Humor by Jen Lancaster

So, the new iPad's finally available. I'm aware of this because I saw someone using one yesterday . . . while merging into six lanes of traffic.

My first thought was, "Cool!" followed immediately by, "Hey, wait -- when did driving stop being dangerous?"

Wasn't it once understood that operating a motor vehicle involved some degree of risk? I'm still scarred from the grisly films our gym teacher showed us in drivers' ed. One minute Johnny's happily cruising along in his sweet El Camino, fringed vest flapping in the breeze and Foghat cranked on the eight-track. The next, he shifts his focus for the second it takes to light his smoke and ends up a red spot on the highway.

These films made the idea of operating a motor vehicle so terrifying that I waited six months after coming of age to finally get my license. (Related side note: They also gave me a lifelong fear of cigarettes, vests, and the song "Slow Ride.")

Back then, driving seemed like an enormous responsibility and not just an opportune time to play "Plants vs. Zombies." Had it been me with the iPad yesterday, I'd have waited till a stop light to log onto Facebook. That way I'd neatly avoid having to update my status to "Am currently a red spot on the highway."

Regardless, I liked the looks of the driver's iPad, but I already own an iPhone, two iPod Shuffles, an iPod Touch and a Mac laptop. Considering I spend approximately 23 hours a day in my house, I'm not sure I require any more mobile gadgetry.

The iPad's all about proprietary apps that are supposed to be amazing on the bigger screen. Right now, Apple's promoting an app about the periodic table. With the swipe of a finger, users can learn about an element's properties -- its atomic weight, density, melting point, radius, etc. I imagine this would come in pretty handy for 10th graders cheating on a geosciences exam, but who else could possibly find this useful? Or do folks truly require the sum total of all seaborgium-based knowledge (in optional 3-D) while they're in traffic?

My friend created an iPhone app that locates Vienna Beef products across the country. Personally, I came hardwired with an internal GPS that instinctively points me toward coffee shops, cupcake stores and the perfect Chicago-style dog, so I find this technology redundant.

To be clear, I'm not opposed to apps; I just want them to be geared to my lifestyle. I don't need a virtual NASCAR racing app, but I'd certainly appreciate one that stopped my husband from plowing into the lawnmower every time he pulls into the garage. Sure, we could string a tennis ball from the rafters, but I'd rather have an app for that.

I could manage my life so much better if an app could tell me exactly when my parcels will be delivered so I don't spend the day under virtual house arrest. I'd like an app that clues me in to the fastest line at Target so I'm not stuck behind someone using a fistful of coupons, or, dear God, opening a charge account.

I'd love to see a This Milk Has Gone Bad So Don't Drink It app, as well as a How Long Do I Have to Get Home Before the Pit Bull Whizzes in the Basement app. Seriously, Apple, I'd use the heck out of them.

But you know what? I'd settle for something that reminds users to actually pay attention to the road so they don't turn me into a red spot on the highway. Foghat could provide the soundtrack. Is there an app for that?

Humor & Satire

Humor & Funny Stories - Is There an App for That? | Diane Farr

Article: Copyright © Tribune Media Services