I think I work at the bookstore for comic relief, I really do.
Last night an older couple (60-ish?) came into the bookstore asking for directions. They wanted to get to I-95.
After asking a few questions I found out the following:
-The man lived in Homestead, Florida and the woman was visiting from Maryland.
-They had spent the day in Orlando.
-They thought I-4 WAS I-95.
-They thought maybe they made a wrong turn somewhere. (Ya think?)
So I went to the computer and printed out a Google map back to Homestead. Of course, this didn’t help them at all in the maze of one-way streets that IS downtown St. Pete, so I offered to have them follow me to the interstate. Where, of course, they failed to grasp the concept that the exit lane for the interstate was indeed, the exit they needed… despite me pulling over and trying to wave them around me.
Here’s the kicker: the man had lived in Homestead for 18 years. How the HELL do you end up on the wrong coast of Florida while following the interstate after you’ve lived here for almost two decades?
They finally understood that they needed to get on the ramp for 175, which would turn into 275, which would turn into 75… I told them to keep following interstate signs that ended in “75 south” and they would get home. I’m not so sure; they may still be driving around Bradenton or Tampa somewhere.
We blazed a trail from New York to California. We canoed through the Louisiana Purchase. Two- count ’em, TWO- men laid railroad track down both coasts of the state. All without the assist of Google, interstate signs, or booksellers. What happened?
How do we, as a species, not fall down more?