The Blind Leading the Stupid

Okay, the fish bit your car and then what happened?
Okay, the fish bit your car and then what happened?
Driving from point A to point B is a time honored tradition. Not just in America, though we made it famous, but all over the world. Germany’s Autobahns allow you to get from one end of the country to the other at record speeds. If you’re ever there spend the extra bucks and rent a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. It will be the only time in your life you can open one all the way up and let it rip. However, as the map reading skills of people has been in steady decline and GPS has taken over the world, mankind has become very reliant on the words of others to lead him/her from point to point. And, as we all know, nothing bad can happen when you cede control of your decision making processes to a cybernetic being.

It also doesn’t help that some people are so incredibly dense as to defy description.

UPI is reporting that a trio of women drove their car off a boat ramp.

A trio of Washington state women said they were lucky to escape injury when their GPS device directed them to drive into the water.

The women said they were driving in Bellevue when the GPS instructed them to make a U-turn that took them down a boat ramp and into Mercer Slough, KIRO-TV, Seattle, reported Wednesday.

The women, who were visiting from out of town, received a ride back to the hotel from firefighters.

These are clearly women who are still baffled by how the letters appear on Wheel of Fortune. Boat ramps, unlike highways, are relatively finite things. Anyone’s who’s ever been fishing can tell you that they clearly aren’t roads. Even with the wrong directions, how could they not notice the giant freaking puddle? Seriously, Mercer Slough is wider than the Des Plains River at several points. Bonus, since it’s a nature preserve, all of its boat docks are those little wooden ones that you see in Huck Finn reenactments.

I think a nice game of “hide the keys” is in order for these lasses.

But, okay, say you do end up with your car in the water. Who do you call? Well, no one obviously, you let your GPS figure all that tough stuff out for you. After all, we wouldn’t want to tax your tiny mind now would we? As the Telegraph UK reports, that’s exactly what happened in Wales and is why the Coast Guard spent 3 hours looking for a BMW miles from shore.

Coastguards launched the lifeboat after picking up an emergency signal four miles out at sea off the Welsh coast.

But after a three hour search operation the signal was traced to an anti-theft tracking device fitted to a BMW safely parked on the car ferry from Dublin to Liverpool.

Coastguard spokesman Mark Craddock said: “We were called by police to say a tracking device signal had been detected four miles out at sea.

“There had been a signal and then it had gone so we feared a boat could have sunk – we had to treat it as the worst possible scenario.”

But after three-hour search in the darkness the crew of the Anglesey-based Moelfre lifeboat failed to find a sailor in trouble. And coastguards realised the emergency signal came from the exact position of a P&O Dublin to Liverpool car ferry.

They discovered it was an Emergency Telematics signal from a GPS system fitted as standard into new BMW and Volvo vehicles.

Mr Craddock said: “We investigated where this signal may have come from and worked out that a Dublin to Liverpool vessel would have been at that approximate location at the time the signal was emitted.

“We now believe the Emergency Telematics signal came from a vehicle on the ferry, the European Endeavour, and was then switched off again.

“The devices go off if the car is stolen or can be triggered if the airbag goes off or can be set off by the driver if they have broken down.”

Coastguards said it was the first time a rescue mission had been launched because of an anti-theft device fitted to a car safely parked on a ferry.

Mr Craddock, watch manager at Holyhead Coastguard, added: “This is a new problem for us but with more vehicles having these devices fitted it could become an issue.

“On this occasion it wasted the time and fuel of a lifeboat crew for nearly three hours.”

Passengers on the P&O ferry were asked to check their GPS systems when they disembarked at Liverpool.

Dave Massey, of Moelfre Lifeboat said: “Every call we receive has to be treated as a worst case scenario.

“We were at the location where the signal was detected within 25 minutes and conducted a major search of the vicinity.
“This incident was logged as a false alarm with good intention.”

Since both Volvo and BMW ship cars to the US, can you imagine the fun to be had if those suckers went off in the middle of the Atlantic?

I’ll be honest, every car I’ve ever driven with GPS found the unit turned off before the key hit the ignition. The one time I did use it, to get to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a rainstorm, I ended up on a wharf. However, I did not drive into the water. Instead I tried this nutty idea. I turned around, went to a gas station and asked directions.

Got there just fine and picked up a pack of smokes to boot.

You may be wondering if there’s any use for those silly devices at all. I can think of one. They should be implanted in engagement rings. Reuters reports that a man had a very romantic, if incredibly dumb, idea and it went very wrong.

It is the one moment every man wants to get right — and which London floor-fitter Lefkos Hajji could hardly have got more wrong.

The luckless 28 year-old’s dreams of giving his sweetheart, Leanne, 26, the ultimate proposal have literally vanished into thin air.

Hajji, of Hackney, east London, had concealed a $12,000 engagement ring inside a helium balloon. The idea was that she would pop the balloon as he popped the question.

But as he left the shop, a gust of wind pulled the balloon from his hand and he watched the ring — and quite possibly the affections of his girlfriend — sailing away over the rooftops.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he told The Sun newspaper.

“I just watched as it went further and further into the air.

“I felt like such a plonker. It cost a fortune and I knew my girlfriend would kill me.”

Hajji spent two hours in his car trying to chase and find the balloon, without success.

“I thought I would give Leanne a pin so I could literally pop the question,” he said.

“But I had to tell her the story — she went absolutely mad. Now she is refusing to speak to me until I get her a new ring.”

He is hoping the ring will still turn up.

“It would be amazing if someone found it,” he added.

First off I hope none of you ever feel like a plonker. I don’t know what it is but I’m sure it will cost you your job. Secondly, some advice for the poor Mr. Hajji; dump the b***h. If she’s so self centered as to not even see the humor in this situation you’re in for a life of pain.

No, you don’t need a second opinion.

Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!

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