Sat Nav

17th January 2007

I have cost Atkins Down The Road a hundred pounds.
It was last week that he proudly told me about the new Sat Nav system he’d had fitted to his car. He’d drove the car the fifty or so yards from his house to mine so that I could inspect its fine design and desirability for myself, then offered me a ride in his car so that he could demonstrate the wonders of the Sat Nav. I accepted and we got in the car.
“I’ll just tell it where I want to go,” he said, punching in this information on his new toy.
“Where are we going then?” I asked.
“Disley,” he replied, naming a village about a couple of miles away.
“You already know how to get to Disley,” I felt obliged to point out.
He looked at me with the sort of bemused tolerance look that teachers use when dealing with retarded members of their class. “Yes but the Sat Nav doesn’t know that I know does it? I could be a one-legged Latvian banjo player on his first visit to England for all the Sat Nav knows.”
“Then again it might want to take us via Hardnott Pass in the Lake District and a track ending up in a farmer’s field,” I suggested.
“Do I detect a note of jealousy?” said Atkins, meanly.
I ignored the taunt. We set off. We’d travelled only a few yards before a voice said: “In fifty yards take a left turn.”
Atkins smiled at me and nodded towards the Sat Nav box perched atop the car’s dashboard. “Smart eh?”
“It’s a woman,” I said.
“It’s a woman,” I repeated. “Bloody hell Atkins, you of all people. I mean it’s bad enough having a woman sat at the side of you telling you what to do, now you’ve got another woman in the car telling you what to do.”
The smile left his face faster than shit off a shovel. (Does shit depart a shovel particularly quickly? I’d have thought it would stick to it. I must shit on a shovel one day and put it to the test). “I never realised that,” Atkins said, crestfallen.
Anyway he took the Sat Nav back to shop where he got it from and asked for one with a male voice. They didn’t do them in that model. They had two with male voices in other makes, but they were dearer. Atkins bought the cheaper of them, which was a hundred pounds more than the one he’d bought with the woman’s voice. He told me he would gladly have paid two hundred pounds more. Who wouldn’t

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