Monday, February 28, 2011

GPS Makes People Stupid

And that includes me.

We’ve all read about the morons who turn onto a train track because they’re intently following a GPS that hasn’t been updated. And we’ve probably all laughed at the episode of The Office when Michael and Dwight plunge into a lake while following their GPS’s instructions. Plus there's nothing more annoying than people fiddling with a GPS and pressing all kinds of buttons while they’re supposed to be driving.

In fact, one of this blog’s followers had a dumb GPS moment. While I'm ever discreet and won’t reveal names, this particular friend was so obsessed with his/her Tom Tom that s/he once drove to the wrong town for a job interview, even though s/he KNEW what city the interview was in. When s/he arrived to the mistaken locale, tumbleweeds were blowing across the dusty street and whistling wind could be heard all around. His/her answer: “Tom Tom told me to come here!”

I myself once scoffed at owning a GPS, a feeling that was compounded by the horrible mishap of driving home from Long Beach Island, NJ, for FOUR hours with a borrowed GPS set to the voices of Beavis and Butthead. Do you know irritating it is to make a wrong turn and hear “You’re going the wrong way, dumbass. Hehehehe”?

Eventually I broke down and am now the proud owner of a Magellan (we’ll call it Madge). I don’t usually use it, but this past weekend I put it on while taking a different route than usual to my father’s house. While approaching a traffic light I heard the GPS demand that I make a right turn. As my brain had already settled into a low-functioning state while I let Madge do all the work, I blindly made the turn. Not two seconds later, I saw the bright, intrusive flickering lights of a cop car on the prowl.

The worst part? It was a female cop and my charms, or what remain of them, had no impact on her. She was large, in charge, and pissed off. Sauntering up to my window with her hands on her abundant hips and her black hair pulled into a fierce, angry ponytail, she barked whether or not I knew what I’d done wrong.

“Ummm, no” I said, making matters worse. “You made an illegal right turn. There were TWO green arrows pointing left AND a sign,” she said, before stalking off to write me a ticket. I glared at my GPS while I waited for her to come back and toss the ticket into my hand. I then followed Madge’s instructions down through a loop until suddenly I realized I was back at the same fartin traffic light.

“Don’t do it again!” warned my brother, from the passenger seat.

“WTF?!” I shouted looking at Madge closely. That’s when I realized that the right turn the device was telling me to make was in 1.7 miles, not at the immediate light. No wonder I’d made an illegal turn. Thanks for thinking ahead Madge, but NO thanks. As I approached the light, it turned yellow and I sped through it.

“You’re gonna get another ticket!” my brother shouted.

But alas, I didn’t. I arrived at my destination where my father, a police officer, had to hear about the latest in my string of traffic violations dating back to the time I first got my license. My only defense: “But at least this time I wasn’t speeding!” So let this be a lesson to you all. Screw all the Tom Toms and Madges and electronic guiding devices you're using and instead of being their slave Engage. Your. Brain.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Give Me a T-Shield!

Did anyone else think the 2011 Super Bowl was boring? Maybe I’m an unfair critic, as I’m not particularly fond of football. Even when I am a fairweather fan, I only really like New York teams. But this year, I can barely recollect one funny commercial let alone a play that made me gasp or jump up and clap. Is this why people turn to betting? To inject some adrenaline into things?

Admittedly I’m a poor excuse for a sports fanatic. I was kicked out of ballet class at age 5 because I made up my own routine during a recital that consisted of leaping across the stage while kicking my own butt. Other unfortunate displays of athletic ability followed throughout my childhood (picture a 5 ft 7 in 90 pound gangly dork with braces and a mullet swingin' and a missin' every ball that came her way!). As for watching sports, with the exception of a live baseball game or two, and a cool experience attending a live World Cup qualifier game in Scotland in 1998, I steer clear of viewing sports events on television because I find them boring.

But I watch the Super Bowl for several reasons: 1) to throw my diet to the wind and eat an obscene amount of comfort food washed down with nice beer; 2) to watch the commercials; 3) to see if the pre, opening, or half time acts are entertaining.

This year only number one satisfied my needs. The commercials were lame (except the strange Doritos commercial in which a guy licks Doritos remnants off someone’s finger and then off a pair of pants – disturbing yet fascinating). And as for the half time show, all I have to say is @Fergie: FYI, please don’t sing a Guns N’ Roses song again! Slash couldn’t save you and even looked mildly disturbed at you gyrating against him as he tried to play. I did a better rendition of Axl while doing karaoke  three sheets to the wind at my 32nd birthday party!

Anyway, all of this got me thinking about Nipplegate: the infamous Janet Jackson boob horror (and the nip-shield she donned). That’s precisely what the ‘bowl was missing! Some boobage! Screw the subsequent outcry across America against the evil of all evils: the exposure of a woman’s body. F the innocent children who were forced to see the spine chilling boob in all of its glory (despite the fact that, as children, it was in their face feeding them for the first months of their lives). And yes, of course I know that a boob is far more dangerous than the abundance of guns and violence we have on television. When you think about it, boobs could, if left to their owner’s devices, rule the world. Call me Canadian (only about 50 complained about the 2004 half time show), but instead of a demure Christina Aguilera in a tacky dress suit and the Tronned up Black Eyed Peas, I say we listen to Justin Timberlake (the accomplice) and next year, Bring Boobies Back.