Hello Sat Nav or Why I Won’t Read Maps.

‘I wonder if I can break her just by ignoring everything she says ?’

This is now a fairly typical start to car journeys since the Sat Nav arrived. This small piece of technology with a human voice has slotted seamlessly into (dysfunctional ?) family life and now has a clear role to play; that of the scape goat.

How convenient it is to have someone to blame for getting lost/being late ! That was a  roundabout not a cross-roads ! Up-date your maps love !

I can’t help feeling a bit sorry for her actually. She’s being set up.

‘So you’re asking her to tell you the way to London,’ I say, ‘ and as soon as she opens her mouth you’re heading off in the opposite direction chuckling madly ?’

That just about sums up the situation, yes. We wait until she has re-calibrated and re-calcluated, which is commonly known to us as calming down after a sulk and then cheer when the next instruction reveals that she has caught up with our cunning plans and is back with the programme. Until we decide to throw her once again with a ‘You don’t think I’m going that way do you ?’

So just remind me, what was the point of a Sat Nav in the first place then ?

On puzzling this over for a while I had a flash-back. It was to a similar family car journey this time on a motorway.

‘Lucy , would you mind just reaching into the back and looking at the road atlas, I want to know what would happen if we came off here and then re-joined further up ?’

Cue rising panic as the adrenaline kicks in. The fight or flight mechanism gets me at ‘Road Atlas’ but there is nowhere to go. I am stuck in a metal box with he who will compel me to read maps and I don’t want to read maps, I can’t read maps and I won’t read maps.

‘How difficult can it be to find a  blue box on the map next to the motorway with a number against it ?’

Answer, ‘Very difficult’, because I can no longer see, let alone read. I have developed map blindness.’

Flash back to the Sat Nav and you may start to see why we give this box of technology and curious post-apocalyptic map-scapes, human characteristics. Why we laugh at her sulks and cheer when she gets it right.

That Sat Nav, dear reader, is me.


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