MapQuest gives you the scenic route in this cross-country trip.Whenever I have to leave my house or go to the bathroom, I consult MapQuest with the hopes of finding the quickest possible route. There are a number of reasons I do this, and they all pretty much revolve around me not wanting to invest in a road atlas. Road atlases are expensive, ranging upwards of five American dollar bills. MapQuest is free, meaning it costs me zero American dollar bills. Once again, that’s a savings of five dollars! And that’s in US currency, which looks and tastes better than all other currencies in the world. Except for maybe whatever country used to use those gold-wrapped chocolate coins that pirates would plunder. Those were pretty good.

Unfortunately, MapQuest comes at a price. I mean a really high price, like choosing between going to a funeral or staying home and masturbating to reruns of Little House on the Prairie or Highway to Heaven. That shocking price may manifest itself in a variety of ways, including:

  • Paying for wasted gas
    MapQuest isn’t the most efficient source of directions, and occasionally you may end up traveling 10 to 10,000 extra miles if you follow MapQuest to the capital letter T. Maybe you shouldn’t capitalize so much.
  • Getting sodomized in a truck stop restroom
    All that extra traveling means extra stops along the way. After awhile, you’re bound to stumble into a teahouse. I’m not talking about the type of teahouse where they serve tea, either. I’m talking the public bathrooms that have been hijacked by swashbuckling perverts for the purposes of extreme triple capital X orgies! You know, the kind you hear about in the police reports. Pulling out your genitals in a place like that is equivalent to saying, “Please cram things into my backside” while nonchalantly waving your hands in an instructional manner. On the plus side, later in life you can always relate to your friends about the time you were emasculated in front of a dirty shit-stained toilet by a mysterious stranger wearing nothing but a matching shit-stained coat. Everyone should get a good laugh pondering that jovial tale!
  • Getting lost
    While nowhere near as emotionally devastating as finding out you’ve been violated in a truck stop bathroom, getting lost can be an incredibly stressful event. Not to mention the fact that getting lost is a time consuming affair. Almost like a real affair, but only without the adultery part. Unless you get lost on the way to committing adultery, in which case MapQuest has done you a great service, you cheating bastard!
  • Getting directed to the nearest ghetto
    One of MapQuest’s most annoying flaws is that it was designed to navigate you through at least one ghetto. If you just want directions across town and your town isn’t a ghetto, count on MapQuest plotting a course through the nearest ghetto, no matter how far away. While ghettos are a great place for crime and crime-related activities, they aren’t a great place for the pasty, paranoid white guys driving through them. Ghettos bite, and when they bite they bite using bullets or loud, soul-shattering catcalls that simultaneously elude our suburban vernaculars and still manage to scare the crotch out of us.

Example of possible irregularities in MapQuest's directions.Of course the biggest fault is the confusing directions. A recent trip I went on from Northwest Indiana to Milwaukee, Wisconsin included a jaunt through not only a ghetto, but also Tijuana, Mexico. I’m no cartographer, but according to my tiny, novelty-sized Earth replica that’s far south of not only my departure point, but also my intended northerly destination.

In fact, upon closer inspection MapQuest seems to advocate driving as far out of your way as humanly possible. I know it’s just a robot and its 23rd century logic is going to be different from ours. Hell, maybe the roads we use don't exist in the time that MapQuest is designed to serve best. Maybe that disqualifies me from criticizing MapQuest's directions, but I'm a risk taker with nothing to lose. MapQuest's directions are fishy! To pretend to test my theory, I conducted some tests, which are what I do when I want to test things. Initially, the test results were catastrophic. But then I realized I hadn’t actually tested anything and that I was just thinking about last week’s episode of the hit TV show 24. Then I got serious and consulted MapQuest on several possible travel scenarios, getting these shocking results:

  • A cross-country trip from New York to Los Angeles requires a drive across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and everything in-between. This route was somewhat dangerous because it involves traveling through the troubled Middle East region. Oddly enough, this is still somewhat better than driving through America’s Midwest.
  • Driving from the United States to Canada requires you to somehow drive through seven of the nine planets in our Solar System. Of course since the Internet is still 20 years ahead of its time, I assume space travel of that magnitude will be possible before long. But still, Neptune is a total ghetto.
  • Driving from Chicago, Illinois to Indianapolis, Indiana requires you to drive in reverse for over one hundred miles, pick up a few hitchhikers, and kill several prostitutes via motel bed sheet strangulation.
  • Requesting directions for any locations within ten miles of the Mississippi River somehow brings up shocking Polaroid photos of Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle in a variety of provocative poses. More shocking, Polaroids didn’t exist back then!

I really wasn’t surprised by most of my findings. MapQuest comes with its share of faults. But all and all, these faults are outweighed by the low price tag of zero dollars. Therefore, it remains the brightest and best solution for having the hardest time possible finding your way around this crazy, giant-sized novelty globe replica we call Earth. We salute you, MapQuest!

– Josh "Livestock" Boruff (@Livestock)

More Front Page News

This Week on Something Awful...

Copyright ©2014 Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka & Something Awful LLC.