Thursday, December 21, 2006

If all else fails, read instructions

The new – well, nearly new - car has a SATNAV system. We didn’t know how it worked so the salesman demonstrated by keying in our home post code. Wow! We were directed to our humble without a single mistake – which was impressive but not very useful, since we already know where we live.
Then we were invited for lunch to a house in the wilds of the Hampshire countryside. ‘No need to tell us where you live’, we said smugly. ‘Just give us the postcode. We’ve got SATNAV’.
We followed its directions to the letter, and then, on a muddy country lane barely wide enough for a scooter, with tall hedges on both sides and not a signpost or building in sight, the SATNAV lady said, ‘You have reached your destination. The SATNAV system is closing down’. We had overlooked the fact that rural postcodes tend to cover larger acreages than urban ones. While our own postcode covers 41 houses, theirs seemed to take in the counties of Hampshire, Wiltshire and most of Dorset.
We found them eventually - very late and with the nearly-new machine covered in cow manure – by the traditional method of knocking on doors.
But we sure got home all right.

You've been Warned: the Antipodean triumphalists are in full chorus today. One says 'Ashes' means Another Sad Horrific English Series. Not very good but typical of the general level. Slightly better was: Q. What is the height of optimism? A. An English batsman applying sunscreen. And the fat bowler announced his retirement from test cricket saying that he only stayed on this long to see the English beaten. May he get lost in Hampshire next summer.

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