Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Google Earth

Is anybody besides me freaked about Google Earth, the old eye in the sky? It's not like I'm paranoid or anything: if somebody really is watching me, then I ain't paranoid, right? But anyway, it's not just about being watched. Let me explain. I went to Google Earth and entered my childhood hometown. Planet Earth filled the frame of my monitor as the camera zoomed in on the place. You could easily see the river running through and the main streets and the treetops. Surreal! Then I entered the address of my old home. No one I know lives there now. It drew a box around the lot, but the lot has lots of trees, so that's all you could see.

But there were icons that gave ground level views nearby. One of these was of an intersection a block away from my old home. I remember riding my blue Schwinn bike toward that intersection one particular day when I was around 6, and a barking German shepherd changed my mind about turning the corner. I stood up and pedaled hard, afraid he was going to catch up with me and bite me in the butt. I didn't go that way for a long, long time.

Another time, something should have changed my mind about turning that corner. I was 14 and had lied to my elderly babysitter.

"Daddy lets me drive. All the time!" Sure!

Well, she took me at my word and gave me the keys to her mint green Rambler. She rode shotgun as I careened around the corner on two wheels. I hit the curb and blew out a tire!

The point is that my hometown and that intersection near the place where I spent my childhood is a loved place, a place of memories--pretty sacred memories to me--and I resent its objectification by anyone who can supply the address to Google Earth. So P-f-f-f-t on you, Google Earth.


  1. I like your stories. They are always funny and make me smile (or laugh).

  2. Thanks, Chief! You're easily amused!

  3. Google Earth freaks me out too!