Friday, October 21, 2011

I am Navigimp

Every vehicle I’ve ever owned has been equipped with a feature known as Navigimp. It’s a sophisticated navigating system that tells the driver exactly where to go. Navigimp has a beard and wears plaid flannel shirts a lot. Navigimp sits in a wheelchair just like mine and it looks just like me.

Long before there was a GPS, there was Navigimp, the human GPS, with his commanding male voice (complete with Chicago accent) telling the person driving my vehicle “turn right, turn left, cut through that alley!”

Navigimp is not infallible. It is prone to succumb to sudden urges to improvise because it’s obsessed with finding new shortcuts. Navigimp can’t help it. That’s how he was raised. Finding a shortcut is like finding a discount. Saving time is like saving money. Discovering a route that gets you there two minutes faster is as gratifying as saving a quarter on a gallon of milk. But sometimes when Navigimp follows the scent of a shortcut, he leads the driver instead into a cul-de-sac or down a one way street in the wrong direction.

That’s probably why Rahnee, without warning, replaced Navigimp with a real GPS. She probably did it to avoid repetitive encounters that test the iron bonds of matrimony, such as the following:

RAHNEE: Turn left here?


Rahnee turns right.

N: No, you were supposed to turn left!

R: You said right!

N: I meant right as in correct!

R: Well then say correct! Now you got us lost!

There are never such disputes with the sober, soulless, ever-professional GPS— your navigation slave.

The day Rahnee plugged in the GPS, Navigimp was plunged into turmoil. He questioned everything about the validity of his past, present and future. He could have seen the new GPS as a blissful gift, an opportunity to gracefully retire and hand over control to a greater power. No longer would he have to feel compelled to always know where he was going and the quickest way to get there. He could just sit back and enjoy the ride.

A mature, secure man would have reacted thusly. But the arrival of the GPS made Navigimp wonder if he was a pathetic control freak. He was insanely jealous of the GPS. Her nasal monotone grated on his raw nerves. He despised the calm precision with which she delivered them to their destination. She had such an air of superiority that Navigimp wanted to fake like he was deathly thirty so Rahnee would detour to a drive-thru and get him a 92-ounce Pepsi mega-gulp and then he could “accidentally” spill it all over the GPS and gum up her prissy little direction-finding guts!

But Navigimp took stock of himself. Why this raging insecurity? He determined it’s because he felt threatened that if this handy, affordable piece of technology could do what he could do and probably even better, then why would Rahnee need him anymore? She might as well dump his sorry ass. It’s the same reason why men are secretly, abjectly threatened by vibrators. Rahnee does all the driving. She loads Navigimp into the vehicle and secures down his wheelchair. All Navigimp does is tell her where to go. Rahnee is Simon and Navigimp is Garfunkel.

Since that day, Navigimp, to his vengeful delight, learned that the GPS is not the perfect princess everybody thinks she is! For instance, she has an irritating habit of not announcing upcoming exits until you’re right on top of them and it’s too late to cut across traffic. Navigimp would never screw up like that. So Navigimp must remain on guard and vigilant so as to spare everyone from the dire consequences of the GPS’s stupid rookie mistakes. But Navigimp knows that someday the GPS will be upgraded, debugged and sold as GPS version 2.0. On that day Navigimp will fake like he’s deathly thirsty.