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 “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.”
“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.
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The Bitch is why I own dead tree DeLorme Gazeteers.
Maps. All you really need are maps.
Maps are cheap, and very passive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Getting lost is one of life’s little pleasures.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Since much of my work week is driving between the various stores I service, and the Valley of the Sun is quite large, I use Google’s map service, and sometimes Waze, which is a more chatty version since Google bought them out.
I see a Waymo car lately taking pictures and mapping. Waymo operates the only automated taxi service in the US, here. News reports suggest the Waymo vehicles get confused at times. Welcome to the party, pal.
The problem with trusting Google is that the app that lists my stores goes directly to Maps. And roads here are really great in that there’s a Southern Ave. in western Phoenix, and it goes all the way into Apache Junction in the east valley. But the numbering is not so great. Both Tempe and Phoenix can have 1620 East Southern Avenue, and when the address gets passed into the mapping application, it doesn’t always pass the ZIP code, which would distinguish between the two addresses.
Sometimes it doesn’t pass the “East” or “West” either. Thus two days ago I went on a long journey to an address on Cactus Ave. I thought it seemed like an odd routing, but traffic, and road closures, so I went with it. I wound up 98 blocks from the store I wanted. Other times, it will send me off into the desert of one of the Indian reservations.
The last couple of weeks I have been using my brain instead of the app, if I can. That’s the only way to burn the routes and ways in. When you rely on the voice, your brain doesn’t learn the route.
My Bitch is named Shirley. (Muldowney fans will understand.) I’d be lost forever in these hills without her.
(as opposed to “Bland, U’Nellie”)
I noted above meeting the Bitch in Japan, back when she was voiceless.
I also remember meeting her grandmother in Chicago; You’d type your to/from into the computer and she’d print you a route from here to there. Alas she did have a few shortcomings, like not knowing about one way roads. Flying down from Alaska I’d requested a route from O’Hare Airport to ___, rented a car, followed her directions and couldn’t get out of the airport. The road she insisted I take was ingress, one way, into the airport. Luckily gas station street maps still existed way back then else I still might be circling O’Hare seeking egress.
I don’t mind “The Bitch” — when I’m in a strange area, and not likely to ever be there again, it’s helpful to have the app dispense directions.
Sometimes, it’s even amusing — like when “Quakertown” (in Pennsylvania) becomes “Quackertown”, triggering visions of driving into the town to find everyone dressed up as ducks. 🙂
Pikesville, People’s still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland
An oldie but goodie from Ars Technica: “Death by GPS: Why Do We Follow Digital Maps into Dodgy Places?”
After recounting several instances of actual fatalities resulting from over-reliance on GPS, the author continues: “Most death-by-GPS incidents do not involve actual deaths—or even serious injuries. They are accidents or accidental journeys brought about by an uncritical acceptance of turn-by-turn commands: the Japanese tourists in Australia who drove their car into the ocean while attempting to reach North Stradbroke Island from the mainland; the man who drove his BMW down a narrow path in a village in Yorkshire, England, and nearly over a cliff; the woman in Bellevue, Washington, who drove her car into a lake that their GPS said was a road; the Swedish couple who asked GPS to guide them to the Mediterranean island of Capri, but instead arrived at the Italian industrial town of Carpi; the elderly woman in Belgium who tried to use GPS to guide her to her home, 90 miles away, but instead drove hundreds of miles to Zagreb, only realizing her mistake when she noticed the street signs were in Croatian.”
As for Gerard’s dislike of “The Bitch’s” voice: I leave him with one thought: Suppose the contraption was reprogrammed to use the manly voices of Joe Biden or Gavin Newsom . . . .
So mute her.
I have to do that whenever my girlfriend is in the car and I program a destination. BTW she calls the English voice “Betty”.
Suggested reading, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
A new gig in DFW years ago would not have been possible were it not for Ms google. She guided me many a rush hour through packed highways, new construction, flyovers and 75 mph, bumper to bumper traffic.
Even now on long cross country drives, I’ll leave her app on but muted for the approximate time and mileage to my destination.
I have changed the Siri voice to an Australian male and he does not steer me wrong. Love the way he pronounces some of the local street names
I had always feared my beloved husband would die in a fiery crash while driving and reading roadmaps opened up across the steering wheel. I lost him last year to illness and would give anything to have him back for one of those door handle clutching terrifying trips.
Bitches need to be trained to keep their yaps shut and leave the driving to us.
I always take the scenic route.
Nice bird pix by the way. ———>
That kingfisher has a perpetual case of the ass.
She’s a malevolent bitch, that one, always plotting against me. One dark evening en route to my father’s internment the next day, Her Annoyingness routed me down a pedestrian walkway on the University of Illinois campus. The natives were not amused at a Ford Expedition asserting its dominance over the woke proletariat. Epithets were exchanged. Mrs. thought it hilarious, until I pointed out to her that we were likely to go to jail. Not so funny then. To retaliate, I switched the language to Chinese, which drove my wife to distraction over the next couple days. Fun times.
After my divorce there was a period of time during which I’d occasionally feel a bit lonely. When the eddies of self-pity seemed to be taking more than their share of control over me I’d hop in the car, set a destination, and then deliberately ignore the directions.
That voice and its attendant irritation would remind me of my ex, and my loneliness would evaporate almost entirely.
The Nav system on our Kia recently changed dialects to ebonics. Ex: Turn left in 900 feets.” Not feet, feets. Last time we used it, it was feet, but now suddenly it’s feets. I’m waiting for the full conversion. “We be turnin’ right in 900 feets to go make groceries.” When we miss a turn, instead of “recalculating” it will be “Man, you screwed up! I’m gonna learn you right. Now listen. Turn your ass around and …” Lord help me.
“Makin’ groceries?” I preferred Schwegmann’s back in the day, what with the in-store bars and all. Just how many statute miles from the St. Roch Market does the widespread use of that particular combination of words extend? I do not believe that I have ever heard it used outside of the Big Sleazy and da parishes.
Some years back I had a Garmin unit, upgraded with the inimitable voice of Dennis Hopper, which was usually rather more hilarious than annoying.
They’re handy, but not 100% dependable.
I used a Magellan for the big move from CA to Ohio, and it paid for itself in diesel fuel alone. It was also VERY handy in locating truck stops, road construction/delays, and decent motels.
It dropped dead a while back, as they don’t handle impact too well.
I bought a cheapo Garmin to replace it, and it works OK, but it’s no Magellan. I use it for long travels in the car, and sometimes on the bike- when I follow some unfamiliar, backwoods road to see where it leads, and use it (if needed) to find my way back to civilization.
And I’ve always kept the volume level at ZERO- hey, if I wanted to hear a female voice constantly nagging me, I’d get married.
Years ago, I had to deal with a number of people who were “functional illiterates”, who could not convert words, symbols, or diagrams on paper to relevant actions. I guess that there are more of them than I realized, hence the popularity of Nagomatic. The “Blond One” did much better dealing with the hazards produced by the defectives who were allowed to drive on public roads.