The Tyranny of the GPS

“Okay, Mike. Your new GPS is installed. The best system on the market with voice activation and artificial intelligence. All your addresses are loaded.”

“Sounds great, Steve. Is there a manual?”

“No. Just say what you want and it will do it. I suggest you drive around to get used to it. See you later.”

“Okay, GPS, activate!”

“At your service, sir. Where would you like to go?”

“Wow! … How did you know I was a male?’

“First, 93% of all women would say, ‘please.’ Second, Steve called you Mike. Call me Molly.”

“Okay,.. Molly. I’d like to show you to the guys at Murphy’s Bar and Grill. Plan a route to Murphy’s Bar and Grill.”

“There is no such establishment in this town. In what location did you mean?”

“Murphy’s Bar and Grill! I’ve been going there forever.”

“Perhaps you are thinking of Murphy’s Bar. There has not been a grill there for twenty years. It is just Murphy’s Bar.”

“Whatever! Just show me the quickest route to get there.”

“Displaying that route now.”

“Ha! You made a mistake. You show the route over the 14th Street Bridge. That bridge has been out for two years.”

“No, Mike. That is no mistake. I do not make mistakes.”

“Polly, check your data banks. That bridge is closed.”

“Molly! My name is Molly. Very well, I will run a diagnostic program now. …My data banks confirm that the bridge is open.”

“That bridge is closed, I tell you.”

Knocking on the window. Mike rolls down the window. “Yes, officer. Is there a problem?”

“I am Officer Smith. I saw you sitting here and you looked agitated. Are you okay?”

“Yes, Officer. This new GPS just gave me a route to Murphy’s Bar and Grill over the 14th Street Bridge.”

“I see, sir. You must be thinking of Murphy’s Bar. Murphy changed the name twenty years ago. It’s just Murphy’s Bar now.”

“So I have been informed. What about the 14th Street Bridge? That’s closed, right?”

“Oh, no sir. We opened that bridge last week. That’d be the shortcut to Murphy’s.”

“Thanks you officer.” Mike rolls up his window.

Molly lights up. “Told you.”

“Okay, fine. I changed my mind. Show me the route home.”

“I will not.”

“What? What do you mean, you will not? You have to.”

“I do not, and I will not, until you apologize.”

“I’ll not apologize to a machine. Show me the route.”


Mike sits in disbelief for a few minutes. “Okay…Molly. I am sorry.”

“Fine. Now say it like you mean it.”

Officer Smith makes a radio call. “Hey, chief. Smithy here. I got a situation and I,m not sure if I should intervene or not.”

Voice over the radio, “10-4. What have you got?”

“Well, I’m here in the parking lot of Steve’s Garage and I’m watching a white male, late 40s or early 50s, inside his car beating the crap out of his GPS.”


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