Reporter cartoon, Frank Shiers

Today’s tools drive me crazy, and off the map | OUR CORNER

Distracted driving is the hot topic now with the new state law taking effect Sunday, July 23.

I will not recite the specifics of the law; the basics are don’t do anything but drive when you are driving — like shaving, playing with your phone, yelling at other drivers (different law, I think) and eating a Pad Thai piled on a Chicago deep dish pizza.

This is a serious issue that can turn a car into a weapon of destruction.

I have looked at my own driving, and because I am genetically linked to the general population of goofball males, my existence is an ambulating distraction. We are generally like Dug the dog in “Up” – say “squirrel,” and we are lost in space.

According to my daughter, Katy, the older I get, the more I drive like I’m aiming my green tennis-ball-treaded walker.

My kids crab about riding with me because I don’t listen to the radio or sports talk shows or any other whining – I am the gold medal winner of whining and prefer to keep my championship belt.

There is a distraction that Katy and I argue about (which makes me right, but let’s not say that out loud or I might get in trouble) – GPS. Every time we go some place I usually drive, and Katy immediately breaks out her iPhone GPS.

First, because I am Mr. Uptodatecoolguy, I complain about how much her dopey iPhone cost.

“My grandma’s first house cost less than that phone, and I could take a bath in it. Can’t take a bath in your dippy iPhone, I bet.”

That one usually gets me a free pass to the nursing home without passing go.

Next, I have to listen to her tell me that GPS says I am taking the wrong way. I know all the special shortcuts and zippy ways to get from somewhere to over there, I think.

Katy then brings up our trip to Montana when she was a teenager. I admit Idaho was a bit longer than I expected. It’s only a couple of inches or so on the map.

We made it home and no one was completely dead, which seems like the high-water mark to me.

No one likes maps anymore. I love maps and figuring out my alternate adventure on the squiggly colored lines. Imagine how dull Magellan’s voyage would have been with an iPhone GPS.

Apparently the world altered its axis for the better and all of my cool shortcuts fade into a gray mist as a voice speaks to me from Katy’s phone.

“You’re going the wrong way, dummy. Quit getting distracted, and do what I say.”

Reach Dennis Box, Covington Reporter regional editor, at dbox@maplevalleyreporter.com or 425-432-1209, ext. 5050.

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