October 29, 2016

The Bitch

bitchinsidewhite_819342_thumb.jpgThey 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 “What-ever 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:


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.

A summer rerun from 2009

Posted by Vanderleun at October 29, 2016 6:41 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Oh God...I thought that was so cool when I first got the GPS. After 20 minutes I was pushing the MUTE button and never turned it back on again.

Posted by: Mumblix Grumph at September 28, 2009 7:16 PM

Well, you just don't have the right unit. My Garmin 780 gives me voice choices and in multiple languages, too. I love Karen, my Aussie-accented electro-voice. I think she's hot!

But of course, when too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing, I just turn off the voice and read the screen instead!

Posted by: markh at September 28, 2009 7:16 PM

Seems they have tried too hard for "vocal neutrality", whatever the hell that is. Luckily I don't have such a contraption in my jalopy, HOWEVER, the worst is dialing 411. It's like the voice is talking to you through an intercom in an insane asylum. Like they are worried about your mental status. Which they should be. Sets me on edge like nothing I have ever experienced in real life. It is IMPOSSIBLE that they did not consider this-- or plan this outcome-- during r&d.

I always end up talking to a real operator anyway. I hope the Internet buries them alive.

Posted by: Hannon at September 28, 2009 7:50 PM

You can't read a map? You think you actually need a GPS unit in YOUR CAR? heh

Posted by: Quent at September 28, 2009 8:07 PM

You can't read a map? You think you actually need a GPS unit in YOUR CAR? heh

What's a map? Real men know where they are going, and how to get there.

(more or less)


Posted by: jwm at September 28, 2009 8:26 PM

Pure comedy gold. I "LOL'd" with each paragraph. Yes I have been there, right with ya.

Find a different graphic though, why doncha?

Posted by: Morgan K Freeberg at September 28, 2009 8:56 PM

Did you get a new car?

Posted by: ninme at September 28, 2009 9:09 PM

One thing I like about the wife's Acura TL is that the navigation system gives you the option of choosing a male or female voice. I immediately picked the male voice; the female was always nagging, while the dude just reminded me without turning everything into an argument.

Issues? Me? Why do you ask?

Posted by: Mike Lief at September 28, 2009 10:29 PM

I don't think I would ever get tired of hearing Patrick Stewart give me directions, or Orson Welles or Kelsey Grammer, or possibly Peggy Lee....maybe if Michael Bublé were to sing me the directions, that would be coolness of the utmost.

Posted by: Jewel at September 29, 2009 12:43 AM

Someone (Jewel?) posted a hilarious bit about setting their GPS up with South Park voices. Directions by Eric Cartman...."After the stopsign, turn right into Kyle's mother's vagina..."

Posted by: Hunt Johnsen at September 29, 2009 6:19 AM

Someone got up on the wrong side of the van this morning.

Posted by: Ricky Raccoon at September 29, 2009 6:51 AM

ROTFLMAO! Because it's so true. You're right about the accent. My wife's unit (we call her "Garmina") is in British mode and I just want to toss her out the window in rush hour traffic. The only other thing more annoying than "Recalculating" is when she says "Lost satellite reception" - and there's not a freaking cloud in the sky!

Thanks for the morning laugh.

The Jewish Republican's Web Sanctuary

Posted by: EricTheRed at September 29, 2009 8:11 AM

After using handheld units for years, I had decided to upgrade. The dash top units had started to come out, and in dash units in cars. Problem is, I'm generally in a truck of some kind. So I got the computer ap and the dome antenna. Got a rack like in the cop cars to hang the laptop, and simultaneously make sure no air conditioning can reach me. It's easy to see while driving (14" screen), and full of useful features like telling which cross streets I've already missed (REALLY useful, that).
I've reached the point that I even turn it on sometimes.

Posted by: ed in texas at September 29, 2009 8:34 AM

My Frence fried has one with a really hot voice.

"Apres deux cent kilomete tourneau au gauche"

Pant, Pant.

Posted by: glenn at September 29, 2009 9:07 AM

Now THAT ladies and germs is a proper rant!

I feel bad though...When our gracious host has a bad day/episode, we usually end up laughing!

I do hope he knows that we are laughing both with AND at, and how that's so much better than simply one or the other. ;-)

Posted by: Patvann at September 29, 2009 10:10 AM

We Real dudes just do not like the idea of having to take and follow directions from a woman....especially from one that knows it all and knows it.

I get some strange satisfaction out of not upgrading my garmin...then driving on a road that she has no idea is there! hah take that bitty. Of course I dang well better know where it goes.

Posted by: joe buzz at September 29, 2009 1:07 PM

Get yourself a TomTom. An American accent male voice, and "recalculating" is done quietly. The only aggressive suggestion you'll hear is "turn around when possible". I am quite happy with mine.

Posted by: Arkadiy Belousov at September 29, 2009 6:42 PM

I knew right then and then when I heard my cousin's GPS in her SUV I would never get one. Very annoying. Still use maps and always will. The only way I will take directions, is when my boyfriend sits next to me and gives them to me, but my driving scares him, so he doesn't ride with me often.

Posted by: Cilla Mitchell at September 30, 2009 2:47 AM

Once upon a time I took a long road trip with a co-worker and THREE GPS units: a Garmin, a TomTom, and a computer program with antenna like "ed in texas" describes. All three of them talked. After a few miles, we decided the Garmin was "Jenny", the TomTom was "Michelle", and the computer "Alice".

All three of them had different "warn" settings. Approaching a turn, Jenny would warn us first, then Alice, then Michelle. The most annoying part was traveling through a long stretch of construction, where traffic had been diverted onto the access roads. The access roads were far enough away from the original route that Michelle was continually reminding us that we were "Off Route!", and Jenny shut down. Alice was smart enough to decide that, since we were still going in the right direction, the situation was survivable; she showed us an arrow on the screen but kept quiet about it.

The three had different map databases. What most people don't know is that the origin points and scaling for US maps were massively re-organized in 1988, and in many places (especially out in Flyover Country) the databases haven't kept up. (According to Garmin, my place is at the funeral home a hundred meters to the West.) The cacaphony that arose when the three maps disagreed was annoying at first, but soon became hilarious.

I'd like a GPS someday, but I want a computer "Alice" version. Good as they are, and useful as they are, they still need a little work.


Posted by: Ric Locke at September 30, 2009 9:32 AM

Sounds likje 'Eddy' the shipboard computer from Hitchhikers.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at September 30, 2009 11:23 AM

I don't own one, I hate being told what to do.

Besides, I've never been lost in my life. You're not lost if you still have gas in the tank.

Posted by: Daphne at September 30, 2009 12:50 PM

To all of you, the best laugh I have had in a long time. My friends and my boss use GPS. I won't have it. I learned to read maps not pixels, and when worst comes to worst........I actually ask directions. I can't stand those placid female voices. Remind me of some of my old teachers. They are worse than nag. They have that feel-guilty tone in their voice. Funny thing, the people that use GPS don't seem to get there any faster. Besides, when I get lost, I learn more about where I am.

Posted by: Bill at October 1, 2009 5:21 PM

I got my directionally challenged wife one for her use, now she insist on keeping it on when I drive to a place I been a hundred times before, I comiserate with the author.

Posted by: RJ at October 2, 2009 2:47 PM

There can only be one bitch in the car when I travel.

Posted by: RedCarolina at August 18, 2011 2:36 PM

There can only be one bitch in the car when I travel.

Posted by: RedCarolina at August 18, 2011 2:36 PM

Let's imagine what the Bitch might look like... Does she wear black stiletto boots and a full-length leather coat?

... a whip?

Posted by: cchoate at August 18, 2011 5:01 PM

When I recently bought a new car, it had built-in GPS and I really thought I'd like it a lot. That was until I got lost going through Flagstaff, AZ, and I pushed little icons on that damn touch screen like crazy. It hemmed and hawed and scrolled about, never doing what I thought it would do until frankly I gave up. I couldn't figure out sh*t.

So I've given up on it. Back to maps, which I like better all the way around, anyway.

Posted by: Norm at August 18, 2011 5:50 PM

The speaker crapped out on mine about three years ago. I have no plans for an upgrade. I just have my copilot watch the screen if I'm in unfamiliar territory, or consult a map.
It keeps her occupied.

Posted by: Greg at August 18, 2011 8:00 PM

In order to get a genuinely annoying computer-generated voice, you have to have the full weight of the military pulling for it. The Army wanted an audible feature that would get a helicopter pilot's attention when the radar/laser/missile launch warning (the APR-39, in case you were curious) activated.

"Miss-aisle... miss-aisle... fi-yuff o'glock" "Ray-dorr sir-ching... fick-stwink... tin o'glock"

We called it "the Gay Norwegian"...

Posted by: BillT at August 18, 2011 10:16 PM

What in the world do you need the thing for? Get rid of it.

Posted by: pbird at August 18, 2011 10:22 PM

Come on, Gerard, you'd rather listen to Dear Leader's voice?

Posted by: PA Cat at August 18, 2011 11:37 PM

I nicknamed the GPS on my 'Droid "Sarah" after the smart house in "Eureka". She occasionally has an assistant give a direction or two. I haven't figured out what sort of relationship the two have, yet.

I have a little rig that broadcasts any 'Droid audio to the car radio. Being a techno geek, I just think it's fun.

Posted by: leelu at August 19, 2011 9:58 AM

Rand-McNally and a compass. Wife and I switch off helmsman and navigator duties.

What is Geocaching?
Orienteering for people who can't read topo-maps.

Posted by: Stretch at August 20, 2011 1:32 PM

Perhaps there is just a latent streak of masochism inside you, Gerard?

Posted by: feeblemind at August 21, 2011 5:31 PM

Hey GPS makers, less Anne Robinson and more Barbara Eden please.

Posted by: Micha Elyi at August 27, 2011 4:36 PM

Gerard, you should switch to the "Ilsa, She-wolf of the Nazis" voice.

WE ask the questions here.

Posted by: chasmatic at August 26, 2013 7:23 AM

Buy a map. If you can find one. And kwitchur belly akin.

Posted by: glenn at August 26, 2013 8:28 AM

Buy a map. If you can find one. And kwitchur belly akin.

Posted by: glenn at August 26, 2013 8:28 AM

My GPS is on my Samsung, having made a move from the old HTC. Her name is Sarah, after Self Actuated Residential Automated Habitat, the house in Eureka.

She gets confused every once in a while, but, hey, who doesn't?

Posted by: leelu at August 26, 2013 9:48 AM

Antelope Freeway… 1 Mile
Antelope Freeway… ½ Mile
Antelope Freeway… ¼ Mile
Antelope Freeway… 1/8 Mile
Antelope Freeway… 1/16 Mile
Antelope Freeway… 1/32 Mile
Antelope Freeway… 1/64 Mile
Antelope Freeway… 1/128 Mile
Antelope Freeway… 1/256 Mile

(~ Firesign Theater, 1969 )

Posted by: Jake in Seattle at August 26, 2013 11:19 AM

You must have been looking for a fight when you switched that thing on, especially if you're driving on Queen Anne.
You wouldn't catch me with one of those things. But then I actively try to get lost, for fun. Its very hard to get lost.

Posted by: pbird at August 27, 2013 7:32 AM

Dude, learn to read a map. Even at 500 knots I seldom used a GPS - maybe in a storm and trying to land. (*THIS* is why men don't ask for directions - nag, nag, nag. But, then again, you shouldn't *need* to.)

Posted by: GWB at August 30, 2013 1:43 PM

The bitch has been operating in Japan even longer (Needed when streets aren't marked and home/business addresses aren't street addresses.) I think she was set up there using Loran long before GPS.

Posted by: Jim O'Neil at October 29, 2016 9:35 AM

Sorry, don't know why/how my post posted twice. Hopefully this apology will only post one.

Posted by: Jim O'Neil at October 29, 2016 9:45 AM

Don't worry ab out it, Jim. Post away. If it gets too bad I'll deal with it but leave your comment intact.

Posted by: Vanderleun at October 29, 2016 9:50 AM

I use maps. On paper. Works every time.

Posted by: pbird at October 29, 2016 12:30 PM

Speaking of bitches...


Hitlary finds out FBI reopened email investigation - Downfall Parody

Please share if you enjoy!

Posted by: Opinionated Vogon at October 29, 2016 4:24 PM

Thanks for posting this- so I know I am not the only ofwg curmudgeon out there, annoyed to the point of tossing the smartphone in the lake over talking maps...

I got the MS smartphone because Nokia had the best tech, including the excellent HERE maps and HERE Drive, which was superior to Google maps in that you could download maps to your phone and drive off the gps function, even without connectivity.

The only problem was "Cortana" the XBOX game sexy chick voice that you were stuck with if you wanted directions.

Well, in the first iteration of the MS software, you could turn off the useless voice... I mean, if you are a standard guy, you can figure out a map, so having GPS is a feature, not a bug.

But, MS in its infinite wisdom decided the Nokia phone needed to be updated to Win10, and now I cant turn the stupid robot voice off... she even butt-dials herself.

And MS corrupted the map software so it doesnt work like a champ, before.

One more glitch, and this Win 10 broken smartphone is going in the lake....

Already have the downscaled Convoy 2 on another GoPhone line, just in case. No more wasted data on baloney...

Oh, yeah- the Rand McNally national road atlas stil lives in the side door pocket, with better information than Gmaps or HERE...

So, if TSHTF I can find my way accross country, as before... using paper maps and the sun. Duh.

Posted by: foodog at October 29, 2016 6:33 PM

I own an old GPS and use it occasionally and while I also dislike that voice, especially the "re-calc-que-lating" intrusion, I my main complaint is pretty simple and the GPS makers should consider changing at least these two things:

1. Programming a GPS to an address usually requires several different screens for State, street number, street name, etc. Why don't they just redesign the damn things to accept voice commands, like Google Maps or Goggle Earth?

2. Free software upgrades. The thing I've got charges me for upgrades and I'm not gonna pay for it. Simple as that.

Posted by: Jack at October 30, 2016 6:46 AM