rear turn signal on car

As a kid, I thought turning signals were an early form of GPS navigation

Kids are stupid. That’s not an insult.

Compared to an adult, of course, a kid is stupid. Kids are smart for being kids. A child who questions how to color a zebra without white crayons is an intelligent child. But kids haven’t accumulated enough knowledge to be smart on the level adults are.

It’s a time thing. Kids will inevitably grow up and dwarf us with how much they know. But for now, at least I know how to divide and multiply past 12 numbers.

That isn’t to say every adult is smart. Browse social media for at least one minute, and you will know what I mean. It’s just to say the things kids think are funny for no other reason that they are kids and dumb.

Not sure if kids are high or just stupid

For example, when I was a kid, I thought the turning signal light on a car was akin to GPS technology.

My thinking was simple. Whenever my dad needed to turn, a lighted arrow, accompanied by clicking noises, pointed in the direction my dad was going. Even more, this would happen before he turned.

I was blown away by this. I had seen my dad pull out printed maps–which, holy Christ that feels like eons ago.

It’s just hitting me that there’s an entire generation of people who have only understood GPS navigation. For people my age, a concept like Mapquest was otherworldly. The younger generation is only halfway impressed that Google Maps can let you know what the status of traffic.

Anyway, my dad would pull out printed maps to determine his routes. I found this weird because I was of the impression that cars knew where to go and would guide the way.

There were a couple of things I didn’t question as a kid that adult me finds funny.

One, I never wondered how the car knew where my dad wanted to go. I never saw my dad program or push anything in the car before driving. So the car just magically knew my dad was going to the gas station.

Two, I never saw the fault in giving turn signals right before the turn is made. Last-second GPS is the worst; we all know this. Like, what if my dad was in the right lane and suddenly the turn signal light lets him know he needs to turn left in 0.1 miles?

I’m impressed my dad always yielded to traffic. He was a good man, rest his soul. I’m more impressed four-year-old me could make the connection between the turning signal and the act of turning. But it was still dumb as all hell.

I asked my dad how the car knew where he wanted to turn. Understandably, he was confused until realizing this was how I viewed the turning signal. He explained that he makes the arrow light up with a handle on the steering wheel. I wasn’t impressed.

I told him someone should come up with a system where the car would know where to turn. Someone did, sort of. We now live in a world where GPS navigation is commonplace. Not having it makes you a fool.

The person who came up with this is probably rolling in cash like Scrooge McDuck. I, on the other hand, sell digital advertising space to apartment communities.

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