Thursday, October 04, 2012

And let me give you a foot rub when we stop at the next light

So, several years ago, my parents gave us their old Alice. She immediately guided us around rural  Maine in 11-mile increments.

And this is tangential, but Maine, beautiful Maine! Here are some pretty pictures of our time there.

Anyway, Alice. She changed our lives. Mine more than Nick's, but he loved her immediately as well.

I've always been severely directionally challenged, and with Alice leading the way I was no longer all stressed out every time I had to drive somewhere new all by myself. I could just get in the car and go! And get to my destination!

She was patient, she was kind. She did not envy, nor boast; she was not proud...I won't go so far as to say that she madeth us to lay down in green pastures, because, let's face it, she wasn't God. But she was awesome.

Rather than telling us we were idiots, she'd firmly say, "Recalculating!" when we didn't follow her directions. And then one day, her face froze. You know how when you were little and you'd grimace and your parents would warn you that your face might freeze like that?

Well, that's precisely what happened to our Alice. I got her unfrozen, but it was brief.

And while we loved her honestly and truly, we promptly set her aside and bought a new Alice. She was a little fancier, but basically the same. 

So we had a number of years of one Alice and then another. And then a couple weeks ago, I was in a friend's car. She had the same Garmin as us, but hers was Ken. Ken the Australian.

I'm not actually one for Australian accents, but Ken has a nice voice. He's soothing. And polite. 

You basically hear, "In five miles, turn left. You look beautiful in those sweatpants. Can I get you a drink?"

He took us to Virginia and back. By the time she dropped me at home, I wanted my own Ken.

I may be patient and kind as well, but let's not pretend I'm above envy. I had Ken envy.

Thus with a couple menu options, I performed international gender bending, and Alice became Ken (who, in the Garmin menu, is named Lee). A scant few days later, Ken guided us smoothly to Charlottesville and back.

I was worried that Nick might get jealous, because you know, Ken is so smooth. And foreign. He basically whispers sweet nothings in my ear in the guise of directions.

Nick, however, immediately viewed Ken as a pal, a friend for the road, and a delightful excuse to throw Australianisms around. Ken would give an instruction, Nick would execute it, and then be all, "Good on you, mate!" Or, "Throw a shrimp on the barbie!"

And then when we reached our destination, Nick trumpeted,"Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!"

Which, actually, we wish Ken would say at the end of a trip. Right after he pours me a glass of Shiraz.


  1. Alice needed to visit her younger sister Siri.They are sipping Shiraz. Ken sounds nice but he needs to be a bit nicer to Barbie and not throw shrimp on her. I'll have to try him out ;) and see what he sounds like saying 'recalculating' Does he get that exasperated sound after 16 times?
    BTW, we dont use these gadgets in North Dakota. You drive for three days here and turn left and you are at your destination.

    1. Oh, Lynn, I love you! Alice and Siri sipping Shiraz! Drive for three days and turn left!

  2. Haha! I've used the female version of Ken. I love that accent too. Only problem is, when she's telling me to get on a state highway, she thinks WA is pronounced "Western Australia". Took us a while to figure out what the hell she was talking about.

    1. I LOVE that! Get on Western Australia Route 7! Awesome!

  3. my favorite thing about my nav is that i can have Burt Reynolds telling me where to go. it's heaven. (also have the options of Dennis Hopper & Mr T - but he tends to be very curt and suddenly yell "TURN LEFT!")

    1. Seriously? Where did you get this?? I love the idea! Except Mr. T. He would startle me too much.

  4. This post and the comments made me smile and laugh after a long, hard day.

    I'm not above envy either, and don't have Alice or Ken. I would even settle for Mr T.

  5. Interesting idea, a Shiraz dispensing guide, that would drop a glass of wine upon arrival and shutting off the car.

  6. This entire post made me smile. Thanks for that! :)


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