Rigabold the pernicketness sat in the cabin of his Dodge, the big diesel engine didn’t need warming after the short time it had been switched off but it was force of habit for Rigabold to let the engine idle when he climbed into the cabin as much as anything else. As he looked at the road ahead, only about a hundred metres, he could see the side road he was about to turn down, the road he would have to argue the GPS about. He didn’t know how the argument would pan out but he was prepared for it. He also knew that the GPS while a lot smarter than any model sold on earth, was not smart enough to take control of the vehicle and override him. But that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to be ordered to comply with the decisions the GPS would make.
Before taking off from the roadside parking space Rigabold looked in the rear vision mirror, it was intended as a look to make sure there was no traffic coming that would wipe him off the road, but when he saw the coast was clear his focus was diverted slightly.
A similar distance behind, as his turn off was in front, he saw Jenny walking down the footpath. She was still doing the wonderfully theatrical drunk walk which consisted of two steps forward, one step sideways, two steeps with her left foot only, then one step backwards. It was a walk perfected by many a drunk around the world, even if they did not know they were doing it or how good they were at it. Jenny seemed like she was great it. Her shoes were still dangling from her right hand, banging into her leg as she walked and although he couldn’t hear her voice over the noise of his engine the way she continually threw her head back and looked at the sky Rigabold assumed she was still yelling something about seeing Jeezus.
Once again Rigabold decided that he could not just wait there for Jenny to make her way home, he had his own business to attend to and babysitting drunk girls was not part of that business. He was fairly well satisfied, mainly due to the information on the GPS, that Jenny was safe since there was not another person awake within a kilometre radius of where she was, and that had to be enough for him.
“Alrighty then,” he said into the empty cabin not realising he was using such a silly word structure until it was out of his mouth, “off we go!”
Rigabold dropped the transmission into gear and slowly took off from the kerb with his indicator on, when he was entirely in the east bound lane he flicked the indicator off. It was tempting to leave the indicator on for the up coming turn but it seemed important to keep his intention hidden from the GPS as long as he could.
At the last possible second Rigabold flicked his indicator on showing his intention to turn right, he didn’t really need to show any intent as there was no one around to even notice but obeying the road law was the right thing to do, even when ignoring your GPS.
“Preform U-turn and return to Main St.” The GPS squawked as soon as Rigabold turned the corner onto Silver Street. A visual warning popped up on the screen and started to flash at the same time and the voice echoed inside the cabin.
“No!” Rigabold said firmly but deciding not to turn the voice prompting off.
“Preform U-turn and return to Main St.” The GPS didn’t mind repeating itself. “You have taken a wrong turn. You have chosen the long way to the Barrier Highway and it is not necessary.”
“No, I’m taking the scenic route.” Rigabold replied.
“But it’s night time, all is dark, there is nothing to see.”
“You know as well as I do that I don’t need daylight to sight see.” Rigabold knew he couldn’t out smart the GPS system but he wondered if he could out talk it.
“That might be true but what do you hope to see out there. I would have told you if there was something worth seeing.”
Rigabold thought for a second as he took the sweeping left hander and continued along the road. “What if there is something you missed?” Of course there wasn’t anything the GPS would have missed but Rigabold was entertaining himself.
“I’m an advanced Tumcuddulan automated system that can communicate with more than eleventy twelve communication stations simultaneously. I have an intellect that can navigate your kind through more galaxies than you have figglepackrons in your body. And I can see what is going to happen before you even know it’s going to happen. Yet you think there is something out there in these paddocks that is of importance to you that I have not already seen?”
“I’m just saying there could be.” Rigabold took the sweeping bend to the right and began heading south along Cleary Road.
“Of course there isn’t.”
“Well let me prove that than!”
“Ok then Mr. Know-it-all.” it was obvious to Rigabold that the GPS setting had changed somewhat and that the smarmy option had been selected, obviously by the unit itself because it felt it was being ignored. “You enjoy your little detour and please be sure to point out all these oh so wonderful sites that I did not see fit to tell you about. In fact why don’t you stop and take a few pictures of them so you can show your superiors when you get home!”
“Thank you for your acceptance.” Rigabold felt smug with his reply.
“In twenty one kilometres turn left onto the Barrier Highway and follow the signs towards Broken Hill.” The GPS fell silent.
Rigabold knew he had not won the argument simply because the GPS had fallen silent and chosen not to continue the debate about which direction he should be headed. In less than twenty minutes he’d be having a similar sort of argument when he again ignored the GPS instructions and turned right onto the Barrier Highway instead of left as it was requested.