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GPS for Seniors - Before you Forget
A GPS with a Pension Book
It seems that the United Kingdom is working on a GPS for seniors. Although the new design will be aimed specifically for old fuddy duddies, it won’t come equipped with a walking stick. However it could come with a louder than normal voice, and the deluxe model will repeat things endlessly until you acknowledge it by saying ‘I heard you the bloody first time’ .
Instead of curtly telling the driver to ‘turn left at the next crossroads,’ the new system will help older people by asking them to look out for landmarks. The new-fangled idea will also help senior drivers avoid motorways and expressways, by directing them to quieter routes.
There are some persons who think the idea of a ‘seniors only’ GPS system is patronizing, but if it makes life easier, who cares. Apart from which, we seniors are always being patronized, poor doddering old fools that we are. When shop assistants take the money from your hand instead of waiting for you to count it out and hand it to them – and call you ‘cute’ at the same time - it is obvious that they think that ‘retirement’ spells Alzheimers.
A Seniors only GPS sounds like a great idea, but it could have its drawbacks.
Imagine a GPS that asks you to look out for landmarks, and is also familiar with your profile. After keying in your destination, the OFGPS (Old Farts Global Positioning System) would take over…………
‘Turn left just after St. Martin ’s church; remember when Cousin Gladys got married there? Her fiancé choked to death as he was saying ‘I do’. Gladys won the Guiness Book of Records for shortest marriage. …….oops, sorry, you’ve passed the turn. Try turning left at Teary Eyes, the undertakers. That should bring you back……’
You’d forever be driving around in circles, but at least you would be driving on quiet roads as you caught up with your family history; history that you had undoubtedly forgotten because you are a (gasp) senior.
How about a personal URL as well as a GPS?
As well as having GPS to locate positions; URL to locate specific computers, why don’t we have a URL to locate and identify real people? And the new system wouldn’t simply locate and identify real persons; it would also talk to them?
In the same vein as the ‘seniors only’ GPS, it would be expedient of the British government to invest extra cash into more research - research into a revolutionary invention to help dippy auld folk remember people. It would release most old people from untold stress.
Every senior’s been there. You’re browsing around the shopping mall as your other half either has her hair cut, has a massage, or her nails painted; so you have an aeon or two to kill. You are minding your own business as you contemplate the beachwear window display, and wonder how you can cajole your wife into wearing one of the embarrassingly revealing bikinis.
Suddenly you hear a scream. Startled, you turn round and see that the scream is emanating from a large woman who is bearing down upon with arms open wide. There is no time to avoid the oncoming projectile so you brace yourself for the impact.
Within seconds you are being hugged so tightly that you fear for your lungs ability to cope.
As this is happening, the large lady is asking you how you are, how your wife is and how your children are, and how so long it’s been since she’s seen you. That it’s been a long time is obvious to you, as you don’t know who she is. As you struggle to take a breath, you can’t exchange the usual cursory greetings by asking how her husband is, because you don’t know if she’s married, single, divorced or widowed. You can’t ask after her children because you don’t know if she has any. You can’t ask her how she’s doing at her job because you don’t know where, or if, she works.
Your life is spared when she asks where your other half is, and you nod towards the hairdressers. She releases you and dashes off to the hairdressers, saving you from further embarrassment – and possible death.
I was reminded of this forgetfulness yesterday whilst browsing for a new netbook. I saw one of my billiard competitors. We get along famously in the billiard hall. I strolled over to him and he welcomed me with open arms and a large smile.
"How are you?" he asked. "I haven't seen you for ages." The brief conversation was lighthearted but I was sure that he didn't know who I was. I was proved correct as we parted when he asked me,
"Why have you stopped playing bridge, Albert?"
The new URL would save this discomfiture.
Let’s face it; getting older means that we meet more and more people; we make more and more friends and acquaintances. Often we will meet these friends and acquaintances in public places and not have a clue who we are talking to. Don’t listen to others who tell you it is because you are losing your memory; it is simpler than that. Your memory has decided to forget the people because it was under the impression you would never see them again, so there was no need to remember them.
I made a decision a few years ago that as I couldn't remember names, I would start calling all the men whose names I couldn't remember - 'Mate.' I tried calling all the females 'Hen,' as if I still lived in Scotland, but a few slaps across my ears soon disabused me of that idea.
Then I made a more sensible decision; every time I met a man whom I couldn't remember 'Young Man,' and every woman 'Young Lass.' That worked. Every man stands up straighter when called 'Young' and every woman preens when called 'Young.'
But - imagine a digital nametag – your own Universal Resource Locator, if you will - a small, unobtrusive button that can pin on your lapel, be worn as a necklace, bracelet or could even be fitted subcutaneously. As you walk towards somebody that YOU recognise, it will send out a short burst of information regarding your profile, so that when you finally reach out to hug your friend, they will be able to call you by your name. It goes without saying that your own URL will read your erstwhile friends, so that you can name them when you hug.
By the same token, the name tag could search the shopping mall and let you know who you know – that way you could conveniently dodge the persons who think that they’re your friends.
The top of the line models would exchange information with other URL’s – in fact they could be programmed to transmit differing messages – perhaps even romantic ones!
Mmm! I think I’ll call it the ‘Hi Sexy’ button.