Comedy·TECHNOLOGY

Google Maps adds 'Avoid Exes' route option

Stephanie Williams, the intern who pitched the idea, was inspired after unexpectedly bumping into her ex Alex, a freelance skateboarder.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN—Engineers from Google Maps were in Stockholm, Sweden yesterday to accept the Nobel Peace Prize for their humanitarian efforts in defusing awkward and potentially explosive interactions between exes.

Stephanie Williams, the intern who pitched the idea, was inspired after unexpectedly bumping into her ex Alex, a freelance skateboarder.

"He was at our hotdog stand, where we had our first kiss, putting our toppings on another girl's Italian sausage. Can't I get some street meat without the crushing reminder that my ex is happy without me? In that moment I was ready to start an expensive and deeply destabilizing international war," Williams explains.

The Avoid Exes feature works by implementing an Ex-Radius, a circular danger zone, around the person responsible for shattering your tender little meatsack.

When one of your exes enters the established radius, the app sends an electric pulse directly to your heart, to mimic both the heartbreak you endured and the panic attack you would otherwise be having, had Google Maps not just saved your fucking life.

Google detects each of your exes by using a disturbing amount of invasive permissions to scour your social media posts and messages for near-constant interactions that abruptly switch to tense silence, as well as hourly profile stalking.

The app then calculates each ex's unique radius using an algorithm that factors in the duration of your relationship, the frequency of unnecessary couple selfies, and the number of intimate moments ruined by bingeing Netflix crime documentaries.

The user can also set the Ex-Radius manually, says Google engineer Frances Adedeji, who added, "During beta testing, we found that people set a smaller Ex-Radius when they were on a date with an attractive mate, were drunk and lonely, or were looking to watch the world burn. We also found a direct correlation between a large radius and a large number of stains on the user's sweatpants."

The engineering team at Google Maps beat out a strong crop of nominees for the Nobel prize, including the group responsible for negotiating the freedom of the girls captured by Boko Haram, an upper-middle-class high school teacher who reached inner city kids using polka music, and a man who hand-stitched several icebergs back together in an attempt to reverse climate change. The icebergs now act as a hospice for starving polar bears.

Upon receiving the award, Williams said, "we accept this Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of anyone who has been affected by a surprise emotional landmine, and we hope the use of this peacekeeping technology can keep the public safe from nation to nation."

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About the Author

Lexa Graham is a Toronto comedian and writer with a Master’s degree in Engineering. She has written for Reductress, CBC Comedy, and has also had her research published in The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering. You can catch her in Toronto every week hosting and producing Hard Day Comedy, a female-forward stand up show.