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 heâ€™d had fitted to his car. Heâ€™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.
â€œIâ€™ll just tell it where I want to go,â€ he said, punching in this information on his new toy.
â€œWhere are we going then?â€ I asked.
â€œDisley,â€ he replied, naming a village about a couple of miles away.
â€œYou already know how to get to Disley,â€ 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. â€œYes but the Sat Nav doesnâ€™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.â€
â€œThen again it might want to take us via Hardnott Pass in the Lake District and a track ending up in a farmerâ€™s field,â€ I suggested.
â€œDo I detect a note of jealousy?â€ said Atkins, meanly.
I ignored the taunt. We set off. Weâ€™d travelled only a few yards before a voice said: â€œIn fifty yards take a left turn.â€
Atkins smiled at me and nodded towards the Sat Nav box perched atop the carâ€™s dashboard. â€œSmart eh?â€
â€œItâ€™s a woman,â€ I said.
â€œItâ€™s a woman,â€ I repeated. â€œBloody hell Atkins, you of all people. I mean itâ€™s bad enough having a woman sat at the side of you telling you what to do, now youâ€™ve got another woman in the car telling you what to do.â€
The smile left his face faster than shit off a shovel. (Does shit depart a shovel particularly quickly? Iâ€™d have thought it would stick to it. I must shit on a shovel one day and put it to the test). â€œI never realised that,â€ 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 didnâ€™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 heâ€™d bought with the womanâ€™s voice. He told me he would gladly have paid two hundred pounds more. Who wouldnâ€™t
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