Progress has a way of becoming the great equalizer.
I mentioned a while back about how I used to be the world's foremost authority on death.
When famous people died, how they died, where they died, etc.
I used to impress a lot of people with this bit of morbidity.
The Internet has rendered this talent useless.
It's leveled the playing field.
Anyone can push a button on his or her computer and have access to everything that has been rolling around my head for lo these many years.
However, progress has now turned things back in my direction.
Up until recently, I considered myself the worst driver who was ever issued a license.
Actually, my late mother was THE worst driver who was ever issued a license.
I just followed in her footsteps.
We combined the same two major flaws in our driving ability:
An inability to control the vehicle (even more incredible in my mother's case, in that she passed her road test on a stick-shift), and absolutely no sense of direction.
Then, this new invention came out. The GPS.
Ours is called a Garmin.
It allows you to never get lost.
Just by pushing a few buttons.
Yes, you have to listen to an automaton lady give you directions, but I consider that a small price to pay for the thorough humiliation that I used to go through by admitting to strangers that I was lost.
I've heard some men bemoan the Garmin as another threat to their manhood.
As if there is some pride to being able to never get lost, and not have to rely on some female voice to guide you along.
As if there is some sort of triumph in being able to get yourself unlost all by yourself.
Without any help.
At least in my case.
Any time I used to get behind the wheel, it was always even money that I would get lost.
And I'd have to rely on another device, my cell phone, to rely on another female's voice, my wife's, to guide me to where I was going.
It's nothing that I've ever attached manhood to.
If I did, I'd be too ashamed to leave the house, much less get behind the wheel.
So I am no more than half the worst driver in the world that I used to be.
Maybe I'm still the worst, but none of it can be blamed on my sense of direction.
I wonder how much this would have improved my mother's status.
Probably not much.
She had her own peccadillos that I had never before witnessed or emulated.
Upon entering a freeway from an off ramp, she would invariably come to a full stop before going onto the highway.
She would never just proceed with caution.
If that had occurred on her road test, I'm sure she'd never have passed.
But in my case, I feel the playing field leveling under me all the time.
My new book, "Mark Rothman's Essays", ones that were culled from the blog and are no longer there, along with a surprise bonus, is available for purchase.
Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."