Thursday, March 28, 2013
For those who don't know, G.P.S. stands for God-Please-Save-me-I'm-hopelessly-lost-and-really-really-hate-when-that-happens. Four years ago, my son and I flew to Boston and rented a car for the 2.5 hour drive to White River Junction, VT. We were there to scope out Ben's future school, the Center for Cartoon Studies. I rented a G.P.S. unit for the drive, which proved to be crucial. Greta (name I gave to the G.P.S. lady voice) did an excellent job getting us to Vermont and back to Boston. We ticked her off once when we made a diversion in search of a latte, but she got over it in true mechanical fashion ("Recalculate!"). Ben was a great co-pilot and calming force. Without him and Greta, we would still be lost in a tunnel somewhere in the bowels of Boston. A few months later, we moved Ben to school. Rick, Ben, Molly and I retraced the previous trip with a borrowed G.P.S. unit. This time, the unit had a dude's voice, which I christened Gaston (I decided he was French Canadian, even though he had no discernible accent). We made it safely to Vermont without getting lost. Getting back to the Boston car rental location, however, was my driving nightmare come to life. Apparently, we took the wrong exit from a Boston bridge. Gaston seemed confused, but insisted that we were the dumbasses. We drove in circles for an hour, and passed through both sides of a toll road. I was hyperventilating and on the verge of tears, with my fingers imbedded in the door armrest, when Gaston finally got his act together. I wanted to kiss the ground when the car finally stopped, but was too embarrassed. Plus I didn’t want gravel stuck to my lips. I sent a mental thank you to the G.P.S. gods, and will hire Greta next time. And to Gaston - You have been banned from Boston, Vermont, and all points in between. Au revoir.