Dispatches from the part of the map where the dragons are
(December 22, 2008)
Sunday morning, 10:15 AM. You left your sister's house ten minutes ago, despite the complaints and pleading words issuing forth from the short people she lives with, because you're hoping to make it back to Saint John without encountering the huge snowstorm that's on its way. Taking extra care, you make the turn onto an on ramp you've missed every other time you've visited the city; you're determined to be efficient. Things don't seem quite right, though, and soon enough, you experience The Fear and make The Call...
Reassuring female voice: Good morning, this is OnStar. How can I help you?
You: Good morning! I... um... I think I might have missed my exit. Can you please tell me if I'm driving toward Saint John right now?
OnStar: *tap tap tap* No, you're not. You're driving west instead of southeast.
You: Dang. Where am I?
OnStar: You're driving west outside of Fredericton.
You: I understand that. But where is this?
OnStar: *tap tap tap* That's Highway 640. I don't see any actual names.
You: So I'm nowhere right now? There are no places here?
OnStar: You're between New Maryland and Kingsclear…
(Editor's note: Those two places are not close together.)
You: I love New Brunswick. OK, I just passed a sign saying that I'm on the way to Edmunston, and that's definitely not good. Where is the next exit?
OnStar: *tap tap tap* Twenty kilometres.
You: Twenty kilometers?! Oh my god I'm going to die in a pile of snow... okay, thank you. What's at the exit? Is there a town there?
OnStar: It's a place called Mazerole Settlement, but I don't think there's a town, just an exit and roads leading to other places. I don't see any gas stations anywhere nearby.
You: I... an empty area called Mazerole Settlement? I feel disconcertingly like I'm visiting a zone in Fallout 3.
OnStar: Don't worry, you aren't.
You: Do you think I could just use one of those access paths connecting the two sides of the freeway - the ones ambulances and police cars use?
You: Yeah, okay, I'll turn around at the ghost town. Thank you, OnStar.
OnStar: Have a good day. I hope you beat the snow!
You: Me, too!
Luckily, you - Miss Lead Foot 2008 - manage to traverse the unnecessary 45 km round trip in about twenty minutes, and the snowstorm doesn't kick in until later in the day. All the same, you learn an important lesson about failing to pay attention when driving in the middle of bloody nowhere…
Also, Mazerole Settlement really does look like a spot where frag mines pepper the ground and raiders are waiting to steal your Buick...