So last night when I arrived home from work, a package was waiting for me on my front porch.
I could tell, even from a distance, that it had come from UPS as the box was crushed.
Is it just me, or has the quality of UPS gone downhill? Seems every package they have delivered in the past decade has gone through some sort of physical trauma — the USPS should take advantage of this.
I hurried inside and tore open the already partially torn open box to unveil my latest stupid purchase — a Garmin Nuvi 260 GPS unit.
(This is where a chorus of angels sings)
I opened the box within a box in one fluid motion and hit the power switch — ‘GARMIN’ — it said, and then “Loading Maps…”
Then it died.
Would it kill them to ship it with a charged battery? Sheesh.
So I grabbed the included car charger and ran back out to the car…
Plugged it in, started the car and turned the unit on again.
“Loading Maps,” it said.
And then I saw my little blue car right there on the screen, sitting right in front of my house. Sure, it had my car pointing in the wrong direction, but it was still *very* cool.
I idled there in my driveway for 20 minutes time pushing the little plus sign, then the little negative sign. Sure, I’d just paid $4.27/gallon to fill up my tank yesterday, what of it?
Neighbors were arriving home from their workdays around me, likely wondering why my car was running. I paid them no mind.
I then proceeded to back out of the driveway and drive around the block as the unit barked out directions, “Turn right on Oswego Drive. Turn right on Forge Drive. Turn right on Aberdeen Street. Turn right again… arriving at home.”
Yeah, I’m a dork like that.
Eventually, I shut things down and headed back into the house to eagerly await the arrival of my wife.
In the meantime, I prepared the “Garmin Friction Mount” I’d also purchased (it arrived via USPS long before the UPS shipment came in).
It’s a goofy looking thing — essentially nothing more than an overpriced beanbag contraption.
The clumsy thing is made of the cheapest nylon and fake leather I’ve ever seen — not anywhere near worth the MSRP of $39.99 or the actual $27-something I paid for it.
Anyway, it works great on the kitchen table.
My wife arrived home, I did my happy dance, and out to the car we went for our “maiden voyage.” (That phrase would be better suited if I’d purchased a Magellan unit instead, huh? Do they even teach kids who Ferdinand Magellan was anymore? I doubt it.)
At first, we put the friction mount on the passenger side. Not exactly ideal — it didn’t seem really secure and it was sitting right on top of the air bag. (Btw, we’re idling in the driveway again.)
Then we tried the driver’s side.
It wasn’t covering the airbag there, but it still didn’t seem really, I dunno, stable? I mean, if I were to really punch my 4-cylinder engine at a stop light or something, it’d surely fall down into my lap, the cord would tangle in the steering wheel, and things would get a little hairy from there.
My dashboard just didn’t seem to work well with the mount — which is very odd because my dashboard is very wide and relatively flat too. Maybe the friction mount is just a piece of crap?
So I took the unit off the little holder and just handed it to my wife, “Here, hold this.”
Those were my exact words, swear to God.
Now I may have read her expression incorrectly, perhaps, but at that moment, I think I saw a glimmer of gratitude on her face. A little extra twinkle in her eye. I needed her.
The Garmin wasn’t replacing her — and she knew it.
While no longer the only navigator on board, she was still an essential member of the team. She was now the official Garmin holder.
Yep, that’s right. I’m keeping her.