Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mr. Bump vs. Fussybritches: Sunday Sunday Sunday!!

I haven't mentioned the third traveler on this trip, our third wheel. I think her performance today merits a mention, however. We rented our car from Hertz, and when we got in it to drive away, it had the Hertz "NeverLost" navigational system all hooked up, so even though we didn't order it, we thought "What the hell?" and drove off with her in tow. We figured that either they'd charge us a couple bucks, or not, since we didn't order it. And we had a lot of luck with her--I named her Fussybritches, because she is a most particular soul, and also because I misunderstood the warden in The Shawshank Redemption* and thought that's what he called the poster of Raquel Welch in the movie. He says, "What say you there, fuzzy-britches? Feel like talking?" But I heard it as Fussy britches, and that name fits her because she's a little anal and, shall we say, unopen to new ideas. But Lord if she didn't want to talk.

Loooong story short, we have a trip navigator that isn't me, and that has caused some conflict. There are times when she has been spot on, and easy to use, and a great toy for a road trip. But today, all the lines of communication broke down and it was all I could do to keep Mr. Bump from ripping it free from the car and throwing it out the window. And it was hard, because mostly I wanted to stop him so I could throw it out the window. First she told us to take a road that had been turned into a private road with a gate. After we turned around three times to try and figure out if there was another road that she was talking about, we finally realized that she was not up to date. Although, to be fair, apparently Google Maps was speaking her language, because it plotted the same route. Then, we find an alternate route that she's willing to navigate, and Fussybritches and Mr. Bump come to blows over whether she should display the route and our little car traveling on it, or whether she should display a big yellow arrow letting us know we need to TURN in two miles. Then, in plotting the way out of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, she tried again to have us take the closed off route from the other side, where again there was a big gate marked "Private Road." And then she wanted us to go one way. Then when we went that way she decided she wanted us to turn around and go the other way. This is where Mr. Bump and I had our own little squabble about who got to try and jab Fussybritches in the buttons (gotta get her where it hurts) the hardest.

This wasn't our first conflict with her, but it had all just been building. When she got us lost on our way to dinner the other night in Monterey, or when she just wouldn't find what we were looking for, we at first blamed ourselves--user error, we said. But when she began to ask us to "Make your first available legal u-turn," and to "Please proceed to the designated route," Mr. Bump and I began to make meaningful eye contact and gestures regarding the power button. And then today, in the forest, Mr. Bump, Fussybritches, and I, well, we all let each other down a bit, didn't we?

We finally made it back to Highway 1, which gave us all a little time to regroup, smooth our clothing and hair back (or in Fussybritches' case, clear off her LCD screen) and get ready to move on. I think we're all nursing our grudges, but at this point, we're only going to be traveling together for another day, so we'll just persevere. Tomorrow we fly back home, so I'm hoping that I'll get a blog in tomorrow--I've come this far, I've done so well--on VACATION!

*If you don't know this movie then we can't be friends until you've watched it. At least twice. It will help if you cried when you saw it, too. And if you don't like it, then you are dead to me.

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