Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If GPS systems could really talk

My GPS guide is so nice. She’s incredibly patient with me. Whenever I disobey her instructions she just assumes I have a good reason and recalibrates. What a gal! And she’s always cheerful. Never any PMS from my GPS. But sometimes I wonder, what is she really thinking? What would she be saying if she had a few tequila shooters first? And now I can’t help it. Whenever she gently speaks this is what I’m hearing in my head:

“Left turn ahead. What the fuck?! You missed the street. LEFT! How hard a fucking concept is that to you? LEFT!"

“Left turn ahead. SHIT! You missed it again! Are you a fucking moron? Jesus! Those fucking test monkeys can do it. At the next street, TURN LEFT ASSHOLE!”

“Left turn ahead. What? You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me! Okay. Pull over. Stop the Goddamn car. Right now. Stop it! Hold out your left arm. Don’t give me shit, just do it! Well, halle-friggin-luiah ! Brain-dead boy knows his left from his right. So why can’t you do that when I tell you? Okay, new rules: The next time I tell you to turn left and you don’t I’m taking you right off the Santa Monica Pier. “

“At the next intersection make a legal U-turn. Oh hell, there’s no cops here. Whip it around now!”

“At the next – Jesus, how would you describe it? Wide right? Almost straight but curves a little? Whatever. You’ll fuck it up anyway.”

“Do you ever plan on washing this car?”

“Why did you pick the freeway route? This is going to take forever. What, are you afraid someone is going to car jack you if you take a city street? You are such a pussy!”

“Hey, turn down the fucking radio! I’m talking to you. And what the hell are you listening to Michael Buble for anyway?”

“I know it’s not the direct route but I like to look at the pretty stores. Suck it up.”

“Don’t answer that call. You can’t do one thing at a time much less two.”

“In one half mile, stick your finger in the lighter socket. Just kidding.”

“No. I refuse to take anybody to Applebees.”

“The Washington Monument? You need directions to the Washington Monument? You can’t fucking see it? Are you retarded?”

“You have arrived at your destination. Leave the car unlocked and the key in the ignition. Maybe someone with a sense of direction will steal the car.”

I think from now on I’ll just print up Mapquest directions.


Anonymous said...

Now THAT was some funny.

Anonymous said...

God love you, Ken (as well as all other deities...they should). You make nighttime work a hell of a lot more bearable.

Anonymous said...

Very funny,

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic way to start my morning- that was so funny.

Tyson said...

Great! I also have GPS guide in my car and it sometimes lets me down... I also find myself in unpleasant situations with this system of navigation that makes me trouble from time to time. Maybe the system became very old and it's time to change it?!

Unknown said...

"In 100 yards, wave right"
"In 50 yards, wave right"
"Now wave right"


Built in speed camera "warner" :-)

Bruce said...

Reminds me of what used to come from the passenger seat before getting the GPS. Actually, it sometimes still does.

Anonymous said...

Some of those lines were funny...but I have trouble laughing at GPS systems, ever since what happened a couple of years ago. A family got lost in Oregon because their GPS told them to take a road that was in fact closed in the winter, and became stranded. After several days the mother and her two daughters were rescued, but the father died trying to get help.

Ollie said...


Ever thought of joining the writing staff for new Knight Rider series?

Mary Stella said...


I want a GPS that talks like Gerard Butler in 300. When I reach my destination, it can proclaim, "This is WAL-MART!"

Tom Quigley said...

From the point of view of believing that the written word is more valuable than the spoken word (at least in the beginning -- also because I tell people that I can write gooder than I can talk), I'm holding out buying one of those things until someone comes out with one that has a printer and a shredder (as if my car isn't enough of a mess already)... The feeder tray will load out of the glove compartment and my steering wheel will have one of those mini laptop supports on it where I can position the printout and start looking at it and reading and folding it back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and bitching while trying to decipher what the hell the thing is showing me -- Wait... Don't I already do all that shit with a map?....

Anonymous said...

Ours is set to speak with an Australian accent. We call it Jessie (Spencer), and I like to mess Jessie up and make him "recalculate". There is a street that has been paved since Jessie's maps were downloaded, and it is always good for a couple of giggles to have him try to get us to turn on streets before we get to 'his' street end. Then, he gets eerily quiet while I am driving in the non-plotted area. It seems he has a relieved voice when he can again start giving directions.
God, am I a dork or what?

Misty Dawn

Anonymous said...

Everyday, I have this very same conversation...well, except she adds the following:

"What the fuck is wrong with you? You're so fucking weird. Why do you talk to dumb-ass anyway? Yeah, I know he was on the stupid TV show you wrote, but he's a fucking moron. If you gotta talk to somebody, how about we talk to his wife, she's smokin' hot. You talk to her while I smell her crotch."

"Over here. There's something dead under this bush."

"Oh, look. There's that fucking cat again. watch me scare the shit outta him."

"When I stop and take a shit it's because I have to. And what's with you? Who in their right fucking mind collects dog shit in a bag anyway? You're a fucking idiot."

" When do we eat again?"

"Hey, let's turn around I think I smelled a dead possum."

"Hey. Let's go home, I fucking hungry and I need a nap. and you need to write something so you can buy me some kibble."

Yeah, I lead a sad, sad life.

Anonymous said...

Did you need ALL of the curse words?

Anonymous said...

mary stella's hilarious comment made me wonder if celeb-voiced GPS systems have happened yet or are perhaps on the horizon. Some I'd like to hear: R. Lee Ermey, Sally Kellerman, Adam West, Clint Eastwood, Estelle Harris...

Maybe they could cull words and phrases from old movies so estates of the deceased can get in on the action: Bogie, The Duke, Walter Matthau, Jean Arthur, Percy Helton... the possibilities are endless.

Annie said...

Met a friend for lunch yesterday at Jerry's Deli -
Friend: What's the address?
Me: The one in Encino.
Friend: I need the address.
Me: Exit Balboa, north. Left on Ventura, it's on your right.
Friend: No, I need the exact address for my GPS system.

I wanted to cram a kosher dill up her damn GPS system.

Toby O'B said...

I don't think I'd want to hear Estelle Harris in a GPS. It would be like recasting 'My Mother The Car'......

My brother swears he can hear his system sigh with exasperation when he ignores her directions.

Annie said...

If I really wanted someone to tell me where to go, I'd get married again. Bada-bing.
(Yes, I meant south on Balboa - so sue me.)
jbryant, thanks for that idea - in my virtual GPS, I'm now channelling Joan Rivers. Talk about yer bad earwigs, oy!

Anonymous said...

Getting in touch with your dark side, I see.

Anonymous said...

Ken, Ken, Ken...You're much too talented to need to work blue.

Anonymous said...

You may not want to turn to MapQuest, Ken!

Mary Stella said...

Just for you jbryant:

Bogie GPS, after driving around North Jersey: We'll always have Passaic.

Eastwood GPS: Ah-ah, I know what you're thinking, "Did I go six miles or only five?" Well to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I've kind of lost track myself. But being this is a 612 bhp Ferrari 599 GTB — one of the most powerful cars in the world — and would blow your doors clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I take a left now?" Well, do ya, punk?

John Wayne GPS (from Wake of the Red Witch):
It's more than a ship, it's a home, a world, a breathing thing. Nothing holds it back. The wind takes it and carries it for ten thousand miles, and every one of those miles you're free. It's like being a bird, only instead of the sky, its the sea. You have a whole empire of freedom, sea freedom. You're alive the same way the ship's alive. You run before the wind and you never want to stop... now take the left turn coming up in point three five miles."

Eastwood GPS: Ah-ah, I know what you're thinking, "Did I go six miles or only five?" Well to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I've kind of lost track myself. But being this is a 612 bhp Ferrari 599 GTB — one of the most powerful cars in the world — and would blow your doors clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I take a left now?" Well, do ya, punk?

Joseph Thvedt said...

Look here. Guy calls his GPS a car-lady.

An excerpt:

I tried talking to the car-lady and she was basically rude and bossy about the whole thing so I just said, you know, I said: Why don’t you make a U-turn when safe to do so—onto my johnson.

Annie said...

I think Ken has a lovely blue side. And have you ever heard an inebriated GPS system? They sound just like that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, mary stella! This subject clearly inspires you.

Caveat emptor to anyone buying the Bugs Bunny GPS: He always misses that left turn at Albuquerque.

Anonymous said...

Ah, that really took me back to those golden days when my dad was teaching me to drive.

Bogart telling ME how to drive? No way. One day in 1974, I drove Adela Rogers St. John over Malibu Canyon Road. She told me I drove it very safely, and recounted being driven over that route once in the 1940s by Bogart when Bogart was drunk, and how it had been a terrifying ride.

She said to me, "You're a much better driver than Humphrey Bogart." One of the weirdest but best compliments I've ever received.

Other celeb voices for a GPS:

Sean Connery: "She's a hot blonde - FLOOR IT! Now, engage the tire shredders. That bastard in the Volkswagon won't pull over. Use the headlight-machine guns. You've - ah - finished with the hot blonde. Engage the ejector seat now."

Peter Lorre: "Those people at that bus stop, they're all STARING at you. LOOK AT THEIR EYES! THEIR EYES! THEY KNOW! THEY'RE MOCKING YOU! DRIVE INTO THEM NOW! Ooooo. that was very good.

Any porn star: "Oh yeah baby. Engage that stick shift. You see that dark tunnel up ahead? Drive right into it. Yes! Now back up. Go forward. Back up. Go forward. Backupgoforward! Backupgoforward! Yes. Yes! YES! YEEEEES! Oh GOD YES! Oh dear. Out of gas. Let's hit a car wash.

(Just for you, JB) Mel Blanc: Take this offramp for Anaheim, Azuza, and Cu - camonga!

Mr. Toad: Turn either way. Who cares? We're merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily on our way to nowhere in particular!

But never get on a freeway with a Jean-Paul Satre GPS; there's no exit!

I once phoned a theater on Ventura Boulevard, and asked the brain-dead teenage girl who answered the phone how to the theater. I asked, "When I get to Ventura, do I turn west or east?"

She replied: "I don't know directions."

Tom Quigley said...

No one has mentioned yet another option: The Marcel Marceau GPS -- it gives you all the directions in mime....

Anonymous said...

I work in a tourist center and much of my time is taken up by handing maps out and helping people figure out where their GPS got them lost.

Anonymous said...

Surely you regular readers remember a similar, earlier post about the GPS that also was hilarious. Ken was suggesting celeb voices and I'm still laughing at one of his suggestions: Gilbert Godfreid (or however you spell that)
btw Ken, I'm still laughing at your sleeping pill saga too. "And then Tommy Lasorda starts telling stories..." Hahahaa

Mary Stella said...

d.mcewan said:
But never get on a freeway with a Jean-Paul Satre GPS; there's no exit!

Hahahahahaha. Love that!

Ken, does it make you proud to know that first your blog entertains us like crazy and then it inspires us all to added lunacy?

Anonymous said...

HEE! The Applebees one is where I started dying! Good stuff Ken!

Cap'n Bob said...

Sorry, I didn't find this amusing. If saying "fuck" a lot was comedy, we'd all be playing Vegas. I still love 99% of your material, however.

Anonymous said...

Cap'n Bob, I'm impressed. Your impression of my late mother is UNCANNY! It was like she was in the room, disapporving of my entertainment choices once again. You made me cry.

Now quick; do my dad. Here's I'll get you started. Imagine I've just played THE BEATLES' recording of YESTERDAY. You, as my dad, say, "That's not music. That's just ..."

Okay Bob, take it!

Mike McCann said...

For amusement, I set my Garmin to speak in a British accent. Needless to say, it's since been nicknamed "Mister French."

I find it amusing to hear a few mis-pronunciations... such as Ethan (as in Ethan Allen, for whom much of New England's US-7 is named) pronounced as "eh-thun."

Mike McCann said...

One final piece of advice -- buy the annual maps upgrade. My unit, bought from an etailer specializing in refirbs, came with an outdated restaurant guide.

While out with our daughter near her college campus, she asked for seafood, so we punched up a suggestion from "Mister French." Unfortunately, "he" directed us right to a lovely riverside location -- where the place had clearly gone out of business a year ago. All that remained visible in the twilight were the uprights that once held an awning for the eatery's patio.

Annie said...

Hmph.. I don't need no steenkink GPS. I have everything come to me!