I find myself fascinated with the technology in my car, particularly Map Lady. I have never seen her, but, undoubtedly, she is a very smart person who rarely makes a mistake, and I can’t help but wonder why. After all, she’s helping hundreds of people at the same time. I’ll be driving down the road, on my way to Nowhere Important and she directs me mile by mile and tells me to turn, stop, and how many minutes until I reach my final destination and then kindly reminds me that I have arrived just in case I fell behind while following her step-by-step directions. She has never told me to speed up and race through a red light or to slow down because a policeman is three cars behind me. These might be things to look into.

If I stop for gas or another errand, she gets a little cranky, saying “recalculating,” which is a euphemism for “turn the heck around, you missed your turn, Dummy.” The only time she erred was when she tried to take me across railroad tracks, except there was no road across the tracks and I would have ended up at some guy’s back yard. She did a lot of recalculating, but I never found the road. She must have thought I was on a safari and could drive helter-skelter across the wilds. Of course, I was in rural Idaho and many people drive helter-skelter, ignoring things like red lights, caution signs, and often offering the “You’re number one” salute.

I like her and what she does, but I think that her usefulness could be expanded, and I hope some smart person can take my ideas and run with them. For example, Costco. Wouldn’t it be grand to have Map Lady direct me from one food item to the other? “Olives: turn right at next intersection.” “You already passed the Cheerios. Go back two yards.” And tell me what samples were offered at which aisles. Now that would be a great idea. It would make for such an easy trip, and I undoubtedly would save a lot of money, not grabbing an extra gallon of peanut butter/macadamia nut syrup or a 55-gallon drum of virgin olive oil with added vinegar. I could save myself hundreds of dollars and valuable minutes on my shopping trip.

She could be useful in other things, too, for instance, online dating. Having checked out the online dating scene (research only, mind you), Map Lady, who might be renamed “Watch Dog,” would see the prickly paths ahead and inform me about someone who might want to be my one-and-only saying, “Recalculating. Go back. This one’s not for you.” Or “Speed up, Gail, this one’s looking mighty good.” Or “Stop, look, and listen. You’re going the wrong way on a one-way street.” Or “Ooh-la-la, go faster, Girl.” Talk about a useful feature!

It just seems to me that the Map Lady concept is being underused and might really help get me through life in my 75-year-old status. I need someone to keep me on track and let me know if there’s trouble ahead or if that 75-year-old stud seated on a pile of money in a blurry picture is really a recluse, living in a run-down trailer, eating squirrel stew, fantasizing about someone who looks like me.

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