The Galloping Gerties

Last week a friend of mine shared this video from Saturday Night Live.

If you don’t have time to watch, it’s about elderly people who like to argue with voice automation. The final solution to the problem is an Uh-huh feature that allows Grandpa to have the last word every, single time.  It’s brilliant.

If only my GPS had been equipped with that feature when I tried to drive my ninety year-old mother to her new lawyer’s … I probably wouldn’t have gotten that three day migraine.

GPS: Turn right on McCarran.
Mother to the GPS: I don’t think so!  I’ve lived here for fifty years and …
GPS: Uh-huh.
Me: I can’t hear the directions Mother. Please…
Mother angrily:  Suit yourself.  But don’t ask me for help when we get lost.   I’ll just sit back and shut up. I’m just warning you and this will be the last time.  Yes sirree. Don’t expect me to say anything because I won’t and then we’ll be lost and we’ll be late and I’ll never go anywhere with you again!  You can depend on that. Yes, sirree.
GPS: Uh-huh

I wish I could say my days of technological bewilderment are far in the future, but alas, that would be a slight exaggeration.  Well, perhaps not slight. A few days ago I found myself at the Apple Store with a problem I hoped could be solved by a new battery. I was too early to be “checked in” for the appointment I’d made with one of their “genius squad” and so decided to take a look at some of the hundreds of new machines on display.

Alas, my inability to adapt to rapidly evolving technology didn’t manifest until I reached the iPads. Thinking they were just like my iPhone I began randomly poking the screen and something called Galloping Gertie’s All Star Girlie Flicks opened.  Yikes!  I thought, where the devil is the home button or the X to close the damn thing?  I tried the back icon, the forward icon and anything in between and yet all I got were page after page of porno flicks for rent.  “Let me out, you damn Gerties!” I shouted, which got the attention of the intern geniuses tasked with protecting iPads from stubborn old farts who think they know what they’re doing.

“How do I close Galloping Gerties?”
“You swish.”
“I swish?  Sort of like a magic wand?”  I attempted swishing and a bright flash went off, temporarily blinding me. When vision returned, there on the screen was an ungodly close up of my shriveled visage. “Get that horrid thing off the screen!” I screamed.   

“You have swished too much.  You must practice your swishing.” 

Finally my swishing skills are adequate (although I can’t imagine using an iPad after  a couple of glasses of wine!) and the geniuses inform me it’s time for my appointment with my special genius. They then text my description to the genius and tell me to sit on a box.  A few minutes later I hear my name called.  (I don’t think they sent my physical description, do you?  Otherwise why would my special genius also call my name?  I bet they sent a warning.  Your next appointment is with a neurotic old bat named Jan. Good luck.

Unfortunately the news is not good.  Apple isn’t allowed by state law (??) to fix seven year old machines.  They don’t tell you this when you make the appointment and I think the answer is obvious. Buy, buy, buy. 

I hate to tell them but access to Galloping Gertie’s isn’t going to convince me to buy another Apple!  

 

28 thoughts on “The Galloping Gerties

  1. Are you joking? They can fix a seven year old machine by State law? I can’t believe it. You had me laughing until I read that.
    Apple are so money oriented! No wonder my eldest and youngest lads who are in the IT business always called apple the darkside! The both use Apple for work but stubbornly use android for their phones. Keep on causing those intern geniuses and geniuses busy Jan.💜💜💜💜

  2. I got an iPad for Christmas. I’ve barely touched it because who knows what’ll happen if I do. I didn’t know there were state laws regarding which computer gadget can be fixed and which cannot be fixed. In seven years I might know how to use my new iPad, but I’m not holding my breath.

  3. My son used to work for a computer start-up in Berkeley. Apple tried to buy them out, but the employees revolted. They were eventually bought out by another big tech company who seemed to have more humane and reasonable policies. I am typing this on a MacBook, though! 🙂

    • It’s always rough on employees when their small start-ups are bought by behemoths. They always promise greater benefits, etc., but you give up a lot of the freedom. I worked in Berkeley for about 10 years. Fun, eclectic place!

  4. This is outrageously funny!
    OMG!
    Alergy! What’s Happening?
    Turn the lights off!
    Not the oven! Okay Turn the oven lights off.
    NO… not the love lights… I haven’t brought anyone home, yet.
    Home is where the love lights are?
    Alexergy.. can you hear me?
    Testing…
    NOT testicles!!!
    Good night, Gracie!

  5. I laughed so hard at this, Jan. Your description of trying to close the Galloping Gerties, the swishing, the geniuses at Apple…really funny. Fantastic writing, my friend.

    • Thanks Jet! It’s obvious I’m going to have to swallow my pride at some point and go to one of their classes….Or just get an Alexa with the Uh-huh feature and complain to it all day.

  6. I loved this post! I LOLed so much! I knew it would be good when you opened with that skit. I am also old to my daughters, so I all the time say things like, “Google doesn’t know what I know and we goin this way…” and I am right, but I don’t know that the kids care!
    I loved “Your next appointment is with a neurotic old bat named Jan.” 🙂

    • The shortest route thru San Francisco is over some of the steepest hills in the world and I can’t seem to get the GPS to understand I don’t do hills! My kids do. “Remember – mother freaks out on hills!” Freaks out = minor heart attack, severe panic attack.

      • I feel you. I don’t like roads out west because hills, cliffs, and curves. I don’t even like to RIDE on 5. You’re not alone!

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