You know how, on the back of any piece of electronic equipment, there will be a little sticker saying what company made it? Well, on the back of our GPS, it should say, “Made by Satan.”
Our GPS is possessed by an evil spirit. She constantly punks us, just for the fun of it. She entertains herself at our expense, just to watch us sweat. I swear I’ve heard the word “suckers” during her convoluted directions.
Recently, we were invited to the wedding of Biff and Kate up in Wyckoff. Biff is one of our sons’ good friends, and Donnie, our youngest, was a groomsman.
I had it planned perfectly. The directions said it would take 90 minutes to get to the church for the ceremony, which started at 3:30 p.m. So I figured, due to our track record of getting lost at inopportune times, AND owning a GPS that is possessed, if we left the house by 1 p.m. we would have enough time to find the church. Plus, I wanted to be there early just in case Terri, the mother of the groom, needed me for anything.
What is that saying about the best-laid plans? We left the house at 12:45 p.m., almost a full 3 hours before the wedding. There were several ways to get there, and we chose 287 North, which seemed to be the easiest way. “Seemed” is the operative word in that sentence.
We were cruising along, making good time when all of a sudden we saw a whole bunch of red taillights in front of us. An ominous sign. Shortly, we were at a standstill, along with half the population of North Jersey.
Four lanes of traffic merging into one lane, because a sewer grate had to be repaired. Forty minutes.
We traveled 2.2 miles in those 40 minutes. Our arrival time at the church went from 2:20 p.m. to 3 p.m. Isn’t your GPS supposed to give you a heads up about roadwork? Yeah, not ours. She suppresses information like that, just for kicks.
We finally reached the road repair area and, lo and behold, there was one guy calmly working on the sewer grate. One guy. With a cup of coffee on the road next to him and his headphones on, probably listening to the traffic report and laughing. I wanted to get out and kick his coffee into the median.
So we finally broke free of the traffic jam and George floored it. This in itself was unusual. George is normally that guy you curse at on the highway who drives in the far right lane, below the speed limit. Not that day. George became a NASCAR driver, weaving in and out of lanes and swearing like a sailor. In the almost 40 years that I’ve been acquainted with the man, I have never seen him drive like that.
We took the exit on two wheels and sped down winding roads (speed limit 25 mph). We were clocking in at about 50 MPH at this point. We finally skidded up to the church with 5 minutes to spare.
Fast-forward to the end of the reception. We bade goodbye to everyone and set out for home, planning on retracing the same route we took, hopefully minus Sewer Grate Dude. Unfortunately, we forgot to share our plans with the GPS.
She took us on the most circuitous route in existence. We ended up on the Garden State Parkway somehow. (I still don’t know how we got there. Even after looking on a map the next day.) Our GPS kept trying to get us onto Route 9 and we ignored her, so she annoyed us by stating directions (every 3 seconds) on how to make a U-turn and get onto Route 9.
George was shouting at her to shut up. She didn’t listen. Eventually he unplugged her, but I swear she was muttering “Route 9” under her breath even when I stuffed her in the glove compartment.
We had even printed out Google Maps directions, but we decided to trust the GPS. In hindsight, this was a bad call.
So. Anyone wanna buy a GPS? Cheap.