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.