Monday, September 12, 2011

Cops Who Know Everything



NOT what I want to hear from my GPS system as I'm barreling sedately driving down I-95 last week...I was attempting to maneuver my way from Princeton, NJ to Philadelphia, where an airplane flight awaited to take me home.

Along for this crazy ride was Charley, a very quiet and mild-mannered 75-year old Red Cross volunteer. He was also hoping to arrive - alive - at Philadelphia airport for his own flight home back to upstate New York.

Little did he know what he was getting himself into when he caught a ride with me to the airport.

I had diligently plugged "Philadelphia International Airport" in to "Betsy", the GPS system that I had borrowed from Hubs during my deployment to New Jersey for Hurricane Irene. Charley and I had a pretty good idea that Philly was southwest of our current location, so we had hopped on to I-95 south.

Betsy, however, had different ideas.

She began innocuously enough...trying to nudge us immediately off of I-95 and on to the very first exit we passed.

I ignored her, but she began getting very insistent.

"Turn right here," she would plead, as we approached the very next exit.

I ignored her again. Surely, I-95 south was the direction we should be going, right?

"Re-calculating," she would whine.

After a few miles of listening to her INSISTENCE that we get off of I-95, I began questioning myself...perhaps Betsy was right, and we were wrong...? Maybe we shouldn't be going I-95 south???

What if we were...gulp....LOST??!!

Going along at breakneck speed - during the stormy rains of Tropical Storm Lee...I asked Charley if he would double-check Betsy's programming. I didn't exactly want to take my concentration off of the wet roads and the traffic to re-assure myself that Betsy knew where she was going.

Poor Charley.

He looked at Betsy as if she'd grown three heads and was covered in arsenic and radiation poisoning...much the same way he was beginning to look at me, as I was starting to panic that perhaps we WERE going the wrong way and I was now going to be solely responsible for us BOTH missing our flights.

"Re-calculating," Betsy droned on. And on. And on.

"ENOUGH," I screamed.

Poor Charley.

He's never really had to deal with a crazy little blonde known as the Drama Queen, let alone a crazy whacked-out GPS system that doesn't seem to know where it is, let alone how to get us in a timely manner to Philadelphia.

Do I turn around and get off the highway, at Betsy's insistence? She just wasn't making any sense at this point.

I quickly checked her settings to make sure I hadn't inadvertently changed the settings to "Avoid Toll Roads." Nope. That wasn't it. I quickly checked her settings to make sure she was still set for Philly. Yes.

ACK!!!! Why was she going CRAZY???!!!

And then...inspiration struck.

"A-HA!" I screamed. Charley jumped.

"I have a COUSIN who lives south of Philadelphia! He'll know if we're going in the right direction!!!"

I quickly called up my cousin John, a former Philly cop who is not fazed in the least by panicky blondes who are lost. On I-95 South. In a rainstorm.

"JOHN!" I wailed. "OMG, I'm trying to get from Princeton to Philly, and I'm heading south on I-95. But my GPS is going BALLISTIC, telling me I need to get off of I-95 and head north!!!! Am I right??? Or is Betsy right???"

In his very best "I'm a cop, and I know what I'm talking about voice," John says, "You're right. I-95 South will take you right to the Philly airport."

And it did.

I called John back to let him know we were approaching the airport, and I said, "I wonder what was wrong with Betsy??"

John replied, with a hint of sarcasm, "Operator error."

"Ha, ha, John," I responded. "I checked her THREE times, and I can assure you, it was NOT operator error. She's just past her prime and needs to be trashed."

So, when I got home the other day, I handed Betsy back to Hubs and said, "She really needs to go into the trash can, for all the good she did me trying to get to the airport."

A few days have passed.

Yesterday, Hubs came in and said, "I figured out what was wrong with Betsy the other day."

I looked at him expectantly.

He said, "You had changed the settings to 'Avoid Highways'."

Say what?? I did WHAT???!!!


I literally fell on the floor laughing, holding my gut as tears rolled out of my eyes. "Avoid HIGHWAYS???!! Can you even DO that?" I gasped.

After I caught my breath, I said to Hubs, "That would explain why Betsy wanted me - with every core of her being - to get off of I-95...but I wonder how the heck she would have gotten me to the airport??? And how long it would have taken???! That is TOO freakin' funny!!!!"

It was funny until I realized that my cousin had been right all along.

It was INDEED operator error.

Darn cops. Think they know everything.



1 comment:

Mental P Mama said...

Been there. Done that. Stupid machines.