© Ellis Campbell
Winner,2011, ‘Poets by the Sea —Humorous Section’ Harrington, NSW.
“A GPS is what you need,” my neighbour said one day.
“You simply set it when you start and it will show the way.
They know the highways, city streets and every country lane–
attach it to your motorcar and you’re as right as rain.
It’s got the clues to guide you so you never will get lost –
eliminate the hassles and forget about the cost.”
I was reluctant, I’ll admit—I’m never keen on change–
how some machine could know so much I found a little strange.
I’m wary of new-fangled stuff, is scares me quite a lot –
it’s almost supernatural the things they say it’s got.
I finally relented and I bought a brand new car,
equipped with navigation gear, a TV and a spa.
In morbid trepidation I approached this monstrous thing–
it seemed to ooze such luxury, befitting of a king.
I opened up its gleaming door and sat upon the seat,
its strange array of glossed controls predicted my defeat.
A cultured voice from nowhere came that gave me quite a fright,
“Good morning, sir, and welcome to this carriage of delight.
“You just relax and take the wheel and leave the rest to me,
I’ll find the toilets and the pubs and guide you to the quay.”
Like someone in a trance I tried to start this strange machine.
“Your seat-belt, sir,” the smooth voice said. “You’ll find it in between
the plush arm rest and your left leg—make sure it’s done up tight–
and don’t forget the hand brake, sir—it’s there upon your right.”
“I’ve driven bloody cars before,” I snarled and bumped my head.
“Don’t speak like that to me, you fool,” the damn thing coldly said.
“Get stuffed and shut up for a while, and let me work it out –
I’ve driven wagons, tractors, trucks—and road-trains without doubt.”
“I’m sorry, sir,” the thing replied. “My knowledge is profound.”
“No over-rated fool machine can order me around.”
“Impatient drivers are a curse—my system is programmed
to stamp out such aggression and the engine has been jammed.
Remote ignition monitors your temper’s high degree –
you cannot start the vehicle unless I turn the key.
May I suggest you take a walk—make sure the door is locked –
fresh air will cool you down a bit,” this mongrel bastard mocked.
“I’ve heard e-bloody-nough!” I said and slammed the monster’s door.
“I’m tired of this new-fangled stuff and can’t take any more.”
I flounced away and left it there, beside the asphalt road –
I’m cured of all technology with one small episode.
It’s gleaming in the sunlight there, a sign upon the grille.
“For sale. In new condition. All mod cons & mileage nil.”