Monday, October 5, 2020




Back in the old days, before every phone had a GPS system and Siri to boss you around, we used an aging GPS gadget we named Bib (for "bitch in the box") that we'd bought secondhand.

Bib at the time was about 7 years old. She had an electrical short in her end of the connection that plugged into the car. For a few months we got her to work by (I swear) licking the leads before plugging them into her. Doing these steps in order was critical, as getting them reversed once caused me to take the charge from the car battery through my tongue. Which hurt.

Anyway, as it worsened, any bump we'd hit would turn her off and then she'd have to reboot, and find satellites, and we'd have to re-enter directions... you get the idea.

Of course, this happened once in a city we were entirely unfamiliar with, and were already having trouble finding our way around.

Bib, however, wasn't going to reboot this time. We pulled into a Target lot, and futzed around. But Bib was gone. Putting water, saliva, Diet Coke, whatever, on the contacts worked for about 10 seconds before she shut down again.

Since we were outside the store I figured I'd go in and see what they had for new GPS systems, when I had an idea.

I bought a small tube of K-Y jelly, and went back. Mrs. Grumpy was laughing hysterically at me, but I put a glop of it on Bib's electrical connection AND IT WORKED. Bib got us back to the hotel, and worked fine for the rest of the trip.

So, for the rest of the time we had her we kept a little tube of K-Y in the GPS gadget's bag, carefully applying some before attaching the cord.

At some point we left Bib, in her bag, with the K-Y, either at a Goodwill or E-waste collection. Someone out there opened the bag and is probably still wondering about it.


Shash said...

Ooh, the possibilities of conversation between the evaluators boggles the mind. "Do we sell this or keep it? Maybe we better test it first." "But how?"

G. Stockton Powell said...

"I guess this is to help find the G-spot?"

jbt369 said...

Probably someone is trying to hack it to find out the last places it went.

A. Marie said...

Dr. G, you have once again caused me to snort a beverage out my nose and onto my laptop. Pause here while I assess the K-Y jelly situation. In the absence of K-Y, do you think Vaseline would work?

And this, of course, brings a story about the Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton to mind. When once asked whether he had ever put a foreign substance on a ball (rumors about Sutton's applications of various substances abounded), Sutton replied, "Not true at all. Vaseline is manufactured right here in the United States of America."

bobthomas said...

I keep a tube of KY in my tool chest. It's very helpful for installing new car radiator hoses and such. I have had a few comments made by friends who have been over to work in my garage.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I've seen some kind of clear gel used by telephone companies on modular plugs that are going to be left in for years. Now I wonder what it's made of.

Loren Pechtel said...

Why laugh? If licking worked then I would think KY would probably work. Ideal would be the gel used to attach EEG electrodes.

Packer said...

Forallthat trouble you could have stuck with a map, you know that folded paper thing with lines like roads.

John Woolman said...

So neurologists do have a use for KY gel after all!

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of cleaning out my dad's fishing boat. There were half-used tubes of Preparation H here and there and everywhere stored in it. Oh, the horrific pictures it painted in my mind.

I finally got up the guts to ask him about it. He asked what I'd done with the tubes, and I replied Yuck, threw them away. He was very irate. Evidently good catfish fishermen all know it makes an excellent lure attractant. Who knew?

Anonymous said...

You never know what you'll find at Goodwill that's for sure. It doesn't take too much for an active imagination to come up with some story behind a thrift store find.

Speaking of memories and automobile features, I remember when the Packard my father drove had a glass globe compass mounted on the dashboard that turned around and around while driving. I used to wonder how it worked to indicate a northerly direction. The compass was probably as decorative as the steel V-swan on the hood.

There were three Packards on the 2-acre property. Two dead ones for parts and one to drive in the winter. The Packard that was located near the prove-up shack had several cardboard boxes filled with magazines from the 40s and 50s, like Good Housekeeping and Women's Wear Daily. When it was raining and mother wanted us to get out of the house, she suggested we 'go for a drive' in the Packard. At the beginning we had a destination in mind, but then started looking through the stacks and head back in the house before the musty odor overwhelmed us.

The sky blue and cream vehicle was built like a tank, I think, with heavy steel doors, and the heavy-duty wheel hubs for which the sound of tire chains clanging against in winter made a comforting thudding sound at 45 mph when the roads were icy. The back seat was enormous and the covers were of a fabric like horsehair that was irritating if you tried to lie down and sleep on the way home, though.

So, the first time I heard of K-Y jelly was when it was something requested of the pharmacy to supply for the surgery department all the time as a sterile lubricant. It came in small packets for instrument lubrication. Eventually we could only get it in tubes, and I wondered how it could be sterile if it was squeezed out of the tube and used multiple times. I always imagined that it was related to a silicone gel and didn't think more of it than supposed it was the nasty clammy cold stuff that the ultrasound technician applied to one's pregnant tummy. The current list of ingredients does include chlorhexidine.

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