More idjits with GPS devices.
The insurance lady was supposed to meet us at the house. My wife went ahead to the house, while I took care of some other stuff at the old house. Half an hour later, she called me to ask me to look up the insurance agency and contact the appraiser, to see if she was lost. I dutifully did so, and soon met the frustrated appraiser on the phone.
"I just called to see if you're lost," I said.
"Oh, my lord, YES, I'm lost," she replied.
"Well, where are you, and I'll vector you...?" I began.
"This darned GPS! It wasn't finding new streets, which are important when you're an insurance appraiser, what with new construction..."
"If I could just get the..." I tried to interject.
"...So I downloaded the upgrade, and now the stupid thing won't find the new streets correctly. Or even the not-so-new ones," she complained.
"Or the streets that have been platted for one hundred years," I chuckled wryly, thinking of the old town plat that I had seen at our city hall, showing my street planned by the railroad in the 1880s.
"Uh huh," she responded. "Can you help me?"
Finally. "Sure. What road are you on?"
"Well, I'm near a silo, and a mailbox that says... wait, does your mailbox say Weinhardt on it?" she asked, completely ignoring my question.
"You're near the Weinhardt place?!?" I said. "So you're at the corner of Harding and FM 1234. Come south," I advised.
"Is that to the right or the left?" she asked.
"I don't know which way you're facing. Just come south on FM 1234," I responded.
"But I don't know which way that is," she said.
I was perplexed. She had a GPS on her dashboard. Every screen indicates N, S, E, W of every GPS I've ever seen. The time was 9:30 in the morning, with the sun still closer to the eastern horizon than to the zenith. My children could easily extrapolate "south" from that information. FM 1234 is a north/south road, with Smallville to the north, and Tinytown to the south.
"Okay," I said. "Do you know where the main four way intersection in town is? Go that way."
"Of course I do," she said tersely. "I've lived here all my life."
Of course she has.
- - - -
I'm beginning to formulate a plan to implement Basic Orienteering into the mandated skill set that must be shown to receive a state driver's license. Normally it goes against my nature to add more requirements, but to most of us, this would be a cinch. To those whom it is not, this would be a valuable vetting technique for the safety and well-being (and sanity) of the rest of us.