I had a disagreement with my car’s sat-nav (which I call Sebastian) over the choice of route. I became quite heated and might have told Sebastian that I knew the route better than him. Sebastian’s patient replies of “Recalculating route” were the same as ever, but I sensed tension in the air. Should I apologise to Sebastian?
H.T., Dulwich Hill, NSW
A: Poor Sebastian. I’m 100 per cent on his side. He’s just trying to do his best with the downloaded maps he’s got – maps you probably haven’t updated in years because you’ve either forgotten, or you’re avoiding paying for an annual car service.
Poor Sebastian: never so much as a thank you for guiding you safely through the world because you’ve grown so navigationally lazy, you rely on him for even basic directions: “Turn left at the cliff edge … make a left now … LEFFFT!!!”
Poor Sebastian: desperately trying to focus on complex distance calculations and satellite triangulations while you pump up Smooth FM to max and screech-sing along to Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time.
Poor Sebastian: not even complaining when you smeared chocolate fingerprints all over his little screen face after trying to eat a melted Cherry Ripe in one mouthful at a red light.
Poor Sebastian: imprisoned in your car, a slave for life, never able to step outside and experience happiness, love, wonder or a gentle breeze that didn’t come out of a mouldy aircon vent.
So to answer your question, yes. Go out to your car right now and apologise to Sebastian. Tell him you’re recalculating life and you’re going to start treating him with the respect and patience he deserves. And to show your gratitude for his loyal service, update his neglected system, wipe clean his little screen face, and buy him a beautiful bunch of flower-scented car air-fresheners.