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The Bitch

They didn’t want to turn her on but they did. I never want to turn her on but I do. After they had turned her on for awhile they grew tired of listening to her. After listening to her for even ten seconds I’m enraged by her. Somewhere along the long road to their duck hunting camp they named her “The Bitch” and turned her off. At random points on any road I drive I want to throw “The Bitch” out the window and run over her until she’s nothing but a flat black splotch on the asphalt.

“The Bitch” has her uses. She’s helped me find my way to unknown destinations and out of places where I’m hopelessly lost. It doesn’t matter. I hate the very thought of her. She’s the worst nag since Eve made Adam slap on the fig leaf and remarked on how small it was. She’s Lilith and Delilah and the “Whatever Girl.” She’s the most passive-aggressive talker since the last speech by Barack Obama. She’s “The Bitch.”

It’s not what “The Bitch” does and doesn’t do but the voice of “The Bitch” that instantly sets my teeth on fire. It’s so pale and distantly grating that it draws me into a conversation even though I’ve got nothing to say to “The Bitch” and she isn’t listening.

“In sixth tenths of a mile, turn right on Mac Graw Av-en-you.”

“Got it.”

“In two tenths of a mile turn right on Mac Graw Av-en-you.”

“I said I’ve got it.”

“Turn right on Mac Graw Av-en-you.”

“Shut up. Just SHUT UP! I GOT IT. I GOT IT! Here, just to show you I’ll turn LEFT on ‘Mac Graw Av-en-you,’ bitch.”

And I turn left just to spite her and get about ten yards up the street when I hear her say the one thing that makes me want to strangle her with her charging cord:

“Re-cal-que-lating….”

Recalculating? Shit. Here it comes….

“In two tenths of a mile turn left on Harper and then turn left to Queen Anne Av-en-you… In sixth tenths of a mile, turn right on Mac Graw Av-en-you….”

Nag, nag, nag…. Short of pulling the plug nothing, but nothing, will shut “The Bitch” up. I don’t know what sort of market research came up with the voice of “The Bitch” as the optimum voice for a GPS unit, but I suspect knew what they were doing all along. They were looking for the optimum voice that would drive men out of their minds. And they succeeded. Sadists.

For added insanity, try handing the bitch to a woman who’s driving with you and have her tell you what “The Bitch” is saying at the same time “The Bitch” is saying it. No jury of 12 men would convict.

And don’t tell me to reset “The Bitch” to that English Accent choice. She’s just bitchier with the bright tang of British smarm smeared on top. She’s “The Brit Bitch.”

I hate “The Bitch.” I hate her every time I hear her say “Re-cal-que-lating….” I’ve been known to set her destination to “Home,” and then get on the freeway and drive fifty miles in the other direction… just to hear her ever more passive-aggressive and faintly irritated plaint of “Re-cal-que-lating….” every time I pass an off-ramp.

She’s “The Bitch” now and forever. No other female voice can even hope to come close to her voice. It is seared, SEARED, into my memory.

One of these days I’m going to take a very long drive into the heart of Death Valley and dump her. I’d do it today if I didn’t need her so much.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • John Venlet March 26, 2018, 10:46 AM

    The Bitch is why I own dead tree DeLorme Gazeteers.

  • pbird March 26, 2018, 12:23 PM

    Maps. All you really need are maps.

  • Unclezip March 26, 2018, 1:14 PM

    Maps are cheap, and very passive.

  • ghostsniper March 26, 2018, 2:21 PM

    Do people still try to use those things, even after hearing negatives for at least 10 years?
    Never had one and never will and I’ve heard the horror stories, from people that are no longer my friends. I can only take so much. I am considering getting a handheld though, probably a Garmin but Magellan has some interesting specs too.

  • John A. Fleming March 26, 2018, 2:43 PM

    I am a man. I have trained myself over a lifetime. I do not stop and ask for directions. From anyone. Ever. I will bull my way to my destination. I do not panic. I figure it out. Never have I been in a situation of “you can’t get there from here”. In climbing circles we call it “route-finding” skills.

    My wife of course is visibly exasperated by my bull-headedness. But I reckon she also receives secret delight and comfort in every exhibition of my manly skills.

    I do not need Miss GPS. I do not want Miss GPS. I do so love to torture Miss GPS should she be in the car with me, usually because my wife brings her along. I will purposely take awkward turns that frighten and confuse Miss GPS, even though I know exactly how to recover. I can hear the panic in her longish silence before comes the passive aggressive and strained “re.cal.cu.lat.ing” (with a sotto voce googley) “you deplorable, irredeemable dip****”. Since I know that Miss GPS is recording all these erroneous turns and aggregating them into her cloud database, I ask my wife to shut down Miss GPS so she cannot see my miraculous and manly recovery. Miss GPS is a ditz.

    What’s my secret? I look at the map before I go (sometimes, and sort of), and I always try different ways. Why avoid adventure? Take the other way.

  • OldFert March 26, 2018, 4:17 PM

    Paper maps are good. I like paper maps. Lets me see outside of the narrow view of the GPS.

    We had a Garmin. Mrs Fert nicknamed the voice Teri Garmin. Teri no longer resides with us.

    But there *are* uses for a GPS, so now we use bing or google maps (voice nickname Gabby Google), or waze as a navigation aid, not the primary navigator. Nice to quickly call up distance to destination or way point, see road conditions and alternate routes, etc.

    Also like AAA TripTiks. But they, too, suffer from the “view through a straw” problem.

    Don’t want to travel great distances without real paper maps.

  • Mike G. March 26, 2018, 4:21 PM

    Ok, I’ll admit that I’ll use a GPS when I’m traveling for work because some of my jobs are in some of the ungodliness places to find.

    My Nick is Traveling Man on a certain Smart Military Blog. I do however, carry an atlas with me so that on long trips, I can confound “the Bitch” by taking a “shortcut” instead of keeping to the interstates.

    Back before GPS, when I’d move to a new town or city, I’d spend the first few days just driving around and getting lost. What better way of learning all the twists and turns of your new home.

  • pbird March 26, 2018, 5:18 PM

    Getting lost is one of life’s little pleasures.

  • Lynne Wolfe March 26, 2018, 10:33 PM

    I love my GPS – she is very helpful. I control her, but she does not control me. When I’m tired of her voice, I turn her off. I wish I could do that with everyone.

  • Allen March 26, 2018, 11:32 PM

    I once was asked by some very lost people how they could find such and such road. I told them that road doesn’t exist, but they insisted as The Bitch told them so. Oh you mean that road, well it’s called something else and it really doesn’t go where you want. I gave them detailed directions and a sketched map, I hope they made it. The internet meets navigation, they wouldn’t put it on there if it wasn’t true right?

  • John A. Fleming March 27, 2018, 12:46 AM

    Hi Miss Wolfe. I am happy that you love your GPS. I reckon it is a comfort and a great aid. It’s just not for me. I am that cartoonish stereotypical man who Will.Not.Ask.For.Directions.From.Anyone.Anytime. I don’t know where it came from, God made me this way.

    I will note one other thing. Miss GPS and her buddy Mr. Waze do not know how to efficiently and quickly get me to my house. There are many routes into my neighborhood. Over the years, I have tried them all at different times of day and traffic conditions. Miss GPS will pick a way, but it is invariably the wrong way. I know Mr. Waze has all this foresight about traffic conditions, but in that too, I prefer to exercise my own prescience about which route is the fastest. Mr. Waze only knows about which was fastest. I know which will be the fastest.

  • Jim in Alaska March 27, 2018, 10:25 AM

    I’m pretty sure the bitch was born in Japan, which is understandable as street signs weren’t and the address you’re trying to reach often reads something like; 54-68-72^33 in onigajima neighborhood rather than 233 5th Avenue.

    When I first met her there she was mute, just a video map screen with a moving blue guide line with an image of your car, sometimes following the line, sometimes off in space hanging over a deep valley. She was there and working before GPS, using the LORAN system to navigate, a system designed for ships at sea so it’s understandable the bitch would often leave you up in the air in mountainous country.

    Last time I met her in Japan, she’d evolved, had a voice and understood GPSease, She’d still leave you up in the air but not quite as often and some times she’d get confused in the middle of a 7 mile tunnel, but what the hey, it’s hard to get lost in a tunnel.

    My friend, Tomochan, would always thank the bitch when she told her where to go. Polite folks, those Japanese.