Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

GPS or Busted

Asking our GPS for a destination is sort of like writing a letter to Santa. You express your heartfelt wishes and desires and hope that you’ve been good enough to get results. My GPS makes me address it as if it were the deity in charge of merge lanes and yield signs. Forget about Rest Areas. You’re better off packing an empty coffee can and a Do Not Disturb sign.

The Captain of our compact Conestoga fired up all four cylinders at the same time recently and to celebrate, we decided to take an actual trip.

Me: Oh great GPS, would you direct us to the path that leads to the beach?

GPS: No.

Me: Please? I won’t ask for anything else. Ever.

GPS: What have you done to deserve this trip? I get no respect. You even put my batteries in upside down.

Me: Sorry. But I didn’t put hair remover in the Captain’s shampoo for April Fool’s Day this time, and I didn’t mention the ferret in the dishwasher.

Captain: There’s a ferret in the dishwasher?

GPS: There WAS a ferret in the dishwasher.

Kid One: You found my ferret!

Me: The point is, I’ve been good. Please tell me how to get to the beach.

GPS: Did you pack a towel?

Me: Yes.

GPS: And clean underwear?

Me. I can buy new ones when I get there.

GPS: Read the fine print. It’s against my Code of Ethics to take you anywhere without clean underwear.

Me: Fine. (I leave the car and return shortly, having taken a precautionary pit stop.) Now will you tell me?

GPS: You left the overnight bag in the guest bath.

Me: I also flushed the house key by accident.

GPS: Did you jiggle the handle?

Me: Yes. Can’t I just buy underwear when I get there?

GPS: Oh sure, and I guess you’re going to parade around all day in that thing you call a swimsuit. Did you pack a cover up?

Captain: You’re not taking underwear?

Kids One and Two: You’re going to wear a BATHING SUIT? We’re not going.

GPS: Don’t talk to your mother that way. That’s my job.

Captain: You’re not taking underwear?

Me: I have to take that bathing suit. It’s the only one I have.

GPS: That might have been a bathing suit in 1975. Today it is a rubber band with sand in the crotch.

Me: Fine, I’ll look for a new one when we get to the beach.

Kid One: Can we take the ferret?

GPS: That ferret won’t be going anywhere, kiddo. Not after a spin through the potscrubber cycle.

Kid One: MOM!

Me: The vet says he’s going to be just fine, honey. He said he’d never seen anybody give CPR to a ferret before.

GPS: CPR? That was more like LOL. That ferret looked like a sprinkler hose.

Kid One: MOM!

Me: He’s kidding. The vet will have him all patched up in no time. Let’s just hit the road, shall we?

Captain: You’re not taking underwear? Are we staying in the same room as the kids?

GPS: And what about that ratty bathing suit? It looks like a freeway-bound retread just before it leaves the tire.

Me: You take that back!

Captain: Sorry. I just thought separate rooms would be better.

Kid One: Can we go by the vet’s office on the way out of town?

Me: No, honey, we don’t have time.

Captain: How much time does it take to get a room?

GPS: I sure wouldn’t stay in a room with a woman in a ragged bathing suit and no underwear.

Me: He just needs a little extra care.

Captain: That’s what I’m saying.

Me: Not you. The ferret.

Kid One: How much?

Captain: That’s what I want to know.

GPS: That’s it. Find your own way to the beach. I quit!

Me: Fine! I’m giving these new batteries to the iPod.

And that’s how we ended up staying home during vacation time this year. Although we did download a vacation planner and mapping application, and bought new underwear for everyone in the family online. We also got a new GPS.

One that’s guaranteed not to talk back.

No comments: