Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dodgy Links

A German driver caused chaos - after his satnav system directed him onto a tram line.

The 46-year-old - who has not been named - tried to back up and got stuck.

A dozen trams were held up in Bremen, before the car was towed to safety.

According to the Mirror, police said: "The friendly voice from his satnav told him to turn left. He did what he was ordered to do and turned his Audi up the curb on to the track of a streetcar."

Police said it was one of several incidents recently where drivers claimed they were only obeying orders.

Ignoring the crude national stereotype joke about Germans and orders that is screaming ‘Achtung!’ at me here, I shall merely observe that I am torn about whether to invest in a satnav.

On the one hand, they are really cool toys.

On the other, they are a serious threat to the art of Getting Hopelessly Lost and Having a Row because You’re Supposed to be Navigating, Well I Could Do if You Didn’t Go So Fast, I’m Not Going Fast You Just Can’t Read a Map Look You Even Have to Turn it Upside Down Just Because We’re Heading South.

And which subsequently threaten to undermine the entire industry of club circuit stand up comedy – an industry which depends almost wholly on the fact that men can’t ask for directions.


Anonymous said...

I got one for Hanukkah this year, and it is a really cool toy.

Anonymous said...

I have one two. And you know if Mr. Cohen and I have one, that's the true mark of coolness.

Anonymous said...

They're the elephant gun of car toys. You don't really need one, or at least you shouldn't, but if you find yourself in a spot, it can be a lifesaver.

Which is why my Acura has a gun rack for my .375 H&H Weatherby.

Hey Skipper said...

... an industry which depends almost wholly on the fact that men can’t ask for directions.

More accurately, men don't ask for directions is that they almost never need to. And when we might, the challenge of sussing the problem is to good to pass up. Well, for awhile, anyway.

In contrast to women. Four or so years ago, we were on a family camping outing, which happened to coincide with a rare aligment of the five visible planets visible just above the western horizon for an hour or so after sunset.

When I told my wife to look towards the west, she said "which way is that?"

There's the true market.

Our new car has satnav. For going somewhere I have never been, (like, say, AOG's house) it makes the end game safer, because I don't have to take my eyes off the road to read directions/look at a map.

But there are really two real reasonsI tossed it on the options list (along with run-flat tires): my wife, and my daughter, who is within three years of white knuckled creeping along in the (I fervently hope) slow lane.

Anonymous said...

Male chauvenism and gender stereotyping are still thriving then!

Duck said...

A real man would never buy a satnav. Oh right, he's German. It was probably a gift from his wife, along with the talking toilet seat that told him to sit down to pee.

Hey Skipper said...


No, just reality.

My wife, as sensible a person as you are likely to ever find, is completely at sea when it comes to the whole North - South - East - West thing.

And is very similar in that respect (although much better at reading maps, even when having to hold them upside down) as all the other women it has been my honor to know.

Duck said...

They've proven it with studies, so it isn't sexist to say so: men have a better sense of spatial orientation than women.

Also, as far as asking for directions, I have a theory that women have other evolutionarily derived motives that come into play. It seems that women never pass up a chance for networking, and getting someone to give you assistance creates an additional social bond that the woman can take advantage of. From an evolutionary standpoint it isn't saying "I'm weak and dependent and need to seek help from others", its "I have the strength of my relationships to help me in a crisis". Unless they are extremely shy, it seems to me that women relish asking strangers for help.

Peter Burnet said...

They've proven it with studies, so it isn't sexist to say so:

There's a candidate for your gravestone, Duck.

Duck said...

Contemplating my passing, Peter?

annalouise said...

Mr Skipper,
There is little sense in moving forward and steering to the right
when your mind is travelling backwards and veering to the left.

It is not upside down – it is clearly the right way up.