Woman Drives 900 Miles Out of Her Way After GPS Error

Posted on January 16, 2013



When this blogger saw the above headline on Yahoo News, she was sure the article was written about her.  But a quick check of her surroundings informed her that she was, as usual, seated in front of her laptop, wearing her pajamas.  She breathed a sigh of relief and wrote the following in response to the article:

A 67-year-old woman from Belgium set out to pick up a friend at the Brussels train station, using her GPS device.  She most likely input the address into the system incorrectly, or else her GPS device was taken over by prank-loving aliens.  Either way, the GPS sent her about 900 miles to the south before (during the second day of driving) she realized that something was amiss.   According to Discovery, the driver stopped twice for gas, slept on the side of the road, and “even suffered a minor car accident” along the way. She told reporters that she wasn’t paying attention.

“I was distracted, so I kept driving. I saw all kinds of traffic signs, first in French, then German and finally in Croatian, but I kept driving because I was distracted. Suddenly I appeared in Zagreb and I realized I wasn’t in Belgium anymore.”

If you are as astute as this blogger, you may be wondering several things right now.  The first is why she (the blogger) just inhaled an entire package of Orville Redenbacher’s Movie Theater Butter Pop Up Bowl Popcorn.

The second is what kind of distraction could be significant enough to cause her (the driver) to not realize that the trip to the airport usually didn’t involve a working knowledge of several languages, a sunset and subsequent sunrise, and the consumption of three tanks of gas.

She (the blogger) could use that same excuse for the consumption of the popcorn.  She was “distracted” and didn’t realize that her intended supper, a bowl of healthy vegetable soup, had instead turned into a grease-laden party in a box.

Exactly what kind of distraction could cause these mishaps?  And, does it really matter?  Weren’t distractions invented to give us excuses for our natural screw ups or for things that we wanted to do anyway?  Famous people have lots more distractions than you or I:

James Yeager, CEO of a Tennessee company that specializes in weapons and tactical training, threatened to start killing people if Obama moved forward with gun control measures: He didn’t mean it.  He was distracted by his hatred of gun control.

Lance Armstrong, for years denied taking performance-enhancing drugs. The reason: The drugs distracted him from telling the truth.

Newt Gingrich, GOP Presidential candidate, explaining why he cheated on his first two wives (one of whom was suffering from cancer at the time): “There’s no question, at times of my life, that I was partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country and that I worked far too hard.”  In other words, he was distracted by patriotism.

Perhaps the most famous case of distraction was the trial football Hall-of-Famer OJ Simpson, who killed was accused of killing his wife and her friend back in 1994.  At a news conference prior to the trial, District Attorney Gil Garcetti acknowledged the problems inherent in prosecuting the case, saying it might be difficult to find a jury that was not “distracted by Mr. Simpson’s celebrity.”  Apparently, they were. Simpson was acquitted.

This blogger has been distracted long enough by writing this post.  Time to check out the refrigerator.