My Adventures with Maude

On the road trip I took with my mom last Thursday, I got the chance to use Maude for the first time. *Maude is my parents’ Garmin GPS. Maude is also Delusional, a lying bitch, or has a drug habit…possibly all three.

On Thursday, after attending Rachel Simon’s meet the author/book signing, my mom and I headed back to our hotel room. I had brought along my laptop because I  needed to work on the slide show honoring the Webelo 2’s who were bridging up to boy scouts. There was one problem though…I brought the laptop but forgot the charging cord and the battery life on this antiquated laptop isn’t worth shit. So, I decided to head out to the local Wal-Mart and get a replacement charging cord.

I hopped in the car, figured out how to get Maude to search for the closest Wal-Mart, and headed out. Maude’s directions to Wal-Mart were fairly simple. I only had to make three turns, one which was into the Wal-Mart parking lot. I made the turn onto the last road and Maude said “3.4 miles until Wal-Mart on left.” I was being a good driver and not looking down so I was just listening to Maude. I assumed Maude knew what she was talking about. Next I heard, “Turn left into Wal-Mart in .3 miles…turn left in .2 miles.”

I’m looking left and I don’t see any Wal-Mart.

“Arriving on Wal-Mart on left.”

I still don’t see any Wal-Mart. Wal-Marts are pretty damned big. Wal-Marts are pretty fucking hard to miss. I think that maybe Maude has messed up with the distance so I decided to go a bit farther. I crossed over the bridge and still no Wal-Mart on the left so I turned around.

“Recalculating…”

I turned back onto the road Wal-Mart was suppose to be on. Maude still insisted Wal-Mart was on the left…even though I was on the same road…going the opposite direction…Wal-Mart was still on the left. I call bullshit.

As I was approaching an intersection, Maude said “Turn left in .3miles.” I happened to glance left as I passed through the intersection…well, fuck me, there’s Wal-Mart. I needed to turn there not in .3 miles. I went forward to the next intersection,  turned around AGAIN and, as I turn around, Maude says, “Turn left into Wal-Mart in .3 miles.” What the fuck…this must be a magical Wal-Mart…bouncing from one side of the road to the next. Then, as I’m turning RIGHT into Wal-Mart and Maude’s map shows me turning right, Maude says, “Arriving at Wal-Mart on left.” Holy hell, Maude must be delusional, a lying bitch, or she’s been smoking crack.

The next day, we had multiple times that Maude insisted we were turning left while we were turning right and Maude’s map showed us we were turning right. Then, on the way to the temple of Ikea, Maude tries to take us through a dead end which butts up against a large ditch because Maude keeps insisting the road continues through there. After we turned around, Maude kept insisting we needed to reverse course and head back to the dead end and Maude didn’t believe the road we took to Ikea was really there and she showed us traveling through a great white expanse.

When we left Ikea, once we got onto roads that existed in the world of Maude, she did give us good directions to downtown Charlotte where we met my sister and dropped of my nieces. We left our meeting with my sister, entered my house as our final destination, and Maude gave us good directions back out to the highway. We made one of our last turns before reaching the highway, drove into a sort of valley, and Maude announced, “Recalculating.” Since the exact same directions popped back up, we figured Maude had temporarily lost her signal.

We got back on the highway without further drama. We were nearing the exit Maude had us take to Ikea earlier and Maude started telling us to get off the highway. Damn, when Maude was recalculating, she skipped backward to a much earlier set of directions. I reentered my home as our final destination. Maude still told us to take the next exit. That’s when the giggles hit both my mom and I. I asked my mom if she thought we should trust Maude…but, the obvious answer was no. We ignored Maude and kept driving. Then we saw the traffic ahead…traffic backing up before we hit the construction zone. Then there was the sign…the DOT sign that was lit up to warn us about the accident ahead…shit, one lane lost to construction, one lane lost to an accident.

Our forward speed dropped to almost zero. Seriously, we were going maybe 1 mph and that turned out to be a good thing because Maude chose that moment to act up again. Once again, despite having acknowledged my home as the final destination, Maude told us to get off the highway at the next exit. The giggles hit again. Maude said, “Exiting highway on exit 42.” The giggles got worse. We were barely creeping forward on the main highway and Maude thought we were getting on the exit ramp. We keep creeping forward…Maude keeps showing us going up the ramp…we keep laughing harder and harder. This is why it was good we were going so slowly because we were laughing so hard tears were streaming down out cheeks. That wouldn’t have been good at 75 mph.

Then, Maude’s circuits must have really fried when the distance between our actual location and where she thought we were got too big because, suddenly, she transported us through thin air back to where we really were. All this did was make us laugh harder. Once we finally calmed down, I told my mom that I thought we should put Maude to bed early and we finally drove home in peace.

I think this is why I laughed so hard in Sunday School today when someone called God and Jesus our moral GPSs.

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