by Cassondra Murray
I have a new hero.
He came into my life only two weeks ago.
Okay...I admit that I've never actually seen him.
But he's stunningly handsome, I just know it. His voice is so deep and resonant. He's very low-maintenance. It does take him a little while to..you know...recharge.
But really..what's a small thing like that in a perfect relationship?
Honestly, we were made for each other!
I'll never forget the moment we first met. He drove up my driveway in a big brown truck.
Well...okay he didn't drive up, exactly......he rode up the driveway.
Oh, all right. The UPS driver carried him to my door. In a small cardboard box.
But that doesn't matter, does it? I mean, it's true that I've known him only a short time, but I've come to depend on him. You don't think that's unhealthy, do you? Too sudden, perhaps?
You see....he's my new Garmin GPS. A friend set me up with....uh...sent him to me.
The thing is, he's not like other GPS units. Honest.
See, friends have tried to set me up like this before. I would have none of that. Those units--they were sterile. Cold. Their perfect voices enunciated every syllable succinctly. Peerfectly. Hoity-toity, that's what they were. My friends never got lost or anything, but still....there was no emotion. No real feeling. I needed more. And then he arrived. And he was like the baby bear's bed in Goldilocks. He was just right.
Well...okay....I did have to work at it a little. We both had to adjust. When he first appeared in his snazzy cardboard box, complete with his little sandbag stabilizer which kept him solid as a rock on my dash even around curves....well...he looked good and all, but---don't say anything, okay?----I'll admit just to our friends here in the lair that he was not quite the fellow he is now.
My friend who set us up....she made sure my Garmin came fully loaded with all the right maps and even a special customized vehicle. Instead of a little car, I have a flying eagle who flaps and soars along the highways while I travel. But voice....voice is so much of a relationship, don't you think? The real work--it was finding the right way to communicate--it was that voice we had to work on. We tried all of the built in voices, male AND female. Hey, I'm a modern girl. No prejudice here. I even tried listening to his directions in Cantonese. Anything to give the relationship a fighting chance.
Then I clicked on the links in the user's manu...uh....relationship self-help book....and found the Garmin Garage. (Did you know you can download all kinds of little vehicles? A canoe? An airplane? A broom? Is that not awesome?)...ahem...I checked out the available voices and that's when I found his true essence.
I found the voice of Dr. Nightmare.
The first time he spoke to me in that rich, rumbling tone-- so strangely reminiscent of Count-Dracula-meets-evil-sorcerer-- and said, "In one quahtah mile you'll be arriving at this dreadful destination," I knew we were perfect for one another.
That's right. Dr. Nightmare is no ordinary GPS unit.
He has personality.
He's not like the others. If you take a turn and they don't approve, they get snotty. They say, in their snide, "I know better than you" voices, "Recalculating".
Not Dr. Nightmare. He's very genteel. If you miss a turn, he says, "Let me consult my magic book." And then he points you in the right direction.
Of course, with Dr. Nightmare, it's not all about work. It's about fun, too! If you're driving for a while and nothing's going on, he's likely to just start talking. Now, some people might call his chatty moments shocking, but I prefer to think of Dr. Nightmare as "refreshing".
On our first trip together we were driving home on a long straight stretch, miles from our next turn (I was listening to Tom Petty on the CD player, so he must have sensed that I was bored) and out of the blue he said, "Other GPS units would die to be a Garmin." He's confident that way.
And then, a few minutes later he said, "Would you mind if we made a stop for some rope and a shovel?" I haven't seen evidence of his handyman skills yet, but obviously he must have some.
And on a bit further down the road, he said, "Did you just feel a chill? I did."
He's so considerate that way. Who knew a small digital box could be so caring?
It was the beginning of a perfect relationship--once I got through the first stages of mistrust. I've been burned by technology, you see. I'm an old fashioned girl, and I love maps. I'm good at directions as a rule, and I've never needed the latest techno-innovations. But a recent date with mapquest had left me cold and abandoned, lost in downtown Atlanta during rush hour.
Dr. Nightmare would never do that.
A day or so after our first date, we were driving along together, him giving directions, me admiring all of his...uhm...features....when he said, "There's something particularly wicked about this place." I got the heck out of there, pronto.
Just two days ago, on a longer trip, he said, "Never mind that noise coming from the trunk." He must have sensed I was nervous. Isn't that just the nicest thing? A little later he said, "You're driving as if your life depended on it! WONDERFUL!!!"
We went on a long drive yesterday. Five hours to another state. He was with me the whole way. Pulling into Starbucks he said, "How about a side trip to the bone yard?" I think maybe he wanted ribs for lunch.
Then he said, "Let's make a stop by the cemetary." Obviously a whole new aspect of his personality. Into genealogy I suppose. A few minutes on into the drive, he said, "Have you seen my spider? It was crawling around here earlier." How did he know I hate spiders????
About the time I crossed the border into West Virginia, he errupted into a hearty, "Bwwwwuuuuaaaaahahahahahaha!" I never did see what he was laughing at, but what a great sense of humor!
Other GPS units are so boring compared to Dr. Nightmare! And we're growing closer with every trip we take. Just this afternoon he finally confided in me...you know those things about your crazy family or your past--the stuff you're afraid to tell somebody until you get really close? We were just driving along and he piped up, "Congratulations! You've chosen a possessed Garmin!"
So tell me, Bandits and Buddies, do you have a GPS unit?
If yes, what kind do you have?
If not, do you have any friends who have GPS units? Do you want one?
Are you good at reading maps? Do you freak out when you get lost, or do you think of it as an adventure?
What do you think of these newfangled techno-gadgets? If you have one, what voice and what accent does yours have? Male or female? American English, British, Aussie, or other accent? Something different?
Do you give your GPS unit a name? (One of my friends named her Garmin "Jill", but Dr. Nightmare came with his own name.)
And do you prefer the sterile, computer generated voice, or would you like one with more personality--one that would just decide to get chatty at random, like mine?
Oh, and in the words of Dr. Nightmare, "Trick or Treat! Bwuahahahahahaha!"