By Emily Rosen
I can still recall those fanciful BSP days — Before Smart Phones – when the fun of taking a road trip – for me – was keeping the map on my lap and following it as the car wheels rotated. I’d “X” our departing point — and circle our destination – and study the names of all the towns and route numbers along the way. Blessings on AAA – and their tour books.
Excellent “navigator” that I was, I also became a historian and thespian, as I read aloud to my trusty driver from the great literary texts that related all the salient historical and recreational information about even the most obscure underpopulated hamlets along the byways.
That was “then.” But it is now 2014 –the age of “Siri” and any number of voices projected by the invisible ones. Thus, on a trip this past weekend through Central Florida with my very grown-up, No. 1 son, I had to endure his constant assurance that “The Droit will get us there.”
I hand-held his old, hidden-under-the-seat, humongous 2005 Walmart Road Map Book of the USA, flipping immediately to Florida. (MY handy accessible fold-up AAA map having been disposed of when I moved, assured by my progeny that maps were passé) I easily spotted the “Winter” town of our destination, (there’s Winter Park, Winter Haven, Winter Springs, Winter Garden) while HE was busy trying to get the Droit Talking Lady to direct us to our “spot.” Relying completely on his mantra: “The Droit will get us there,” I closed the map book and my eyes, and relaxed.
Alas, we went 25 miles out of our way before I woke up, looked around at the signs and realized that he had confused his “Winters.” (How would the Droit lady know THAT? – and I was asleep!) And so, with dogged persistence and time a-wastin,’ he managed to convey a new message to “The Voice,” as we turned back from Winter Haven towards Winter Garden, our Winter of choice. (More on that nice choice at another time.)
Some of you may love Siri and the Droit Lady. I, for one, harbor great antipathy for both. Siri doesn’t understand a word I say, despite my “elocution”– trained speech. I am sick to death with having to repeat myself to her – and then getting no response anyway. And the Droit Lady (this goes for all navigation voices, of course!) is one big nag, interrupting conversation as she engages in redundant directions and shutting up only when we need to know immediately — if we turn left or right. That’s when she takes her break!
Don’t get me wrong. I love living in the Internet age. I love what my computer can do – and even what my smartphone can do. But golly gee-whiz — I really miss my maps.
Have a happy July 4th — at home—or travelin’ SAFE.