the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Nominee for 2007 Nobel Peace Prize



I received an email today asking if Sophia and I got along during our road trip.  And the answer is, “Yes.”  This is very surprising because we usually have our worst fights while on the road.  All the new stimuli can create a lot of tension.  So, what was different this time?  Did therapy help?  Prozac?  “The Secret?”


It is something I would like to nominate for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

For generations, there has been war.  Each time a man and woman get together to travel to a new destination, the fragile harmony is always broken by bickering and verbal insults.

“Why don’t you ask for directions?” the woman asks, her voice shrill with nagging.

“I have a c**k, woman!” the hot-headed male responds.  “It will point me in the right direction.”

“It certainly had a lot of trouble pointing anywhere last night!” she answers, throwing the first grenade, signalling a readiness to use weapons of mass destruction on the male’s Achilles heel — his ego.  

Soon, the male brings up the female’s “weight,” which means only one thing —  all-out war. 

How many divorces have occurred over asking directions?   Throughout history, this event has occurred over and over again — on camels, on horse and buggies, on Volkswagen Bugs (I punch you).  The Trojan War — started over bad directions.   Henry VIII killed his third wife for constantly bringing up a right turn he made in London once when he was supposed to go left.

But now — FINALLY — there is peace and love on our modern highways and freeways.   There is fraternity among the sexes.   The automobile has become a friendly place again.  There is less fighting over directions, and more lovemaking in the backseat — all because of one invention.

The Future Winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize — GPS Navigation!


How can you argue over a robot chick with a pleasant voice who knows how to go EVERYWHERE? 

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  Really Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition


  1. sizzle

    you are totally onto something here!

    also, i thought you said that you and sophia get along BEST while on the road. i’m confused!

    hugs to you both.

  2. Bre

    ha! It’s so absolutely true! It’s also really good for shutting up backseat drivers who “helpfully” offer “short cuts”

  3. Neil

    Sizzle, we get along best AND have our worst fights on the road. Whether you like it or not, you’re forced together. At home, it is too easy to sulk in your own room.

  4. deezee


    but a small sidebar…don’t you find those screens seductively distracting? I mean, why watch the road when you can watch a mini replica of yourself traveling on TV?

  5. better safe than sorry

    can’t argue with that one!

  6. V-Grrrl

    So Neil, you’re saying the GPS gave you directions to “third base”?

  7. Hilly


    I totally feel you on that one. It makes life so much easier in every way.

    Uhhh, I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer but my husband and I still fight over the GPS.

    Me: Shawn, we’re going to Disneyland…we freaking KNOW how to get to Disneyland.
    Shawn: Well, I just like to see how much time our drive will be.
    Me: Here’s a wild guess….18 minutes from door to Disney Parking Lot.
    Him: It’s my car so we’ll do what I want.
    Me (after arriving): Gee, look at that….18 minutes.

  8. Pants

    Holy crap! I’m not getting any because I don’t have GPS.

  9. Karl

    I’m so jealous. I want a GPS system in the worst way, but I don’t want to put the cash down. Plus, I really don’t do all that much driving, so it’d kind of be a toy more than a useful item at this point.

  10. Dana

    Neil, just to be pedantic, Henry VIII didn’t kill his third wife, who died in childbirth. In fact, Jane #1 was his favorite because she had his only son (finally), Edward, who, one of a series of Tudor children enduring horrid youths, died young. (IMHO, he was the LUCKY one compared to his sisters who had to live.) My neighbors bought a Mercedes with onboard gps. The car is named “Hansel,” and the gps is named “Gretel.” Gretel is always correct. That couple doesn’t fight in the car anymore, either. They are taking many more road trips now.

  11. Dana

    Just to correct myself, for I am an IDIOT as well as pedantic–I meant Jane. Not Jane #1. It was all those Catherines and the two Annes that got me goofed up. Read about one, read about ’em all.

  12. Leezer

    But Neil:
    Won’t you just get in a fight over how to work the GPS?

  13. Neil

    Karl — before Sophia got the Prius, we actually had a primitive GPS by buying some cheap software and a $100 card for her handheld device and used the same satellite as the fancy one in the car. except instead of the smooth sounding robot woman with a Harvard degree, we heard a robot who talked like a New York cabbie and said, “Make the f***king left turn already, asshole!”

    Leezer — there was one time when Sophia refused to listen to the GPS, thinking she knew a shortcut, so in all honesty, we did have ONE fight. And Sophia is still wrong.

    Dana — admit it.  You are pedantic.

  14. Two Roads

    I can’t stand the talking GPS but I will follow the directions when I figure out to work the darn thing.

  15. Dagny

    It’s a shame that GPS can’t foresee sinkholes. Oops. Sorry.

  16. Not Faint Hearted

    mmmm loving making in the back seat…

  17. churlita

    I have no sense of direction, so if I ever won the lotto, that would be one of the first things I’d buy. Right now I have to rely on my daughter. I say, “Left?” and she rolls her eyes and says, “No. Right” and she is always correct.

  18. Shelli

    I imagine that it does solve many an argument. Or prevent them, more precisely.

  19. Sedulia

    That is so true. However, in my family I’m the one who refuses to ask for directions (why should some random stranger know?) and argues with the GPS lady. It annoys me how she sounds (in my car anyway) like a French provincial or a Brit whose accent is wobbly, as if she’s been working too hard on it.

    The funniest part is when I do something she doesn’t like and she just says, “NO.”

    Who does she think she is, anyway!

  20. NYR

    this is amazingly funny and true…Bravo Neil!

    But I am not a GPS fan, especially when I want to be that female voice, being a navigator on the passenger seat, finding the directions and getting lost, and somewhere in between encounter some nice surprises, or not so nice ones… I love asking directions in English and get it back in a totally different language…try that sometime

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