Posted by: nickgerlich | November 20, 2007

Turn Here

My wife has a new boyfriend.

And what does that have to do with marketing, you might ask? Absolutely nothing, but it got your attention. It’s a holiday week, so we (I) needed to write something for the fun of it.

Actually, I didn’t have a problem with it. In fact, I arranged the whole deal as a gift. He comes along on most van trips, especially when I am not around, or whenever NickNick needs to sleep a couple of hours.

TomTomAnd if you haven’t guessed by now, his name is TomTom, one of those talking GPS units. No matter what you do, as long as you have programmed a destination, and aren’t driving in a tunnel, Tom2 will get you there.

It’s almost like being in the first Airplane! movie:

There is no parking in the red zone!

The white zone is for loading and unloading only!

After driving with that constant companion for a couple of hours not too long ago, I re-christened the unit NagNag, because I could never do what I wanted to do. If I pulled off for fuel or a snack, the yelling started. It was always telling me in no uncertain terms that I was an idiot:

Turn around now. Now! Make a SHARP U-turn! Oh never mind…

Apparently the TomTom folks have built the device such that it never allows for gas stops, potty breaks, etc., along the way. It is always recalculating your ETA, but does so based on a flat 60mph average speed (regardless of how fast you have been driving thus far). But it must think you’ve got a bottomless gas tank, as it goes berserk when you stray off the official route.

My wife loves him (it), because now she can drive anywhere in her address book without having to go to Mapquest beforehand. And to be honest, I really don’t mind it as much as you might think, because it allows me to actually catch a few winks while she is driving. I have been rudely awakened too many times during our 21 years by frantic “Ni-i-ck…I think we’re on the wrong road” cries.

As for me, I will tolerate old Tom, even though I am a map nerd and read atlases for fun and pleasure. I’m the guy waiting with breathless anticipation around the 1st of October each year when they release the new Rand McNally atlas. But what else would you expect from a stodgy old professor anyway?

And as long as I never acquire a JaneJane traveling partner, life will be good in the Gerlich household.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May your travels be safe, and may you never stray from your route. There’s too much good food riding on this weekend. Just leave TomTom in the car.

Dr “GobbleGobble” Gerlich

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