Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Jewish GPS

It seemed nearly incredible. 

It was late November 2013 and after all the years they'd been around, I still did not possess either a smartphone or a  GPS. Why? I always thought I could get my directions from Google Maps, print 'em out,  and get wherever I was going without any intrusive gadget in the  car.

But  there was one small problem: I never pay attention to the distances between landmarks.  If the directions say “turn left on Medford Street and continue straight for 1/10th of a mile, your destination  is on the right,” I turn left on Medford Street and am pretty much just outside of  Cleveland before  I think, "gee, wonder how much further I have to continue straight before my destination is on the right."

So several weeks ago I went out to buy me a GPS.  But which one to buy? There was the New Yorker GPS which  sneers  if you ask directions to anywhere outside of NYC, the French GPS which gives directions that insult you,  and the Comic Con GPS which takes you anywhere you want to go as long as it’s in Gotham City!

But I bypassed all those and picked out one that seemed just right for me --- the Jewish GPS.  How could I go wrong with a GPS that understood my ethnic identity as well as my crucial need to locate a place with great corned beef whenever outside my home territory of Philadelphia?

"Now,  Jewish GPS," I said as the two of us left the store, "kindly direct me to 489 North Cavendish Street."

"North Cavendish Street, darling?" replied the Jewish GPS. "That's not a proper neighborhood for a nice Jewish boy."

"Where's your pleasant but sultry voice, Jewish GPS?" I asked. "You sound like my late Aunt Mae!"

"You bought the Jewish GPS, boychick, didn't you? By the way, you’re looking frightfully thin!  Doesn’t you wife cook for you?”

"I'm not married."

"Single at your age!  What's the problem? You have no steady income? You drink, you gamble? Gay, bubbeleh?"

"Please, Jewish GPS! Just give me the directions to 489 North Cavendish Street."

"Drive straight for three blocks, then make a left on Buchanan Street. Go to the light and  make a right. That's Fulcrum Road."

"Now we're getting somewhere!" 

"Then proceed about 100 yards to 453 Fulcrum, there's a nice Jewish woman lives there, 57 years old, an accountant!  You'll need a couple of good stiff drinks to look her square in the face but at your age, you can’t be picky!"

And so it was. For the next several days, the Jewish GPS was carping, disagreeable, and always finding fault. I didn't  drive right, I didn't park right, and wasn't anything like Joel, the guy who programmed her at the factory who went to synagogue each week and never failed to call his mother.

"Jewish GPS, please give me directions to 15 Glasser Street."

"Why, so you can see some shikseh there?"

"No, no, no, it's a restaurant, I'm meeting some friends." 

"What kind of food?"

"Burgers, fries, that kind of thing."

"Chazerai!  Why don't you go back home, I'll make you matzoh ball soup."

"You can do that?  But you're a contraption, Jewish GPS!"

"I'm a contraption that's also a Jewish mother! I just need a chicken, some dill, matzoh meal, and I'll tell you exactly what to do!"

"Well, we could get that at  Super Fresh."

"Uh, if you don't mind, bubbeleh, I don't know where ...."

"Sure,  Jewish GPS!   Turn left on Medford Street and continue straight for  1/10 of a mile, your destination is on the right."

My Jewish GPS.  Ahh, think I'll keep her! 



Jean Marie said...

This made me smile :) You should ask your loving GPS to take you outlandish places just to see her reaction. Or see if she has a good referral on a dentist.

As a non-Jewish woman. I happen to LOVE matzoh ball soup and make it often. Infact, I'm going to make it today. I could put dill on anything. Nom

Perry Block said...

She has a lot of referrals on dentists, but she always wants me to marry them. Some of them are even women. Thanks for your comment, LadyJ. Send me some matzoh ball soup next time ya make it!

Russell said...

I knew they had Redneck GPS, because that story won $300 when I entered it in the Showcase Award Contest at Ozark Creative Writers. It's name was Bubba (naturally). I like your Jewish version. Maybe she can fix you up with a rich Sugar Mama.

Perry Block said...

A rich Sugar Mama who's way younger than me! I hope. I wanna kiss someone with teeth. Anyway, I want to read the redneck version. Please send me and my one reader the cite!

Joy Ross Davis said...

What a hoot, Perry!! I love your Jewish GPS. She'll keep you on the straight and narrow. Maybe one of these days you'll be lucky enough to find a SouthernBelle GPS! Now, THAT would be a hoot, hon!

Perry Block said...

A Southern Belle GPS! "Lordy,Miz Scarlett, can y'all tell me how to get to Tara?" Vivien Leigh! How beautiful! Oh ... you meant someone like Minnie Pearl? I'll stick to the Jewish one.

Amy Sue Nathan said...

Oy vey! ;)

Perry Block said...

Yes, I should have known better. There was a warning label said exactly that!