Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Good Old Days. A Retrospective. Sort Of.

When I was a kid, we had these things called maps. A map was a large sheet of paper dotted with cities and highways and rivers and points of interest and little roads and big roads to help a traveler determine routes from place to place, which was then folded into a neat stack that upon opening, could never be returned to its original form. These archaic devices had grids with numbers and letters like J-15 or E-6 but no battleships to sink, no.

Note: Battleship is a board game from my childhood, meaning it is not played on a computer in a virtual world nor does it employ the use of a joystick.

So, after using a map to get from place to place, everyone in the car (read: station wagon) attempted to return the map to its original position, as folded by the map origamist, but to no avail. Occasionally, a teeny pseudo-swear word was used during this process. The map finally ended up shoved into the glovebox, which contained no gloves whatsoever, likely because the maps from Phoenix and Boston and Germany, probably, were smashed into the box in sadly-folded shapes, indeed.

Note: Don't even ask what happened if you didn't have a map. Let's just suffice it to say that gas station attendants are generally dyslexic, yes.

Now, this week I find myself traveling hundreds of miles with the comfort and ease of Paddy's GPS system which is even easier to use than my phone's GPS, mostly because the screen is bigger and fancier. Plus, hearing the voice of Lois, my female GPS navigator, is a bit unsettling. Paddy not only provides the best routes, but he includes traffic updates, current weather, and the ability to buy Twins-A's tickets at the same time, if any are available.

Note: There is no folding, origami or otherwise, involved in the process.

So, now the mapmakers are employed at country clubs folding napkins or in hotels, folding towels at the swimming pool or at The Gap, folding and refolding the t-shirts all day, everyday.

I think those darn mapmakers got exactly what they deserved.

The Good Old Days weren't always that great. I'm just saying.

No comments: