Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Tom Tom... from Hell

My fella has been wanting one of those in-car navigational systems for ages (he reckons it'll reduce the number of arguments we have when driving by about 800%), so we got a Tom Tom today. We took it out for a test-run tonight. It was reasonably accurate (although it didn't warn me to get out of a bus lane at one point). It was, however, a bit distracting having a voice suddenly interrupt your conversation to say "Bear right at the roundabout!" When we turned it on, we had a choice of voices, so we picked "Tim", who has perfect diction and speaks in a slightly weary British accent. Tim would go silent for ages during long stretches of road with no turns, making me think he was sulking, and then he would suddenly get very chatty and bossy. He felt almost like a third passenger in the car, one who was very knowledgeable about road names, and a bit posh, but not a very good conversationalist otherwise. At one point my fella agreed with Tim over something and I felt they were ganging up on me.

Because I have an over-active imagination I started thinking about putting a Tom Tom in an episode of Tales of the Unexpected. It would start with someone buying a Tom Tom and using it. But then the Tom Tom would start going a bit wrong, giving misdirections occasionally, but in a humorous way. But soon after that, the Tom Tom would start answering back and being bitchy and opinionated: "Look, I don't know why you want directions to go there anyway - she's got a new boyfriend now, why can't you get on with your life, loser!" The hapless owner car does a bit of research and finds out that his Tom Tom was in a fatal car accident 6 months ago, and the spirit of the guy who died is now living inside the Tom Tom. The episode ends, of course, with the embittered spirit causing the car to crash again. And right at the end, a new family inherit the Tom Tom, and an extra voice option appears on the options screen - belonging to the guy who had just died. Can you tell that I watched too much tv in the 70s and 80s?


Rob7534 said...

I love your idea! You should write a screen play, you can make millions.

JayMaster said...

I have been pining for a Tom-Tom for ages too. I was tempted the other day to just get one and to hell with the credit card bill, but my boyfriend was very firm in saying no. he pointed out that he cannot remember a single journey when we have got lost or not know we were going. I tried to point out how it may offer us exciting new ways of getting to the supermarket form our house, but he was singularly unimpressed. I may still sneak out and get one to illicitly use when I am on my own in the car – although this feels like a form of adultery! Jay x

Lubin said...

I like the "I had an affair with my TomTom" even better than the "My TomTom is trying to kill me" idea. Although maybe we could combine the two together and a jealous TomTom tries to murder someone so he can have their partner all to himself.

Incidentally Jay, I'd just get one (but first I'd manufacture a few journeys where you do get lost).

John said...

I'm just curious: What other accents come with Tom Tom? Manc? Scottish borders? The overly cheerful computers from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy ("We're taking a roundabout! SUPER!")?

Malcolm said...

I'm loving my Tom Tom. It's cool. Even take it out when I know where I'm going lol.

You get a male and female voice with it, but can pay for others - ie John Cleese and Darth Vader (scary)!