I’ve only ever once had the use of a G.P.S. in my car. It was on my 2010 road trip to Florida I got the Joy of using it. Being on vacation (holiday for my Brit readers) I was in no hurry to get to my destination, even though it is a twenty hour drive from where I live in Michigan to the West Palm Beach area of Florida, so I decided that I would follow the G.P.S’s directions. This decision came as we hit Toledo, Ohio. I’d planned to take I-75 all the way to Florida, but my G.P.S was screaming at me to take a left turn. I in turn was screaming at the Wife trying to get a decision on what to do. The G.P.S. won.
I’m glad I followed the device because for one thing it changed my views on Ohio. For the longest time I have been under the impression that Ohio is the most boring State ever. Even the clouds are boring in Ohio. My opinion has changed now, Ohio is not as boring as it used to be. The G.P.S. took me through some rural highway southwards and although worried that the G.P.S. was actually taking me on a route that would lead me to an abandoned shack where I would be killed and eaten, I was surprised when Ohio started to become interesting. Ohio has a vast amount of Amish people in the southern part of the State and to keep the kids interested I had them count how many horse and buggy they could see compared to how many police cars they could see. The Amish won 23 to 2.
Now a G.P.S. is a good thing and I really must get one for my next road trip. But that is not the point of this post. I’d like to take you back to an age when I was between 11 and 15 years old. The G.P.S. was a long way off of being invented and new coke was going to conquer the world. If you wanted to know how to get somewhere you had to have a thing called a map. This was a piece of paper that when folded correctly fitted nicely into a glove box, most never did. Being a good cub scout I could read a map, and actually enjoyed looking at maps. I still find old maps interesting. It got to the stage though where I knew my home town well. I had studied the map of Bury St.Edmunds and could get from A to B in the quickest time possible. The youth me on my bicycle was able to go anywhere. Not that I went anywhere much.
I did however have a skill. I would love giving out direction on how to get to places. Drivers would pull over and ask how to get somewhere and I would tell them how to get there, and they would thank me and be off on their merry way. The only trouble with this is deep down inside of me is this crazy little person and every now and then, like when a total stranger asked me for directions my inner demon would rise up. I would sound very informative as I gave directions to the other side of town, normally a good two or three miles out of their way. What did I care I was never going to see them again.
And you reading this thought I was a nice guy. Well I really am, just don’t ask me directions!
Addendum: just as an afterthought. What kind of weirdo pulls over and asks for directions from an 11 to 15 year old kid? Just Saying. I’m suprised I survived to reach 16.