As much as I love "boy toys", I always feel a tinge of guilt when purchasing another one because often, it's hard to put the transaction in the "need" category. It's usually a solid score in the "fun" column. But I bought a TomTom GPS unit last weekend after borrowing one from Blake and being blown away by its handiness.
You see, I'm driving a one-week summer-school bus route this week. And all the stops are in Oak Cliff. I know Oak Cliff streets about as well as I know downtown Damascus, and I didn't want to be driving around Monday morning with one eye on the road and one eye on a Mapsco. The bus boss allowed me to take a dry run last Friday and that's when I used Blake's TomTom for the first time. It was miraculous and stunningly accurate. So I returned his to him and got my own.
It has made this week extraordinarily easy. I have five middle schools to go to, the streets are narrow, and often the street signs are hidden by trees. Not a problem. But I find myself almost talking back to the pleasant female voice which gives me the turn instructions. "Turn left at the light," she says. "And if I don't?" I wonder aloud. I sense her rolling her eyes. "And watch your tone of voice," I add. Meanwhile, I miss the turn.
But the brainpower of this little device is incredible. It knows the speed limits of the interstates and monitors whether I've remained legal. It knows the forks in the road and whether I should bear left or bear right. The only way I've found to beat it is to swing into a curved driveway in front of a school and do a u-ey. I can hear that lady thinking, "How did he do a u-turn in a school bus?"
So, add the GPS unit to the list of things I don't understand. It's right up there with the internet, the DVR, and Ranger baseball.