're a Republican - STEP. AWAY. FROM. THE. NAVIGATION. SYSTEM .
Soon enough, the little lemmings will march off the face of the earth...and they'll get there by taking the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.


  • At 5:19 PM, August 01, 2006, Anonymous Keith H. said…

    I have been on vacation too, and missed your rant about the neighbors tree. I had similar problems some years back. Get some copper nails and drive them into the tree trunk and exposed roots. Be patient...

    I enjoy your blog.

    Keith in Arizona


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