Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Divorce Announced - In The Matter of Richie Murphy vs. Siri Smartphone

Yesterday after French Conversation and my noon tooth cleaning appointment, we set off on what proved to be a very elusive trail for the bakery that makes baguettes.  Our source was impeccable (the co-owner of Zazou, Riviera Village, which serves slices of it grilled with their escargots.) 

I asked if it was made in-house and she said that it came from The Larder, Culver City.  I Googled it, got the street address and phone number and the holy grail began. 

It was our first date with Siri and it was fun at first.  I loved hearing this little voice telling me precise instructions such as "500 feet turn right on such-and-such street" while a map with a blue line (us) showed exactly where we were.  "Cool!" no? 

And then I noticed something.  Siri said "Turn left" and the map said, "Turn right."  Twice.  Naturally we didn't follow the voice, but the map instructions.  Both of us knew that Culver City was east of where we were and not west (and, presumably, into the ocean.) 

Siri really wanted us to get on the 405 north.  Every conceivable right turn that would lead us there was mentioned..  However when she sensed that we weren't about to get on the freeway, a little sign flashed across the screen that said, "Recalculating."  "How obliging," I thought.

I will draw a veil across the ensuing twists and turns, reversals and go aheads that occurred in the next hour and 20 minutes.  In desperation when we were Somewhere in the right area - Siri's map maddeningly said we were a 10 min. walk from The Larder - Richie pulled into a tire repair shop and asked.  They'd never heard of it.  We thanked them and sped away, destination unknown, but encouragingly close.    Next, in a residential neighborhood, Richie accosted a young guy walking along a sidewalk. 

He graciously told us (in Spanish) that he didn't speak English.  Where upon I interjected, "Diga me por favor, donde est The Larder?"  He shrugged, patted my arm on the window ledge and said, "No."

In exasperation, Richie said, "Do you have a phone number for them?"  I said I did and promptly dialed it.  Only to be told by a cheery recorded voice (Siri's cousin?) "That number is out of service or has been changed."

We looked at each other.  I said, "Let's go home."  Richie said, "That's what I think, too.  Along with something - that was my first time with that (sneered at smartphone) and the last!"

Goodbye, Siri; hello MapQuest or Mapblast.   

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