I had to drive to a friend’s house early Sunday morning, and couldn’t remember exactly how to get there, so I put his address into Google Maps. Halfway through the trip, it told me to take an exit that I knew wasn’t the one I usually used, so I looked at the detailed directions it suggested. The app wanted me to get off this major road and work my way through a subdivision to get to the perpendicular other major road on the route. I understand that Google Maps had calculated the route with the shortest distance — the hypotenuse of a triangle instead of its two legs — but that would have meant dealing with about thirteen stop signs and turns through a neighborhood, rather than the almost-completely-empty highway I was already on. The app’s suggestion might have saved me all of two minutes, but I’d rather keep moving at highway speed than do the stop-and-go-30mph alternative. If there had been a major accident or any other obstacle ahead that would delay me by more than 15 minutes, I’d have followed those directions. But in this case, my human preferences meant denying the technological assistance.
Speaking of driving, what is it with guys (and it’s always guys) driving around in cars that make a lot of noise? I’m not talking about muffler trouble, I’m talking about purposely altering the vehicle so that it roars as you drive — as if they’re John Milner heading out to take on Bob Falfa. Are they trying to impress other drivers? Because I just think, “there goes another asshole.” I wonder what they’ll do when we get to an all-electric-car future, and the revving of the engine just makes a louder digital whine?
I don’t answer calls from numbers my phone doesn’t recognize, allowing them to go to voicemail (or in most cases, they end the call without leaving a message). Lately, I’ve been inundated with voicemails from companies that are “following up” about some financial, insurance, or other matter. Thanks to my iPhone’s transcription capabilities, I can see the content of the call without having to listen to it. The problem is that, in every instance, I’ve never spoken to them or anyone from their firm before, yet they leave me a message telling me to call them back as soon as possible to take advantage of some plan before it expires. Nope, you’re from a boiler room operation that’s randomly junk-dialing people in flagrant violation of the Do Not Call laws. Even if I were in need of one of the services you’re offering, I’m never gonna call you back and you’re never gonna get through to me, so stop wasting your time.
How to know if you’re a racist: you apologize for a photo from your past of two guys in blackface and a klan hood, but then claim it wasn’t you in the picture. The implication you leave us with is that you did dress up that way at some point in your life, just not in that particular photograph. The only way to make it worse would be to drag out of your attic a box of calendars from your high school days, including one that shows you didn’t even go to a party at Squee’s house that night.
And finally: NBC has decided to not do a live TV production of the musical “Hair.” I wrote last June about why the idea was a bad one in the first place. Did the network even listen to the songs containing these lyrics?