Throughout most of his career, my husband traveled the world. Because I also worked, I could not accompany him very often, but on the rare occasion that I could join him (usually a business venue within driving distance of our home), my favorite thing to do while my husband was in meetings was to wander around seeing the sights.
Many years ago I accompanied my husband to a conference held at Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This was before cell phones and GPS were common (at least I didn’t have them) but I was driving our new Chevy Tahoe which had a magical feature called “OnStar”.
I had a grand time exploring the area. As usual, I was confident in my ability to retrace my route but I suppose I was more adventurous than usual because I had OnStar available if needed. When it was time to return and meet my husband, I found myself hopelessly lost. I pushed the OnStar button and was connected to a disembodied voice that promised to guide me back to Carnegie. Well, it didn’t work. I was met with one-way streets, construction and every manner of obstacle as On-Star tried to assist me to my destination. The OnStar guy was on the verge of giving up when I saw a police car at a convenience store. I said goodbye to OnStar and approached the police officer. I asked him, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” The officer gave me a big smile and responded, “Practice, practice, practice!”
I had never heard the “Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice” joke, and as far as I was concerned, I had been “practicing” half of the afternoon. I burst into tears. The poor officer, who had probably been waiting for decades for someone to ask him how to get to Carnegie Hall, was taken aback by my tears. He gave me directions and I arrived on time.
It was years before I found out that I was an unwitting party to a pretty good joke.