Thursday, August 25, 2011


   The last memory I have of travelling in a big city was New Orleans in the late '60's in my VW bus.
Pretty scary to be down in Southern States at all during the tumulus riots and protests of that era.  I was a Western boy from a small town in Oregon and we just plain didn't hate anyone!
   The freeway system over New Orleans is a spider web of raised roads with 60 mph speed limits and off ramps it seemed every thirty feet.  You get skilled at reading the green sign boards fast or you get lost.
   I can get lost in Portland, our "big city" only 100 miles from my home town.  The same 100 ramps as New Orleans and decisions that need to be made while travelling fast, sandwiched between cars.  Certainly not the time to get the map out!
   Port Townsend, the nearest big town to Nordland, Washington was across State Lines, right through Portland, into Vancouver, off the main route to Seattle and driving through the heavily forested Olympic Peninsula was where I was headed.  I would need Oregon maps, Washington maps and a good sense of direction.  Me?  hahahaha!  I can get lost in my own town.
   I am not a 21st Century kind of guy.  I don't own a cell phone.  I could get along just fine with a well trained horse who knew its own way home.  I admit I own a "BlueRay" but don't admit that I know how to use it or what it really does.  It has been sitting in the same place for two years and has a little blue light that tells me it is powered up, attached by a cable to something.  It won't talk to me, ask me questions or guide me in any way in an attempt to understand it.
   TOMTOM is different!  She, (I actually programed her to sound like Marilyn Monroe!) tells me everything!
She asks me where I would like to go! and tells me how to get there.  She is wonderful.  Gives me tons of advanced warning that my next decision will be to turn left or right or just veer one way or another.
   "Go straight for 37 miles and then turn left"  She is brilliant!  I have no decisions to make for half an hour and I can turn the radio on!  I don't want to miss a single word from Marlyn!
    I found two radio stations, both talk radio, and, of course both politics!  One left leaning and one right.
I get balance that way and conformation that the craziness of Oregon politics extends into Washington and satisfaction knowing the whole world is nuts!  We are not alone!
   "In two miles turn left"  By now I would do anything Marilyn asks of me!
   At the beginning I was nervous and without complete trust.  How could she know where I was all the time?
Would I dare stop for a cup of coffee?  What happens if I have to pee?  I thought seriously to stay on the route.  I was afraid of detours.  I could maybe just pull to the side of the road and pretend I was "checking my tires"? A radiator leak maybe?  No, I wanted coffee too and I was hungry.  I left on this trip at 4 in the morning and now it was after seven.  I saw a sign for food and pulled off the freeway onto a little side road without Marilyn's permission or guidance!  I got my breakfast thinking, where has she gone?  Does she know where I am?  I certainly didn't have a clue.
   I started my little truck and instantly there she was!  "Redirecting, please wait".
   Marlyn, well TOMTOM anyway, was my guardian angel and knew where I was all along!  She was waiting for me!  Love and devotion, she never left me at all.
   She tells me at two miles, the one mile marker, 200 feet and 40 feet and then what the next decision will be.  She knows everything!
   When you get to where you are going, now, can you imagine this!  Marlyn Monroe says, "You have reached your destination!"
   No, Norma Jean, you made it all too easy!  We will do this again, maybe another place, a different destination, who knows? maybe all the way!
   I love my TOMTOM!  and she does nag!  If you go over four miles faster than the speed limit she will turn
red! and a little faster then she will blink!  She knows the speed limit and how fast you are going! And the time of arrival!  She is so clever, not a dumb blond at all.

 Early morning sunrise on Puget Sound


SooZeQue said...

So I wonder if my husband has programed Marilyn into his TomTom? Hummmm...Guess I'll find out on our big trip next week. Good thing I'm not a jealous woman! I wonder if they have "Sam Elliot" for when I drive!!!

AutumnLeaves said...

Bah! Give me a good old fashioned map any day! Makes me feel more clever.

freebird said...

That sounds great to me. I can't read the signs fast enough so don't want to go into big, bustling areas. Someday (my husband won't get one now) I am going to have one of these things.