Where are They Now?

Ask Google,

Where are they now?

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Or I could just tell you what happened when I did.

I found out that Oprah has a TV show with this title.

I found out that we have an unhealthy interest in former child stars and celebrities from 20 years ago. That was all “above the fold” as they say in newspaperland — the search results I can see without scrolling down. In fact, it was pretty much all that was there on the bottom half of the first page of results, too.

And while I was Googling, my subconscious was offering me little shiny bits that might, you know, help. Like the Latin phrase, Sic transit gloria. It turns out the version I know is abbreviated from the actual phrase:

Sic transit gloria mundi
Thus passes the glory of the world.

And, of course, Ozymandias. Percy Bysshe Shelley has been dead for almost 100 years but his poetry still works.

And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Now how did I get started on this? Because Signals designed a t-shirt just for me, although they seem to be offering it to others, too, and it got me to thinking about another way to ask this question.

Black t-shirt: I sometimes wonder what happened to people who have asked me for directions.

Where are they now, indeed.


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8 Responses to Where are They Now?

  1. Tom Watson says:

    Please! How would I know “where they are now” when about half the time I don’t even know “where I am now?”

    Like the other day when I was half-way from Guelph to Kitchener and came to a brand new circle jerk (it’s what one of my sons-in-law calls roundabouts) and took the wrong fork because, in my haste, things weren’t abundantly clear to me, and ended up hardly out of Guelph and heading south towards Cambridge instead of west towards Kitchener. Just cost myself about 25 minutes driving in a semi-circle.

    Let’s make a deal. I won’t ask you for directions if you don’t ask me. Okay?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – Like the opposing hockey players who stand, arms linked, each keeping the other out of a fight? OK, I’m in. Or out . . .

  2. Tom Watson says:

    Lol. Works either way, I guess.

  3. Always tell them, “You can’t get there from here. You have to go somewhere else to get there.”

    Alternatively, “You’ll find a convenience store that sells maps at the last stop light.”

    However, the “Google App” on my son’s cell phone knew which direction out of the hotel parking I should take to reach the highway. I disbelieved it and found out in 30 seconds I was wrong and it was correct. Its advice was much the preferable alternative to what seemed logical when viewed from the front door. I do not feel grateful to have been outsmarted by a machine!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Interesting. In parking lots, our in-car GPS usually throws up its hands, more or less, and says simply, “Proceed to highlighted route.” The “I have no idea how to get there either” is left unsaid. If the Google App is “telling you true” in parking lots, well, it isn’t the first time that Google Map’s programmers have shown themselves to be better than whichever programmers were contracted for our car.

  4. Judith Umbach says:

    As a frequent asker for directions, I appreciate each and every response from random strangers. Such gentle folk saved me in the tangle of old Edinburgh. Even the people who sent me in the wrong direction.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – And to keep it all in perspective, there you are, safe at home. So no one steered you that wrong! A woman in Belfast hailed me as I stood indecisively at a corner and then pointed me in exactly the right direction to regain the high road that I had, somehow, come unstuck from, relying only on my map memory. A gentle stranger, indeed.

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