Monday, December 19, 2005

Get Lost

Get Lost

I used to have the best sense of direction ever. I could find my way anywhere - even at night - just by looking at the sky, recognising a landmark and marching off in the right direction.

It was uncanny - the merest look at the landscape around me, and I could tell, down to the nearest square metre, exactly where I was, where I was going, and how many minutes it was until the next public house. Who needs a map and compass, when you've got a pigeon's homing gland grafted onto the back of your head?

Plonk me down in the middle of the country in the middle of the night - and good God, both my parents and my Scout troop did just that with a disturbing regularity - and I would be home, grinning like a smug bastard just as they stepped out of the car.

These days, I get lost in my own bathroom, and if actually told to "Get Lost", the chances are I will.

What the bloody hell's happened there, then? I've gone from Indian tracker to bloke-holding-map-upside-down-and-getting-rubbish-directions-from-equally-lost-traffic-wardens in the space of a few short years.

It's not as if I took a knock on the head and all my l33t mapping skills disappeared overnight, because I can still read a map, even if I have to refer to it every five seconds before turning right instead of left.

Frankly, I blame the internet, and the random "You are here" arrows they put on the maps on The internet's made me lazy, stupid and sweary. I've lost count of the times I've printed out a streetmap map, headed straight for the arrow and got hopelessly lost, stamping around backstreets inventing fantastic new swearwords to entertain the locals. Twice, that's how many. And one of them in my own home town.

I currently have no idea where I am now.

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