We had another fight yesterday……..

She makes me so mad! She’s intractable. She always thinks she’s right. She always corrects me in front of others. She…..oh, did you think I meant my wife? Nah, she’s a sweetheart. I’m talking about Grenelda P. Suggs.

Like most of you, I have GPS in my car.  Her first name is Grenelda and she can really be a bitch. Don’t worry; she wouldn’t mind me calling her that because that’s how she rolls. If she could, she’d call me much worse. Thankfully, her programmer didn’t install any cuss words. Still, not one to waste time with unnecessary tact, it’s her way or no way on the highway. Grenelda doesn’t care about your station in life, she just cares that you do exactly what she says. The ironic thing is, I finally break the male mold and ask for directions and what do I get? The navigator Nazi!

"OK. Hands at 10 and 2 o'clock? Check. Looking straight ahead? Check. Now keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut!"

It’s really quite simple. You tell her where you want to go and she tells you how and when to do it. Then you’d better do it. Period. End of discussion. Woe betide you if you deviate. I don’t believe she can actually understand what I think, although her tone would suggest otherwise. How else would you explain the expressive contempt with which she delivers the word “recalculating.” There can be no doubt about what she is thinking. “I gave you a command, you blew it, and now I have extra work to do!” And when she’s really lost her patience she says, with unabashed disdain, “In the first safe place, make a U-turn.” Translated: “You’re probably stupid enough to turn around in a busy intersection, aren’t you.”


Grenelda evidently feels that I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Hence the constant prompting at every possible increment, “in two miles turn left, in one mile turn left, in a half mile turn left” and on and on down to 100 feet. Why, it’s as if she doesn’t trust me. Imagine. But I can’t say that she doesn’t have a sense of humor. Or maybe it’s just her sadistic nature. Just when I think we’re getting comfortable with each other, she’ll mock me with a multiple command. Commands like “turn right, then keep left, and then veer right.” I know she’s just dying to add “Shall I recalculate now or wait until after you have screwed it up?”

"May your sons have the breath of a thousand camels, Grenelda!"

It was a while before I realized there was a setting that would also display a voiceless map with street names, the distance until a turn and other useful information. Apparently, Grenelda was going to keep that to herself. I also discovered if I got real tired of her obstinacy I could switch the program over to a male voice. Turns out it’s her brother Gregory P. Suggs who has an equally irascible manner. But it’s still not as threatening as hers. My hearing isn’t what it used to be, but I swear I once heard her say “remember, I know where you live!” I knew that damn “go home”  button was a mistake. I’m starting to think I got the menopausal model by accident.

This is Grenelda's home.

No, this is definitely a love/hate thing going on. But I won’t give her the satisfaction of letting her know how she is getting to me. After all, I’ve already exposed my vulnerability by asking for directions. How much more can you expect from a man?

Here's a man who obviously has trouble taking directions from Grenelda. He's my hero.

The fact is, I actually do find places more easily in spite of the friction. And I have to admit, when it comes to triangulation, she knows her stuff. Until someone actually develops a workable transporter, a la Star Trek, I guess I’ll keep working with her. But I definitely see counseling in my future.

"And you say her name is Grenelda?"

30 thoughts on “We had another fight yesterday……..

  1. Lol, I’ve always been good at reading maps, and can ‘recalculate’ quietly and under my breath, a trick well practiced in my previous marriage when my ex lost all ability to hear while navigating large roundabouts and inevitably took the wrong exit 🙂
    I’ve never bought a GPS but my newest car has one built in. i don’t use her unless I’m going somewhere new at night & would like some extra reassurance. We like to test her though, when I set a destination & then forget to reset it on arrival, she spends the entire next journey tirelessly recalculating….. Her patience knows no bounds 🙂
    If Grenelda is getting particularly tiresome, ask her to find ‘home’ as you are heading out for a long drive……

  2. I hate my GPS, his name is Frodo, I figured if he could find his way to Mordor, he could help me out. Most times he doesn’t. I wish he would say, in one turn right on “White Street” but he just says in one mile turn right. His right isn’t necessarily what I would consider a right turn and when I go past it, he has that frustrated little voice that says, ‘recalculating route.’

    The other thing that irritates me is, if I already programmed my home address how come he feels it necessary to navigate me to and from it? Like if I don’t know my way from my house to the highway, I think there is a big problem.!

      • It’s series of books (now movies) by J.R.R.Tolkien, Peter Jackson directed the movies. Frodo is the main character in the books/movies and he has a job to get a ring into Mordor which is a really scary place.

        I’m a bit Lord of the Rings fan, so I use Frodo as my GPS.

        If you like fantasy they are great books/movies. I like the movies better. Start with the Fellowship of the Ring, then The Two Tower and Finally the Return of the King. They are coming out with the first book, “The Hobbit” in December. Thankfully it is coming out a week before the world ends so at least I’ll see it before we all die. 🙂

  3. Oh, good one, Al! The pic of the car on the barn roof made me laugh/cough–very productive (if you know what I mean). My brother-in-law told me that his GPS (and I love the name you’ve given her) has a Homer Simpson voice and says “Doh!” when you’ve missed your turn. I’m not sure I’d go for that, but he seemed to like the idea…

  4. Funny…my hubby seems to have a bit of a “thing” for his GPS. I’ll tell him to turn right up ahead, but if Gypsy says, in her seductive voice, to turn left (into what is obviously a brick wall), guess where we’re going?

    I knew this was a setup right away – you’re obviously too nuts about your dear wife to ever say anything bad about her.

  5. You will never see me listening to Grenelda. I’m barely keeping up with my own techno-doodads as it is. Am just getting a cellphone…haven’t programmed in yet…yawn, maybe next week. Keep writing…this is one of your best!

  6. I hear your pain, and I know how you feel. I want to go on alternate routes, but my GPS lady insists on taking me her way. I did find that if I put set the voice for American English, it was just a tad kinder than the British English. That bitch made me feel like such an idiot if I couldn’t figure out where to turn. I don’t think my GPS has a setting for a male voice. I might try the Spanish version and see if that is a little more pleasant, but since my Spanish isn’t outstanding, I might miss a few turns.

  7. Once again another insightful look into popular cuture by Big Al! I have heard the things that Big Al records as I sat as a cringing passanger. Unfortunately (or?) there are still a few of us who have not acquired such a dominatrix as Grenelda!

    • Now that you mention it Mike, I thought I could hear the crack of the whip and the rattle of the chains in the background. Maybe I have a fetish and don’t realize it. I’ll speak to my counselor about that in the next session.

  8. I really think this is a “guy thing”…I happen to like the women in our GPS who my husband “fondly” calls My Wench! Get me to my destination Wench!! I speak nicer to her and I’ve never had a problem!

    • OK, anonymous., if that’s your real name, I can tell you are a former backseat driver who now parcels out the dirty work to Grenelda. That explains anonymous.

  9. ha ha ha
    I can’t live without her or Gregory.
    you may have to say thank you and please and perhaps she will be kinder to you.

Your turn to write, but please don't be wittier than me. My ego is quite fragile.

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