So back in 2011, I and Vstroyer drove to Kansas from our home in Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving, a trip that we now make every year BECAUSE IT IS ACTUALLY CHEAPER TO DRIVE TWO DAYS ACROSS THE COUNTRY THAN TAKING A PLANE. I guess I could have made it in one long ass day, but I am one of those people who stops at every dumbass place (OZARKLAND? HOME MADE FUDGE! BIGGEST BALL OF TWINE? FAMILY DONKEY SHOW?!), so I decided to take it easy on me and Vstroyer and take two days.
It was a howl. I had directions from google that were spot on, and just so I didn’t get lonely, I took the Tom Tom which was bequeathed to me by The French Girls who trekked down south in a rental IN 2010 (Thanks, Laure!). I have loaded a special voice in, one of those free fan-made ones, which is supposed to sound like a Dalek voice . Mine is a little lower than this one. Also it has a glitch so that whenever you get where you are going it says the following:
SCANNERS INDICATE YOU HAVE REACHED YOUR DESTINATION. YOU WILL PARK YOUR TRANSPORT. YOU WILL EXIT THE VEHICLE. OBEY OBEY OR YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED.
Which is fine in and of itself, if it didn’t then follow up with:
YOU WILL TAKE THE MOTORWAY. TAKE THE SECOND LEFT. TAKE THE SECOND RIGHT. TURN LEFT.
Oh Dalek Tom-Tom, you are lol.
The thing is, when it comes to actual directions, Dalek Tom-Tom MIGHT be evil, or he might just be a victim of the false Supreme Dalek god, otherwise known as user-updated maps. I’m not an idiot. I understand the urge to troll user-updated maps by adding Starbucks where there aren’t any, and the like. One time, whilst following directions to a rather large mall that I rarely frequent, Dalek Tom-Tom took me to the middle of a rather dodgy residential area of town and told me to EXIT THE VEHICLE. It wasn’t his fault. The Crucible Punk’d him.
SO, back to the heart of the matter—whilst the google map I had got me to and from Kansas, any unscheduled stops had to be dictated by Dalek Tom-Tom.
All was well, until on the way home I was passing through Sweet Springs, Missouri, and I saw a sign on the side of the road that read:
THE CHEESE SHOP
Me: CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE, GROMIT.
Usually, when there’s a big ass honking sign on the side of the road for a place to stop, when you get off the highway (I-70, in this case), it’s either RIGHT THE FUCK THERE, or there is a giant sign pointing to the direction one should go. In this case, neither was true. There was a big ass gas station/casino/convenience store/all-night hooker stand. So I pulled up to that, compulsively gassed up, and searched for the cheese shop on the phone. I plugged the addy into Dalek Tom-Tom, who said that it was .2 miles away. So far, so good. I bought coffee and asked the lady behind the counter where I might find SOME CHEESY COMESTIBLES. FETCH HITHER THE FROMAGE DE LA BELLE FRANCE.
″Oh, just go out to the blacktop and turn left.″
See, the thing about Dalek Tom Tom is that sometimes he doesn’t get a signal right away. I have found that he will stall FOREVER unless I get moving, so as I waited for the sulky Dalek to warm up, I turned out on the black top and surveyed two left turns in two different directions. Hrm. Eventually, I took the one that seemed like it was a more decent road and less of an alley, and set off.
Dalek Tom-Tom: TURN AROUND.
Vstroyer: Don’t say that word.
Good point. As I was looking for a place to turn around, Dalek Tom-Tom recalculated and told me that if I kept going forward, I could make a series of left turns that would take me back around and I could get to the cheese shop in 2 miles. Well, sure, I’ll just do that. ADVENTUR!
So far, so good. The road was running parallel to I-70. The first left turn took me onto gravel. Well, this was farm country. La la la, gravel. Little pings on the car.
Vstroyer: ARE THOSE ROCKS?
The second left turn took me to more gravel. There were fallow fields all over the place. A lone farmhouse in the distance. I am setting the scene.
The last left turn took me to a dirt road. Not just any dirt road, but one of those roads that is only made because two tire tracks have worn down the grass. Have I mentioned it’d been raining for three days? I hesitated, and then drove bravely on. I HAD COME TOO FAR NOW.
Me: This better be some incredible fucking cheese.
Vstroyer: Don’t say that word.
The going was perilous, because the tire ruts were deep in places and the ground was muddy. The fields had ended, and we were entering wooded area. I continued slaloming forward, hands glued to ten and two, looking for a place to turn around and every once in a while glancing at Dalek Tom-Tom for salvation. In a few places I worried that I might get stuck in the mud, and then I figured that I didn’t want to turn around because then I’d have to go through all those mud wells again. We hit the puddles with such force that the muddy water was sloshing against the windows.
Finally, we were about .4 miles from our destination, and I saw trees ahead of me; the road must veer to the right or left a little. Dalek Tom-Tom’s little road map was straight as an arrow. I came to a stop in a thicket, with nothing but what might be an ATV trail off to the left, overgrown with branches.
Me: What the–
Obviously, Dalek Tom-Tom was a FILTHY LIAR. I did a billionty point turn and headed back the way I came. At least it was easy to get back where I started.
Dalek Tom-Tom: TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND
Me: Oh hell no.
Dalek Tom-Tom: TURN AROUND OR YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED.
Me: Fine, exterminate me.
Vstroyer: OBEY. OBEY.
Eventually we got back to the big ass gas station/casino/convenience store/all night hooker stand. I took the OTHER left turn that looked suspicious before and go .2 miles to the Cheese Shop. My car looked like it’d been catapulted with dirt bombs.
But there was cheese, so I suppose it was all okay. There’s not a lot that cheese can’t cure. Except maybe like, cancer or something.
Dalek Tom-Tom, I shall never trust you again, you marvelous bastard.