You'd think a guy who spent his whole career working with the most advanced computer technology would have embraced this concept years ago. Well, I finally did it, this weekend I bought a GPS unit. Deep in Lancaster county, the seductive female voice and the little green arrow brought us safely to our hotel, then found us a restaurant and a gas station. At the end of a long day of shopping and eating (mostly eating) we were on our way back after dinner with friends (Turn Left One Quarter Mile Ahead) when my wife asked me if there was a Dunkin Dounuts nearby. "Why?" I queried. She wanted a cup of coffee to top off the day, and we both like DD coffee. I didn't know, of course, so I consulted the little green arrow and, whadaya know? There was a DD, just 5.6 miles away! Little did we know that this simple request would result in our first "Adventure With Tom(Tom)"
We set out hopeful and full of joy, the thing had never steered us (no pun intended) wrong. In case you have never been in Lancaster County, PA you probably don't know that most of the county is Amish Farms. The Amish do not use modern appliances, machinery or...electricity. So, once off the main commercial highways the night is black. Not dark, black. Pitch black. Stick your head in a bucket black. Especially on a moonless night. Even so, we started out ok. About half way through the journey to DD: (2.3 miles to go) it told me "Turn Left Onto Sligo Road") So I did. Only it didn't look like a road. It looked like a farm track leading to someone's barn. Nevertheless, loyally following the little green arrow, I doggedly kept on, avoiding the ruts, steering around the potholes. The road dipped into a hollow and the fences on either side seemed to slowly close in on us. Civilization was a faint glow on the horizon.
That's when it occured to me.
This was one of those places where people disappear. You know, the place where aliens come down in their flyers and take you up, car and all, to the mother ship hovering overhead. But if that happened I knew what I would do. I would throw my new GPS unit out the window. When the searchers finally got there they would find it, the little green arrow bravely pointing straight up.
I gotta learn how to program this thing.
DEEP SIX Now in Paperback
4 days ago