Mysterious Waze

The world moves in mysterious ways—the mantra for those who want to rationalize or reconcile all the horrors and disappointments life has to offer.  This foundational slogan of the faithful strengthens and fortifies them in times of need.  Here’s an example:

Horrific flooding swells the rivers of Arkansas.  Houses and cars and people float away.  Everybody who can evacuate, does so.  Post haste.  Others, like Farmer John, are less fortunate.  A deeply faithful ad religious agrarian, he climbs to the roof of his floating house and waits for the Lord to rescue him.  His neighbors call up to him from a rowboat, “Farmer John, jump down and we’ll save you.”

Farmer John replies, “My faith will save me, be on your way.”  Sometime later, a helicopter hovers overhead and drops a rope ladder to the stranded but pious man.  Once again, he waves them off, shouting that his faith will save him.  As soon as they depart, rain comes down in torrents, and the river rises so fast that all Farmer John can do is to climb to the very top of his roof and cling to a shaky weather vane.  But alas, the river swallows up the houses and the farmer with it.

As he takes his last breath, he pleads to the sky, “Lord, why have you forsaken me?  I had all the faith in the world.”

A bolt of lightning streaks across the heavens and a cavernous booming voice rings out, “Farmer John, I sent you a rowboat and a helicopter, what else did you want me to do?”

Faith can be critical, but it can only take you so far.  Some believe the world was created in seven days, the good will go to heaven eventually, the NFL is run for the benefit of the players and the fans, politicians will keep their promises, the bible is all you need, and all good things will come.  Faith will see them through the trials and tribulations of life.

What mystifies me is what we choose to put our faith in.  When the objects of our trust are human—weather forecasters, political pundits, fortune tellers, clergy, and the like, we know we are taking a risk.  So we have turned to higher powers—from the Oracle at Delphi to numerous religions, each claiming to be the Absolute.

Waze is a wonderful app that is kind of like a GPS on steroids.  It enhances the satellite map capabilities with real time input from its community of users—a group approaching 100 million worldwide.  It has evolved from its 2006 beginnings and grown to be a Google-owned app.  Along the way, it has won the loyalty and faith of users who adore it for its ability to uncannily avoid traffic snarls and construction.

I know people who believe that Waze is always right—in the face of empirical evidence to the contrary.  When the miraculous cyberguide misdirects, they say “there must have been a reason.”

Well, those in my life who can’t abide my Luddite, anti-technology contentment convinced me to use Waze.  So I experimented and programmed it to guide me to a location that was familiar to me.  I started out following Waze’s routes and instructions.   Within minutes I was miles away from my destination’s path.  It was worse than useless.  Those crazy wazies in my life insisted that there must have a been a reason.  There wasn’t.

I won’t subject myself to Waze Worship.  I may never get where I want to go, but I won’t go crazy.

BTW, Siri doesn’t know dick.


I think that I’ve always loved writing—first to educate and now, hopefully, to entertain.

Author Don Kaplan
Author Don Kaplan
Briefly, I started as a teacher (history, social science, constitutional law, etc.) and loved it. However, I promised myself that I wouldn’t limit myself to one defining role in my obituary. I wanted to keep informing, teaching, and writing. So I got into publishing shopper’s guides where I wrote articles and reviews. I had to create content for my advertisers to generate revenue. Customers liked the ads so much in my publications that they asked me to develop all their ads so I started my full service advertising agency Kaplan & Stuart Inc. We grew from one to ten people and worked with hundreds of clients over a 10 year period. I wrote all the copy, directed the creative, developed and produced TV and radio ads. In addition I wrote articles that appeared business periodicals. In the early 90’s, I decided to expand the epitaph one more time and became a strategic marketing consultant. Fed my writing addiction by writing a blog called DK4M which is now in its second decade.

In 2003, I began research on a little known, long-ignored incident in American history when Andrew Jackson murdered two British traders. I revisited the project a number of times as work and life intervened. In 2013 I realized that as much as the story interested me, no one I knew would want to read it. I also love mysteries and, in that I wasn’t alone. So I wrote The Devil’s Jury.

Beyond mysteries, I enjoy jazz and playing jazz guitar as much as anything. My other interests include writing, reading, movies, cinema history, hiking, Tai Chi, hot sauce, chess, bourbon, Italian, Spanish, (a little Russian, Hebrew, Latin), audio, sports, and more.

I’ve enjoyed creating and meeting the characters of my first novel. I look forward to their further adventures in the next book entitled Thief Executive Officer.

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