In an average year, I cover about 20,000 miles along rural roads. To pass the time, I find myself using my iPhone’s Siri as a shotgun-riding, ever-cautious navigator. Turns out it’s highly satisfying to scare a virtual assistant half to death by convincing it that we are about to drive off the edge of the Earth by way of a simple country road.
A typical conversations goes something like this:
Me: Siri, find my location.
Siri: You are approximately 92,960,000 miles from the Sun.
Me: No, I mean my location within the state of Wyoming.
Siri: Which state? I do not understand the question.
Me: Wyoming. W-Y-O-M-I-N-G.
Siri: I do not have information on W-Y-O-M-I-N-G. Would you like to me to look it up on the web?
With great ceremony, I attempt to catch up my electronic passenger on the last 100 years of history in the Wild West. Unfortunately, the best knowledge of history still does not translate to accurate map knowledge.
Me: Siri, find directions to 125 NW C Street.
Siri: There is no location by that name.
Me: Yes. Jennifer lives there. It does exist.
Siri: There are no roads past Smelter Ave according to my maps.
Me: Yes, I see them. I drive them frequently.
Siri: U-turn! Make U-turn! You are missing the corner! There is a cliff ahead.
Me: That’s it…I’m getting there myself.
Siri: Fine. I’m shutting down in protest.
I’ve begun to consider a drive as “rural” if my passenger cannot recognize maps, area history, or the state itself. And the screams of “U-turn” echo through my head long after Siri has shut herself off in protest.
About the Author
Anne has worked in agriculture since she was old enough to sweep the floor of the family machine shed. She writes about rural & outdoor life from Montana, where she and her husband chase two children. Her experience ranges from picking apricots in 100 degree weather to discussing ag trade with the Ambassador of New Zealand.