September 27, 2010
Other GPS Voices
A seductive woman, a street-wise Latino, a sophisticated Brit: these are all options available to you when selecting the voice on your GPS. This choice can be pivotal as you are selecting the voice and personality which will be guiding your through you travels, directing you when you're lost, and talking you off when you've gotten that desperate. Celebrities have even gotten in on it. Imagine Kim Cattrall telling you to make a right turn at the next light or Burt Reynolds mixing ethnic slurs in with his directions to your next meeting. Here are a few others which will soon be available:
1. Albert the lazy-eyed fishmonger
Albert is an half-Chinese, half-Japanese fish and seafood professional. More than anything else in the world, Albert wants to sell you oysters. He'll get you where you're going, but he is also going to try to get you to buy a dozen fresh Malpeques and a sack of day-old scallops in a thickly-accented semi-English. Where's the nearest Jiffy Lube, Albert? He'll tell you right after he's done scaling that grouper.
2. Angry Drifter
Angry Drifter does not have a name, or at least won't tell it to you until you've given him a cigarette. He's seen a lot -- too much even -- and he's lost even more. To him, the most efficient route to the airport at rush hour is the one with the least heartbreak, and distance is measured in stories, not miles. If you're waiting for him to tell you which exit you should take for Arby's, you might only get silence, because Angry Drifter could give a fuck about you and your problems.
3. Bernadette the wedding planner
Here's the thing with Bernadette: she's new at this. She graduated with a degree in marketing and thought that she'd be doing PR for Chanel by now, but after a few years of bumping around advertising agencies compiling market research and trying unsuccessfully to fellate her bosses, she finally decided to join her friend's wedding planning company. She has not quite seized on the concept of "owning" her own recommendations, so she will invariably give you three or four different options at every intersection, depending on the theme you're going for and what your budget is.
4. Red Sox Fan/Closeted Homosexual
It's every indecipherable Boston accent you've ever heard, but with a twist: he's into dudes. He'll call you a "queah" when you take a wrong turn, but the self-loathing is so obvious that you can't help but feel sorry for him. If he's drunk, you might get a long crying jag instead of directions to the golf course, or he'll guide you to some guy named Tommy's house where he claims he "just needs to get a few things off his chest."
5. Heavy-breathing pervert
Apart from the alarming noises and grunting, this voice is clear and direct, commanding even, although you might find yourself passing in front of a lot of pet stores.