I first met Dundee in 2005 or so.  He had a sexy voice and a commanding, take charge attitude.  I was immediately attracted and quickly became dependent.  Like a drug, he sucked me into his web and made me incapable of life without him.  The relationship was good at first…novel, full of hope.  It was only later that I learned he has no sense of humor at all and does not listen well.  He tells me what to do and where to go, with no compassion or empathy for my current situation, randomly changing plans in mid-stream, and occasionally pouts.  Sometimes I want to kick him to the curb, but then, can I actually live without him?  The tension is often palpable as we wrestle on the rocky road of our relationship.  Oh and MW knows!  He knows!!  How do I decide?  What do I do?  I feel addicted to that sweet, Australian voice, those manly tones.  (Did I mention that he was once a she?  Her name was Suzy, and she was English?  You know, you can change those settings on a GPS.)

Am I the only one who has issues?  It doesn’t matter whether it is the car GPS running off of the DVD or my iPhone map, these things drive me NUTS!  Once we were heading to Huntsville to see my in-laws and wanted to put in their address.  The car was moving, so you couldn’t type it in.  Heaven forbid a PASSENGER takes her foot off of the dashboard and quits reading her book to enter something into the computer.  That would really be dangerous!  In any case, being forced to use the voice recognition system, we gave it a go.  The road name was Mira Vista.  Both MW and I tried repeatedly to get it to take, only to get responses like Rock Fish.  We were laughing so hard that we had to give up so MW could see to drive.  Later, we related the story to my father-in-law as we were heading out to dinner.  He gave it a try, and she took it immediately!  Apparently you need to say destination names in the accent and/or voice of the people who live there for it to register.  That’s a bit of a problem for a Georgia girl trying to get around, say, Boston!

SQUIRREL…We think that they should give us broader options on voices for GPS systems.  Not different variations of the boring, vanilla ones they have now, but some with more flavor.  You could have the siren with a sweet, Marilyn Monroe voice and an overly gentle demeanor – “Honey Bunches, I think you missed the turn. **giggle**”; the thug with a rapper’s tone and language – “Yo Mo Fo, turn this bit** around!”; the menopausal crab with an attitude – “I told you to turn back there, but do you listen to me?  No!  TURN THE CAR AROUND AND GO BACK!!!; Anjelah Johnson doing pretty much any of her voices with attitude – “Rude!” or “That’s why you have no boyfriend!”; or the crazy cat lady who sounds a bit like Gladys Kravitz – “Abner, look, I think the road has been moved.  It was there yesterday.  It’s got to be that witch!”  (You need to be a little older to get that last one.)  The possibilities are endless and get even bigger with successive generations!

BACK ON TOPIC…On various road trips over many years, the issue has been what settings will make the GPS do what we want.  Obviously, the answer is none.  First we used it on the default settings.  No matter where we were going, she was going to force us onto an interstate.  Honestly, you could be fifteen miles closer on a side road, and she would divert to get on a highway.  We tinkered with various settings to see if it would still include highways but be logical.  Apparently that’s not a part of the algorithm.  Where’s a Vulcan when you need them?  So that is why she became a he.  The bit** ticked us off, and MW said he was tired of having two women tell him where to go.

Enter Dundee.  If I am going to be told where to go all the time by a man, he may as well be a tall, dark-haired Australian with broad shoulders and a glistening six-pack.  (Okay, part of that is in my head.)  So, now we’ve changed the settings to avoid interstates.  In practical terms, that means it takes us all over the map, sometimes zigging and zagging back and forth across the same US route because it sees part of it as a “highway”.  Today we were traveling in Ohio down US-23.  After being turned off on side roads several times, only to come back to US-23, I looked at the map (the actual printed one that we keep in Brutus).  We just needed to be on US-23, so we ignored Dundee and headed south.  Instead of rerouting and giving us updated instructions, he stopped speaking to us.  Literally.  Petty jack***!  Just because he didn’t get his way!

Seriously, though, he stops speaking to us.  Sometimes I turn on the GPS (which is hooked to bluetooth in Brutus so it comes out loud and clear on the speakers) and head out with everything just peachy.  “In two miles, turn right on Round Road.”  “Continue onto Blade Road.”  Then, out of the blue, nothing.  If you aren’t careful, you could travel for miles down Blade Road into another state before you realize that you’ve missed your turn because Dundee decided to take a nap!  (Yes, I have experienced it.)  That damned Australian!  If he wasn’t so hot and glistening, I’d throw him out the window!  Well, that and he is attached to all of my contacts and checklists.  But seriously, what the hell?!?!?  Other times we put an address in, and it starts out with no voice.  No worries, I keep an eye on the screen and tell MW where to turn.  (Sometimes I throw in an Australian accent just for effect.)  Then, and for some reason it’s almost always really quiet in that moment, you get a sudden, loud “TURN LEFT ON ORANGE ROAD!”  Really?!  Now you are going to yell at me and scare the sh** out of me, too!

The advancements in technology in the past century are astonishing.  We have sent people into space.  We have robot’s doing all kinds of stuff.  We are constantly hearing about artificial intelligence.  Well, my poor Dundee is artificial, but he’s not too intelligent.  Clearly, I’m expecting too much from my Austalian Adonis, and I don’t think we want him doing any of the heavy lifting any time soon.  Alas, what is a girl to do?  I mean, we could just use the maps, but MW maintains that I am challenged in that department although I have pointed out on several occasions where the map was WRONG!  Let’s just say, it is probably better to drive all over the state than to live in that little hell.  Twenty-five years is a lot to throw away because of bad maps.  Besides, I LOVE him ALMOST all the time!

See you on the road.