You’ll excuse me if I don’t smile at you. I have “packing material,” to quote the periodontist, all around my gums and my smile, as a result, isn’t quite as charming as it normally might be.
So, the visit wasn’t as pain-seeringly awful as I thought it might be, but that’s probably due to two things: pain meds and the all-encompassing fury I felt as, once again, my GPS went completely batshit at the mere thought of tackling the streets of Worcester. I really think poor Jack (The GPS has two modes, Jack and Jill. Jill, for some reason, is programmed to be not as good at directions, something you really enjoy in something that is designed to tell you where to go) had a nervous breakdown.
I’m used to Jack not enjoying Worcester, however, and I MapQuested the dentist’s office ahead of time. The directions looked straightforward — they always look straightforward — so I brought along Jack just as a backup. I finally pulled him out when MapQuest insisted that I turn the wrong way down a one-way street.
“Acquiring satellites,” Jack said. There were a couple of beats where I swear he had a silent meltdown upon finding himself in Worcester. “Proceed straight, then turn left.”
Left, of course, was blocked by construction.
“Drive one mile, then take on-ramp to I-290 East.”
Fantastic. I’ve gone in a circle from MapQuest’s directions. Jack directs me down a familiar route, then tries to tell me to go down a street that doesn’t exist.
I call the periodontist’s office and tell them I’m lost. The receptionist gives me a few landmarks to look for.
Jack is telling me to turn down streets that don’t match the names on the corners. The names themselves are placed haphazardly, so I’m not sure which street is which or whether or not some college students went on a drunken rampage through the city replacing signs.
Seriously, I’d rather get lost in Boston any day. You can pretty much work out anything by looking for the Mass Pike, Boston Harbor or the Citgo sign.
I hear a kindly voice in my head. “Use the force, Jennifer.”
Fantastic. The ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi has hitched a ride.
“Trust your instincts,” Obi-Wan says, just as Jack tells me to turn right.
I turn left.
The street signs now indicate I’ve found the long-elusive route. I turn Jack off, who seems more than happy to go to sleep.
“Remember the force,” Obi-Wan sighs, as the office building magically materializes in front of me.
I remember the force, all right. I takes all the Jedi willpower I can muster to not punch a hole in the wall when I discover the office, all this time… was a straight shot just two miles from the Greendale Mall.
Yeah, that painkiller can kick in any time now.