Wednesday, October 15

I Might Have to Rename Him AssTom

One of my skills in life is that I'm really good at finding places. As in, you can drop me in any major city and I will find Target. Without a map. Or directions. Or a homing device. I can also figure out which way is North at any point in time, which comes in very handy since I'm inclined to wing it every time I go to a new city. When I traveled a lot, I used to bother with a printed map or something in case of mystery, but have always tended to just sort of find the place I was trying to get to. Seriously, I'm very good at it. I'm not saying I get there using the shortest path possible, but I get there without any help.

I would have done the exact same thing on this trip, especially since I knew my hotel was downtown and hello! downtown is ALWAYS easy to find. However, we recently acquired my good buddy AusTom the GPS, so I figured I would make him earn his keep.


AusTom and I sort-of-maybe-kind-of got in a bit of a fight on the way from the airport to the hotel the other night. It was ALL AusTom's fault because he is a big fat lying murderous piece of electronic junk. I SWEAR this is EXACTLY how the battle royale went down:

Keep left . . . keep left . . . exit right.


Exit right.


Exit right.

Now? Across five lanes of traffic? WTF? (Yeah, I say WTF when nobody's around. WHAT ABOUT IT?)

Exit right then turn right.


Turn left.

Hello! That is a one-way street. Are you trying to get me a ticket? Do you realize that I look way more Snow Whitish than I do in my license picture? Like any cop is going to believe THAT shizznet.

Turn left.

Screw you.

Exit right then take the motorway.

The motorway? Hello, Madonna and your fake British accent.

Keep left then exit in two miles . . . keep left . . . exit right.

OMG! What is wrong with you?

Turn right.

THERE IS NO ROAD THERE. Seriously. You ARE trying to kill me. OH HELLS NO. That is a river, you moron.

Turn around.

In the midst of this whole scenario in which I learned that AusTom can't deal when a highway splits into three parts, the Na Na Song came on the radio. Before the second "Na" could fall out of P!nk's mouth, my right thumb was busy trying to slam the up volume button the steering wheel which wasn't there because OH YEAH the goobers at the rental agency only had momivans and the momivan that I'm driving doesn't have radio controls on the steering wheel. That is WRONG WRONG WRONG because I need those stupid controls for when the Toddler in the back seat is yelling at me to turn up her Na Na Song. Yeah, sure, I didn't actually have the Toddler with me as I struggled to figure out how to crank the radio, but I'M TRAINED.

It was stressful. In an all in my head sort of way.

As for the momivan, there is a reason that I drive an itty bitty car. I need weave room. If whatever I'm driving is so big that it actually takes up a lane and I maybe-sort-of drift a bit because, oh, I don't know, maybe AusTom is busy telling me to stay left when I really need to stay right and I'm trying to figure out who is for sure right by reading signs and AusTom's little display, there's likely to be some sort of incident.

Not that I would ever dream of launching AusTom down a one-way street into the river or anything. Nope.


  1. Thought those things were supposed to make life easier.

    Loved the picture.

  2. Gorgeous shot. Makes me queasy just looking at it, though. We took Miss O. up inside this spring and I'd managed to forget how, um, movementy it is. I nearly hurled right there.

    Also, my GPS in San Fran (Betty) insisted that I needed to be driving IN THE WATER. There I was, on the Bay Bridge, and there was the car icon IN THE WATER NEXT TO THE BRIDGE, driving along. And Betty kept telling me "recalculating route" because I was not driving IN THE WATER.


  3. Did you take that shot, because it is amazing!
    I'm not a big fan of our GPS either, but this past weekend it did come in handy. The road to the farm where the birthday party was being held was closed. The guy doing the work said we were about the 20th car trying to get through. We would have missed the party without GPS.

  4. If I'm lost in a city I'll be calling you.

    Oh, wait. Been there, done that.

  5. Hmmm I had a similar incident with our navigation system. Except I threw her out the window! I blogged about it here:

    You never did mention how long it took you to get where you were going or if you found it on your own or if Ass Tom acutally cane in handy?

  6. Beautiful shot of The Arch.

    My GPS is named Nigel (British Accent)

    I got him so wrapped around the axel one night that he shouted "Impossible" and then promptly shut off. True story.

  7. Beautiful photo!

    As for GPS, I love mine. However, there are certain places it doesn't seem to work (Richmond, Philadelphia, Gainesville...). But I've found it's BEST use ever. Whenever we have the usual DC traffic SNAFU of random road closures, it finds out how to get me home.

  8. I have never tried a GPS...That's why;)
    Great shot!

  9. I have a GPS and I hate it. My hubby bought it for me for Christmas (gee...thanks honey). It takes me in the most convoluted ways to get somewhere. I hate it.

  10. I was good at that too ... I rarely took a map (I used to grab the one at the rental car place - just in case). Although my customers were all Hospitals and Hospitals are all easy to find (follow the white rabbit, err, blue H).

    I miss it a bit.

  11. omg! Did you hear about the guy who listened to his TomTom and drove ON the train tracks! His car was hit by the train! And he saw it coming and stayed because his asshat GPS told him too!

  12. Oh my gosh, this totally reminds me of the shizznet that went down with MY GPS on our last trip together.

    I had recently reprogrammed him with a new voice and was going to a town on an Island right? Well being the west coast girl I am I knew that I was going to ____ WEST ___ St right? So of course I *assumed* that West meant toward the water. Ahem. Not so according to Mr. Know it all, who promptly called me a hoser. Good times!

  13. Hi,

    I just voted for your excellent blog for the Bloggers Choice Awards.

    Could you please return the favor at:



  14. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for giving me the giggles on a day when I am totally pissed off. I really appreciate it.

  15. Tom Tom once told us to stay left, when we should have stayed right, and we were forced onto a toll road. We didn't have any money and we couldn't figure out how to get back. Sometimes I hate that man.

  16. I am so the same way. I have a pretty goo sense of direction and I hate those GPS things. They are very rude. Someone asked me onetime where my GPS was, like is was a sin not to have one and I looked at them and said "In my head."

  17. Lol! My Garmin wanted me to turn left onto a one-way street somewhere in Pittsburgh. It's also routed me through parking lots.

    The voice gets a really cranky attitude when I don't follow her directions.

    Lately, I haven't needed it. I gotta tell ya though, Pittsburgh is a tricky city to figure out!

    For instance: Forbes Ave. downtown is one-way west-bound, and then a few blocks over it's one-way east-bound. WTF?

  18. That's a great shot of the Arch! I don't like driving in St. Louis. I'd almost rather drive around NY or LA! Ok..maybe not really, but I DON'T like driving in St. Louis!

  19. BUT...I do get lost, and I think of the Vacation movie every time I'm there!

  20. I love our GPS, but you do have to use your sense when deciding whether or not to listen to it.

    Do you ever watch The Office? Did you see the episode where the GPS told Michael to turn left and he drove into a lake because he was following what it said? I'm glad you are not a dumb@ss like Michael. ;-)

  21. we went through three GPS devices and fought with them constantly. Now we use Andrew. Andrew is the GPS navigator on my Verizon phone and let me tell you, after 8 months- he is FLAWLESS... I recommend Verizon navigator. It's cheap, perfect and offers local weather and movie times... It will locate the nearest ATM (as I learned last night, at a concert) and is, all in all, a life saver.

  22. I always turn off the GPS--it drives me crazy but I did hear Mr.T is doing voices for it now--'I pity the fool who doesn't exit right across 5 lanes' ;)

    Very cool pic :)

  23. I love when my Garmin gets pissy with me because I don't listen to her... "RECALCULATING!"

    It's like having another toddler, one who uses big words like 'recalculating.'

  24. I can't believe you didn't throw that wretched thing out the window!

  25. You've never had a problem with VZ Navigator?
    While I do love mine, it often gives bizarre directions.
    Like Monday, I was trying to find our allergist when it told me to turn right--into an open field. The office was about 2 blocks back and to the left. In Philly it took us into the projects when I was trying to find the zoo. And in Richmond it had me hopelessly lost for 3 hours with two vomiting dogs and a screaming baby.
    It also yells at me all the time to tell me I'm not on a road. I clearly am.
    It must be where you I said, CA we had zero problems.

  26. I am like you, I can usually find my way around pretty easily. My husband loves to use the navi system in his car and I just think it's another distraction and accident-causer...

    Pretty picture!

  27. i am geographically impaired. i can get lost going to the bathroom in my own house.

    i don't have a gps either. i probably should -- altho my iphone's similar (but not audio) feature has saved me a coupla times.

  28. I don't know what kind of GPS you got my friend but I LOVE my Garmin. Her name is Emily (she is currently British but I might switch her back to American Karen sometime soon).

    Did you see the news story where someone drove into a wall because they were following the GPS and not paying attention to the road itself?

  29. I'm just awaiting (anxiously) some photos of your hawt gift. Just thought I'd share.

    No, A doesn't have to wear it because I realize she may be scared of it. But I expect Meg to at least put it on.


  30. We have a GPS as well. Her name is Lucy. Lucy is passive agressive and sometimes, a downright bitch. I'm still waiting for her to go completely off on me for not following her expert directions...even if I *could* get lost in a cardboard box!!

  31. I have decided that GPS systems SUCK! They are possessed by the devil.
    Oh and I say WTF all the time now too. Makes it easier.

  32. I don't have one, and the more I hear about them, the more I am thinking I really don't need one anyway. I am also pretty good at finding my way around. And I can easily read a map. If I had some idiot barking out crazy directions, like AssTom, I WOULD probably toss the piece of crap into the nearest "motorway".

    Oh - and I say WTF sometime when there ARE people around. Bad, I know.

  33. Hahahah That's why I don't bother with that kind of technology.

  34. Yeah Tom does bug on occasion. I was driving one of my preschoolers to her house the other day and she's trying to tell me there's my house - see it?? there it is! as I was driving past it because TomTom was telling me the turn hadn't come yet! Once i passed the real turn it was telling me to turn around some crazy way to parts unknown. The preschooler was more accurate. I'm still a sucker for TomTom because unlike you, I have no lead boogers and I get lost in parking lots.

  35. I don't know if you watch The Office, but that description of AusTom reminds me of the episode where Michael's GPS told him to turn right, and he did...right into a lake/pond/other body of water. Priceless.

    If it makes you feel any better, my GPS looked up a location for Costco in Robinson the other day, and displayed the address. When I pushed the "route" button, it then proceeded to tell me that the destination address did not exist...the destination address (keep in mind) is the address that it just told me was the address for Costco.