How to get lost in a paper bag
Leada Gore, Editor
You’ve probably heard the saying that someone has such a poor sense of direction they could get lost in a paper bag.
That person is me. My sense of direction is so poor that I probably wouldn’t be able to find the opening of the paper bag to even get lost in the first place.
Case in point: Before I moved to North Alabama, my mother and I were driving up Interstate 65 to see my brother in Madison. We took the Cullman exit to get something to eat and then got back on the interstate and drove all the way back to Birmingham before we realized we were headed in the wrong direction.
The reassuring part of this story is that at least I came by my lack of directional sense naturally. The not-so-reassuring part is I am often called upon to travel in unfamiliar places and since I get lost in even familiar places, this can be a problem.
Until now. My husband, who has received too many panicked calls when I’m lost somewhere and needed his help, purchased me a GPS. GPS stands for Global Positioning System. Basically, these handy devices give you directions to any location. You provide the starting and ending points and it talks you through all the turns, curves and straightaways in the middle.
I am excited. No more lost hours spent while I drive by searching for my turn that I know will be just around the corner. No more printouts from a computerized mapping service, especially since I cannot read a map of any kind and very few maps contain information such as “turn by that shoe store where you bought those cute sandals that time.”
The only problem with the new GPS is it uses tricky words such as “north” and “south.” I often find myself turning my head to the side to make the directions agree with the sense of direction in my head. Maybe I could program it to say “drive like you were headed to California” as opposed to “go west.”
There are times when a GPS won’t help you, however, such as when you are in a neighborhood or some untracked area. In these cases, I guess I will have to rely on the old standbys of panic and a desperate phone call to the host to convince them to stand out on the front porch and wave at me as I drive by. You can program the GPS so it will speak to you in a male voice or a female voice. I chose male, but I think I may have made a mistake.
Men are notorious for not stopping to ask directions and I would hate to get lost because of the marchine’s stubbornness. After all, we can’t have two completely clueless people in the same car.