Numbers Game.

Also why does 2041 come between 2013 and 2014? Your math department could use some work,

Dear Nashville MTA,
I’ve been using you app for almost a year now and it’s pretty nice. I even wrote a glowing review about it back when I first started using it, which was about a year after it was released. Your PR department could use some work, you know. I really like being able to see that a bus that’s scheduled to arrive in five minutes is running late and won’t make until sometime next week. Since I move around to a lot of different stops–some bus drivers have even commented that they never pick me up in the same place, because I get bored waiting for the bus and now with the app I know exactly how much time I have to get to a different stop on the same route. Anyway the thing I’ve noticed is that in the app all stops are numbered but none of the stops themselves, not even the new fancy ones that y’all are so proud of, have numbers anywhere on them. Sure, I could look at the street signs to confirm that the “nearby stop” has a geographic location that matches where I am, but when the stop is in the middle of a block it can be hard to see the street names. And also I’m one of those people who doesn’t navigate particularly well by street names. I prefer landmarks and have even been complimented on the clarity of my directions, or at least I was before everybody started using map apps and GPS devices. Back in those days whenever someone asked me for directions it was a chance to repeat that old joke that Bob Hope told when he entertained the troops starting with the War of 1812 when he opened with, “Well, when I got into Mobile this morning I asked someone where the USO stage was and he said walk straight toward the stockade, turn left at the burning building, and keep going past the riot. You can’t miss it.” It was even better when the person who asked me for directions was traveling through an actual war zone, but that’s another story.
Anyway, can I get your number?

 

6 Comments

  1. Ann Koplow

    You’ve got their number, Chris.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      As always I appreciate the quality of your comments but also the number of them.

      Reply
  2. Jay

    It’s nice that you have a sense of humour about it (as you seem to about nearly everything), but what the heck is the use of an unidentified bus stop?

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I get the rationale: they use a single generic sign that just says “BUS STOP” because it’s cheap and there’s no special maintenance needed if anything changes, but, seriously, I’m sure they could afford to slap some cheap stickers with numbers on the bus signs.

      Reply
  3. Arionis

    I’ve been traveling the last few days so catching up on my blog reading. It’s funny that Mobile is the city I flew into. It wasn’t my final destination (eww, saying this reminds me of the creepy movies) and I had to drive a ways in a rental car with no GPS. Instead of using my phone, I decided to go old school and use a paper map. I was surprised at how dependent on GPS I had become when I found that it wasn’t as easy as I remembered it to be.

    BTW, 867-5309 was the first and only karaoke song I ever did. Only because someone secretly signed me up and I was too far into my cups to say no when I found out. It was a performance to forget.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I can’t imagine using a paper map these days although I do still get a kick out of looking at them. My wife and I have an atlas we carry on long trips and I like to see if I can find obscure small towns as we pass through or get near them. Sometimes they turn out to be not quite so obscure or small.
      Also I’m pretty sure I could never be drunk enough to do karaoke so bravo!

      Reply

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