Some of you may recall that this writer has trouble with directions, such as north and south, left and right, and is apt to get lost on the way to Quay Well, my former student, Eddie Shipley, said he could take care of that problem and seemed pleased to sell me a Global Positioning Satellite, otherwise known as a GPS. He then proceeded to try to teach his former teacher how to use the gadget, telling me it could show me how to get to Quay or anywhere else in our county. He even installed it and set it on its course to take me home from Shipley System.
The drill-sergeant-like voice ordered me around several times on the way home, and I could even see where we were going by looking at the animated map. Eddie told me to practice with it for several days before heading to Oklahoma so I would get the hang of using it. Of course, I should have smelled a skunk or two when I tried to type in Quay and kept getting Questa, but I figured that voice wouldn't understand our language anyway. At least, it could still show me the way home from Quay, and that made me feel slightly comfortable.
As I was leaving for Oklahoma, I set the destination, gave the address of the motel, and had just about as much confidence in the gadget as I had in myself. The cranky voice really got on my nerves when I wanted to stop along the way and would have fits every time she needed to recalculate our route. Of course, I was fine all by myself as long as we were on 1-40, but the minute we got off that I was in a heap of trouble.
Because I had called her every name I could think of, I guess the old gal became angry and just quit speaking the minute I left Shamrock, just when I was going to need her the most. At least, she continued showing me the directions even though I didn't want to drive on the turnpike. Because she wouldn't change those directions, managed to visit with a number of people in small towns and was given great directions by them.
Once I reached Edmond, I knew how to find the motel and felt okay. Well, when I wanted to go to Mrs. Stephenson's house, the gadget went berserk, and I had to stop to ask for further directions. On top of that Mrs. Stephenson told me we were to meet her family elsewhere, and the gadget went completely wild both going and coming. On the way back to her home, I stopped to ask a young man for help, and he explained that quite a bit of road work had been done recently, and that it had even confused his GPS.
At least, when I set it for home at the end of the week, it gave silent directions all the way and was very easy to follow. When Aggie and I went for our Sunday drive last week, I tried one more time to get it to take us to Quay. By that time, it would accept the word, but was still searching for the community, the school, the cemetery or the post office when we arrived. I played with it for a while, read the directions a few more times, and suddenly had the cranky voice on the line again. He ordered us to take various turns on the way home, but she had no idea where she was when she was at Quay. She had heard of the word, however, and called it "Key" as if we were on the coast!
Eddie surely got even with his former teacher and caused her to bring out her colorful language. Now, I must see what I can do for him in the near future!
Lynn Moncus is a long time Tucumcari resident. Contact her at 575-461-1952