Where’s My Cranial GPS Already?


I drove down to Boston yesterday.

Not because I actually meant to, mind. I just ended up in Boston somehow.

It’s a bit of a joke in my family how bad my sense of direction is. This is entirely justified fun-poking. It’s not unheard of that I’ve been heading for one destination only to end up driving thirty miles in the opposite direction.

My mummy would probably blame this on videogames — which may actually have some truth to it this time. I think they’ve dulled what should be my natural ability to navigate 3D space. I can find my way just fine, though, if I have enough time to Might-and-Magic myself my own map. But that’s not really an option when you’re piloting a giant steel death machine at high speeds. How about a minimap? I could do just as well with one of those! They should have those in real life.

Huh? Oh, they’re called GPSes? Or iPhones? W-well… shoosh.

Anyway, I was on the right road — I swear — but I missed the turn. It usually starts there: I miss the turn, figure somehow to get myself turned around, and follow the very same road back the way I came. But then it leads me to Maine for some reason. Or Boston, in this case.

So the magic, space-bending road took me past some sort of port and into the heart of the city. Of course, I knew something was wrong when I saw a field of water-treatment thingies, then the ocean, then some gigantic military-looking ship.

(Don’t get me started on my terrible phobia of boats. They literally make my skin crawl just looking at pictures of them. And this was one in real life.)

Eventually, I happened upon a toll booth, which meant paying a toll (3.50!) to be somewhere I didn’t want to be in the first place. (Out of curiosity, what happens if you don’t have money on you when you hit one of these? (I’m amazed I actually had the 3.50.)) At least it gave me an opportunity to ask the nice guy in the booth for directions. “<something something>, over the Tobin Bridge,” he said.

‘Kay, but…


Okay, so…

Where’s that? What road am I even on?

To say I am lost is almost comically understating the situation.

What year is this? Who am I?

But there was a line behind me, so I just kept going. I drove aimlessly around the streets of Boston for a little while, then finally, I decided to just go north. Conveniently, my care had one of those compass display things at least, and I knew home was in the general direction of north. A sound plan!

…I did find the Tobin Bridge, but I never got to my destination…

Today’s lesson: cities are way more confusing and scary in real life than they are in videogames.


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