Saturday, June 15, 2013

How to Get From Here to There

I've been thinking.  Get that look off your face...this won't require a helmet or flak jacket.  At least I don't think so.  So, here's the thing.  I was headed to the airport the other day, so I dug out my GPS (just to make sure I didn't get lost), punched in the address, and took off.  A pleasant, female voice with a British accent instructed me to turn "left" here, then "right" there, and I managed to make it to my destination without any difficulty or delay.  This is the part where I started to think.  It seemed a little "wrong" somehow that this nice British lady was advising me on travel in Arkansas...I somehow doubt that that perfectly proper English accent has ever visited the Arkansas countryside, let alone driven a big, honkin' SUV on the right side of the road while spitting sunflower seed hulls out of the window.  Just saying.

So, on the way home I tested out the other voices available on the menu, immediately discarding the possibility of using the male voices...I mean, after all, what woman really wants another man telling her how to drive?  Yeah, that's what I thought too. The only remaining option was a female voice with an American accent that was so monotonous that she could probably put me to sleep in less time that it took to switch back to the British lady. 

So, I thought a little more.  What did I really want from my GPS?  All things considered, its just a little machine that you lick and stick on the windshield, and off you go, right?  Right.  But again, that little wiggly worm of a thought kept bugging me...and then it hit me.  What I really want is someone who sounds like me, talks like me, thinks like me to tell me how to get from here to there or anywhere in between.  Think about it.  You turn on your GPS, enter the address, hit "Go," and a voice akin to that of Jeff Foxworthy or maybe Trace Adkins or Blake Shelton fills the vehicle with directional advice, Southern-style. 

Think about it...not only that sweet Southern accent that is music to my ears, but also directions given the way we Southerners give 'em.  In case you were born north of the Mason-Dixon line and don't have any idea whatsoever as to what I'm talking about, let me explain.  We don't say, "Go five miles east on Hwy. 22, then turn left on Hwy. 109; drive 2.7 miles, and your destination will be on the right."  That's just not the way we talk. 

So, my SoCo (Southern Comfort-nice name, don't you think?) GPS smooth country voice would give those same directions like this:  "Well now, y'all head on down the highway towards the east like you goin' to the Co-op, but don't turn there.  Go on past a ways until ya see the Outpost...if ya hungry, stop in there and git ya self a burger and visit awhile; the food's some kind of good, and the help is friendly.  If ya not hungry, turn left on the road just before ya git to the Outpost.  Head on out there a ways; go on past the big church on the right; keep on goin' and y'all gonna go over a couple of big hills.  After that, the road is pretty flat but purty curvy, so watch for those big ole 18-wheelers.  Keep goin' 'til ya pass the chicken houses on the right, then look for the big ole oak tree on the right...turn right on the second road past the oak tree, and you'll be there!"

I admit that some of you people who are always in a hurry might go a little crazy listening to this type of directional advice and develop a sudden case of road rage or perhaps a strong desire to hurl your SoCo GPS out the window.  However, for those of us who have been listening since birth to directions be given this way, we know exactly what that GPS voice is telling us to do because we now have a mental image of what this trip looks like. 

Furthermore, I assert that the SoCo GPS would be a good choice for women.  Why is that, you ask.  Well, let me tell you, even though I may offend some of you.  I have observed the fact that women overall have difficulty judging distance.  Now don't get all huffy and write nasty comments to me.  Think about's really not any woman's fault.  After all, as most of you are probably aware, men have been telling women since the beginning of time that this "--------------------------------" is six inches.  So telling us to turn right in 100 feet is rather meaningless, especially if there are multiple places in close approximation in which to turn.  See my point?

The SoCo GPS will probably be carried in stock by the Co-op or farm supply stores.  I can even see myself camping out early on Black Friday in front of the Co-op or the local farm supply store to get one of those babies for myself. to get me one of these!  I'm thinking that I would probably be the coolest redneck around, being told how to get anywhere by say, Toby Keith.

I definitely see a market for this innovative and greatly needed product, even if some folks might place the SoCo GPS in the same category as Billy the Singing Bass.  Not that I would ever admit to having one of those.

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