Do you know what I am? A slow learner. You would think that I learned my lesson with The Seven Year Itch. Of course I didn’t. A few weeks back, Bear comes home and says that he wants to buy a GPS tracking address thingy. That was its technical name The GPS Tracking Address Thingy. It came with the optional Night Optics Do-Dad, but Bear didn’t think he would use it.
Now for those of you who don’t know the GPS thingy – or Tarzan – as I affectionately came to call it, is portable, high tech and really cool to look at. It plugs into your cigarette lighter, sits on the dashboard and has every map known to creation. You plug in your destination and it uses satellite to find where you are, as well as navigate the route you take. And you can choose the fastest route, highway route, and for The Bibi, it has the route that will take you by every Dollarama from point A to B. So Bear says that he wants this thing, and my radar – the one that beeps and says, “Brownie, you’re going to regret this. Don’t let him do it,” starts sounding. And I don’t blame it.
Bear can navigate through rural roads, townships and back roads. I, on the other hand, have been known to get lost in my basement. Of the two of us, I should be the one saying that I want this latest piece of technology. Instead, I say, “Are you sure?” Now it’s true that men and women speak different languages, even though they use the same words and the translation of our conversation is in upper case:
“Bear, are you sure?” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? YOU COULD FIND YOUR WAY OUT OF THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE. WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON HERE?
“Yeah, I think I need it for work.” UNBEKNOWNST TO YOU, I’VE MANAGED TO ACQUIRE NEWS ON THE LATEST GADGETS AND I WANT TO GET THIS TOY BEFORE YOU.
“Work?” WHAT? HOW DARE YOU FIND OUT ABOUT COOL ELECTRONICS WITHOUT ME?
“Yeah, Mike has one and it really comes in handy.” OH, COME ON. CCCCCOOOOMMMMEEEE OOOONNNNNNN. MIKE HAS ONE. I WANT ONE.
“Really, Mike has one too?” OH, I NOW I GET IT. YOUR BROTHER HAS ONE AND YOU HAVE TO HAVE ONE TOO.
“It comes in really handy when we’re out of town and doing calls.” IT’S SOMETHING ELSE THAT CAN DISTRACT ME WHILE I’M SPEEDING DOWN HIGHWAY 2 GOING THRITY KLICKS OVER THE SPEED LIMIT. HOW CAN I NOT WANT ONE?
And so on and so forth and I collapsed like a cheap tent. Off we go to Canadian Tire to purchase Tarzan. We bring home our little baby and open the set of instructions. The first thing we have to do is loosen the screws (later I would realize this instruction was incorrect. The appliance had more than enough loose screws and if anything, the owner was the one who would eventually be wound too tight).
So I did. That’s right. I read the directions and then I FOLLOWED them.
Well, my God, the spring under the screw spoings from my grasp and ricochets off the walls, and lands with a ping somewhere in the living room (it was moving so fast, I have no idea where it landed). I look up and Bear is watching me with that look. That “Why Are Women So Silly, Aren’t I Glad That I’m A Man And Don’t Do Boneheaded Moves Like That,” look. And since I’m more than a woman, but a lady to boot, I refrain from pointing out that in the scoreboard of Boneheaded moves, my husband is winning the game.
Instead I smile sweetly and say, “whoops.” Now we have to stop in midst installation to go hunting for the screw and then spend an hour trying to put the thing back together. At one point, Bear says, “Let me try,” and takes the stand out of my hand. And since this is my story, I will add that he said it in that machismo kind of way that I love because it always comes back to bite him in the ass. Except this time it didn’t bite him in the ass, it spoinged ever so cleverly between his glasses and right into his eyes.
The spring sprung out of his grasp and navigated between the less than one inch gap between the bottom of his frames and his eyes. Proof, ladies and gentlemen, that God is a woman and she doesn’t like her girls being dissed. And all I can say is that I’m very happy that I wasn’t there at that moment because I would have started laughing and would probably be signing my divorce papers right now, instead of relating this lovely tale.
So, finally, FINALLY, we get this thing arranged, turn it on and…nothing. Reread instructions – wait, let me clarify – I IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII reread the instructions because my husband says that I’m much better at these detail kind of things than he is (anyone else feeling the hot, putrid breath of those damn binders)? But I find no reason why it’s not working. So I go online and can’t even navigate the company’s website. At this point in time, I realize this thing is a piece of crap and the reason that there isn’t an 800 number is because THE COMPANY ALSO KNOWS IT’S A PIECE OF CRAP and doesn’t want to be reminded.
I go back and say to Bear, “Let’s take it outside and see what happens.” Well, miracle of miracles, the GPS finds out where we are. Thank God that we already knew. My husband is so pleased with the LCD colour display that I don’t have the heart to ask what kind of GPS device is made void by a roof. So we head back inside and I’m waiting for THE MOMENT. (THE MOMENT: the point in time when Bear realizes the maps have to be updated, and not only updated, but this has to be done via the Internet, computer and memory stick. Which all translates into ME updating HIS toy).
The moment comes later, at bedtime when I’m to tired to fight his flattery and my vanity, my ego get the better of me and I hear myself agreeing to update this thing every 6 months. The next day, we’re heading out to Adam’s. And we’re excited to try out Tarzan. So we climb into the car, turn it on and hear, “Me Tarzan. Me GPS de-vice. Me show you where to go.” Tarzan has a surprisingly feminine voice, but who am I to judge?
“Hello Tarzan, this is where we want to go.” And I punch in the address. “Me no find that.” Hmmm…let me try again. “Me no find that.” After the fifth time, I’m losing patience. “Now Tarzan, you know perfectly well it exists. Be a nice little Neanderthal and show me.” “No. Me no find. It no exist.” And he flops down most unceremoniously. All I can say, is that thankfully, the loin cloth covered all the…er…cords and usb ports.
“Tarzan, here’s the address. Direct me.” “No. Me no find. You want to go to West End instead? I take you to Mall.” At this point, Bear wrestles the hammer out of my hand and says, “Maybe the maps need to be updated. Let’s see if he can find the Beach.” So I try for the town, if not the address. Mercifully, he finds it. And we’re off. Pulling out of the cul–de-sac, this is Tarzan: “Right turn in 600 meters…right turn in 300 meters…right turn in 150 meters…right turn in 75 meters…right turn ahead…right turn ahead…” I want to point out that I’m not blind and was able to see the right turn since BEFORE 600 meters, but I refrain, namely because he’s sort of co-operating in that smartest kid in class knows all the answers hand waving in the air “ooo, ooo, ooo, let me answer, teacher, let me answer,” kind of way and I want to give him some positive reinforcement.
Tarzan keeps this up the entire 45 minute drive. At 30 minutes, I made Sven pull over at the liquor store and since we can’t have open liquor in the car, I lashed myself to the roof and drank until I couldn’t hear, “Left turn in 600 meters…left turn in 300 meters…” anymore. When we got home, I tried to update the map b/c 1)I realized that Bear was really attached to this thing and I wanted him to be happy 2) If I didn’t update it, Bear would try and he would use my computer and probably break it and I would have to spend days trying to figure out what was going on 3) even though I was willing to risk his sadness and a computer crash, my husband is so charming and I can’t say no to him or resist those big blue eyes.
So like any good idiot who can’t learn her lesson, I went and updated. Tried to, that is. The GPS wouldn’t recognize the memory stick. My computer wouldn’t recognize the GPS. So plan A & B were shot. An hour of waiting for the help line agent (they sent us an email when we registered the product…kind of strange if you ask me…like a secret society…I noticed something about a special handshake in the fine print, but…) and she is friendly, sweet and her advice? “Take it back. It sounds like the software is corrupted.” Corrupted.
The software isn’t the only thing that’s corrupted and if Bear was home at that time, he would have suffered the same fate as his GPS!
A few days later, we take it back to Canadian Tire and the guy there says that if 10 people buy it, 8 of them return it. The amount of problems with this equipment is so numerous, it boggles the mind. In the interest of good taste, I will refrain from pointing out that CT carries this product even though they know it’s a piece of crap. So you would think that after the binders and Tarzan, I would have developed some kind of common sense when Sven is coming my way with that look in his eyes. Which is true. I have.
But I can’t see his eyes when he’s talking to me on the phone. And so, the HOME SHOW FIASCO, which consisted of him saying, “Hey, why don’t you come down and hang out with me while I set up the booth? Then I’ll take you for lunch after.” And me, the rare and hard to find brown lemming, head straight off the cliff and say, “Sure honey, I’ll be there in half-hour.” And 35 minutes later, I’m scrubbing the glass windows of the sun rooms.
Do you know what my husband is? Tom Sawyer and I’m the idiot white washing the fence. But this time, THIS TIME, I’ve learned my lesson…hold on a second…what?…oh, sure…Alright I have to go now. Bear’s calling and he wants to know if I want to join him at the office. He just has to fill out some paperwork, but then we can go for dinner. I told him I’d be there in half-hour.