Like Grob handing his map over to his wife, this trait has been genetically passed down through the generations. This leads to the pitfalls of losing something in the translation between driver and map reader. The problem is that directions do not necessarily come in the form of words. They can be gestures, both casual and frantic, hesitant grunts, squeals, screams or any combination of the above. Traveling at seventy miles per hour, an “aaaaaahhhhhh” to an “oh bllleeeeeep!” can mean the difference between making an exit off a freeway, and driving another thirty miles to find a location to turn around. A scream can have a definite impact on a driver’s nervous system, causing an involuntary turning of the steering wheel. To the driver, the fact that there is not an exit in sight is inconsequential. He has no control over his reaction. This results in the car crossing four lanes of traffic, the medium, and a couple more lanes on the other side just for good measure. In turn, this triggers outburst of colorful adjectives from the driver concerning the capabilities of the map reader. I have heard testimonies of such breakdowns in communications resulting in harsh words turning to physical assault, then separation, divorce, and the dividing of property. And that was before said family had returned home.
After having this almost spiritual revelation concerning road maps, I made mention of it to a neighbor. He was so impressed that he went straight to his vehicle and threw out all of his road maps. Three weeks ago he and his family went on vacation. I thought they were suppose to be back last week…or was it the week before….