Pete: Can you enter the address to Daniel’s party?
Me: I already did. Want me to start route guidance?
[I fumble with the GPS and get it to launch]
GPS: Please follow the road for 3 miles.
Pete: That ain’t the right way. She’s taking us beyond the 95 North ramp.
Me: First, it’s not a she. It’s a machine with a woman’s voice. Second, I think the GPS, which relies on satellite signals and triangulation has the correct and most efficient route.
Pete: She’s — it’s wrong. I’m taking 95 North.
Me: The GPS indicates we’ll arrive in 14 minutes. Why not just follow the GPS? Take a risk.
Pete: I’ll follow it but I know this will take longer. I can get there on 95 in like 10 minutes.
GPS: Prepare to turn right. Turn right in 500 feet onto Oaklawn Avenue.
Pete: When do I turn right?
Me: Are you listening? It’s telling you when to turn.
Pete: I wasn’t paying attention.
Me: You do realize it also shows you where to turn. [I point to the screen.] See that blue arrow. That’s the path you take. And see how it blinks when you are supposed to turn. See it blinking? That means you turn in the direction of the arrow. Right now.
[Pete passes the right turn.]
Me: You missed the turn.
Pete: That was our turn. Why didn’t she warn me.
Me: It did warn you. It said turn right like 9 times. It can’t be dumbed down any further. It tells you to prepare to turn. It tells you you’re about to turn and it tells you to turn NOW. Were you expecting it to turn the wheel for you as well? It’s telling you exactly what to do.
Pete: Does it tell me why my partner is mean?
Me: No. That requires a plugin you need to download.
GPS: Prepare to turn right in 500 feet onto Smith street.
Pete: This thing is screwed up. It’s not a right turn. It can’t be. Pawtucket is on the other side of the river so we need to turn left. I’m turning left.
[Pete turns left.]
Pete: What the hell? Where are we?
Me: It appears to be a dead end.
Pete: This is the worst GPS I’ve ever used. It’s a piece of crap.
Me: Maybe you could just try to follow the instructions and see what happens.
Pete: We don’t have time for that! We’re going to be late now.
Me: Not to irritate you further, but we would have been there by now if you had followed the original route. That’s what a GPS does. You tell it where you want to go and it guides you there. That’s just an observation I wanted to share with you.
Pete: I have an observation. Want to hear it?
Me: That’s not necessary. I have a healthy imagination.