Jon explains how he lives with two women at the same time. #yeg #yegfood #yegtravel

April 20, 2011

I am living with two women at the same time. No this is not some sister wife arrangement. One of them is fully aware of the situation while the second or newest woman is blissfully unaware of the other woman; and she doesn’t seem to care. Both women comment about my driving and provide invaluable assistance in navigation.

The first one is my life mate and wife, Gail. While we motor along she reminds me to drive slower, to stay away from the edge of the road and not to follow the car in front too closely. She has certain needs and instructs me to stop frequently for coffee, unique food experiences and to use the internet. She is quick to advise me if I slip through a stop sign or fail to notice a speed change. However, she cannot read a map with any clarity and cannot make sense of guide book directions. On a few occasions when her advice has proven to be right she will make mention of the incident over an extended period of time.

The other woman is Maggie. She came into my life just days before we left on this trip. My brother bought her to give to his son. But when he could not use her my brother sent her to me. No this is not some white slave trade story. Maggie lives inside the Magellan GPS unit and acquired her name within the first 48 hours of her arrival. Maggie also tells me where to go but in a totally different way. Maggie cares little about how fast I am going or where I am in relation to other vehicles. She is, however, obsessed with helping me find my destination by the most efficient route possible. Once I have fully informed her of my destination she plots a route and makes constant note of my speed, elevation, distance to destination (in miles, kilometres and minutes) and estimated time of arrival (based on the current time and speed). On a complicated route she will advise when we are two miles from a required turn; then remind me at one mile and again at ½ mile. When the turn is imminent she sounds a cheerful chine. On a long stretch without any deviations she may be silent for hundreds of miles. Then suddenly she will announce a turn and instruct me on the proper lane and if there are manoeuvres required immediately after the turn.

Maggie’s tone never changes and unlike other GPS operators does not make a big fuss if she has to recalculate a route. She is, however, very insistent that I return to her preferred route as soon as I deviate. When I turn off the highway for gas or a pit stop she immediately instructs me to “Make the first legal U-turn.” If after a few hundred metres she can see another route back to our destination she will map it out on her screen and happily provide a new set of instructions. She never seems to hold a grudge and returns to her duties without injecting any spite or malice into the journey.

Maggie is also a deep well of information about POI (points of interest) or service suppliers like gas stations, campgrounds and wineries. However all she knows is where they are located and how long it will take to get there. She doesn’t even pretend to know if they will be able to meet our needs or come up to our standards. That’s Gail’s job. By consulting a guidebook or simply scanning the yard, she knows if we will be using the service or staying at the campsite.

I suppose if you have to live with two women then having them do different jobs means that they are never in conflict. So far Maggie (who is unaware of Gail`s existence) and Gail seem to be getting along. The only requirement to continued harmony is to turn Maggie off when we reach our destination and never to take her to bed with me.

That`s what I am thinking about.

Jon Hall

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