“In ten goobars you will turn left onto the Barrier Highway and continue on the highway until Broken Hill.” The GPS in Rigabold the pernicketness’ Dodge had converted itself back to Tumcuddulan measurements.
Immediately Rigabold knew what that meant, it meant that the GPS had been in contact with his home planet and either forgotten to change some of the dialogue settings, or more than likely had deliberately left some settings unchanged so that Rigbold knew, but had no proof, of what went on.
It stood to reason that the GPS tried to get its own back on Rigabold for disagreeing with it. He’d made multiple decisions against the judgement of the GPS since arriving on Earth and if there was a single flaw with anything on Tumcuddula it was that many of the machines and computer controlled devices that had some form of intelligence also had bad attitudes.
Rigabold’s GPS was one of those with a bad attitude, it did have a long fuse but it appeared that fuse was finally burning close to the end after the disagreement leaving Peterborough. There was still no way that the GPS could take control of the vehicle from Rigabold’s hands but being rude and making comments was possible, as was contacting the Stargazer’s communication system to report him for being disobedient.
Having spoken to Tumcuddula himself only the day before, and speaking to Flugglenuff half way across the Nullarbor who would also report home, Rigabold was fairly confident that he had most of his bases covered. He did receive a ‘please explain’ about parking the Stargazer in Western Australia when parking it in the Pacific Ocean and cutting the many goobars from his trip would have been more sensible. He was also told not to make any more unnecessary detours but with the word detour being flexible and interchangeable, especially on Tumcuddula, the ability to not take the most direct route and answer questions when he returned home wasn’t as daunting.
“In five goobars you will turn left onto the Barrier Highway and continue on the highway until Broken Hill.” The GPS said updating the Rigabold that he’d travelled five goobars, which co-incidentally was almost exactly the same as an Earth kilometre, since the last annoying update. “I hope you enjoyed your Beatles tour and that everything you saw will live with you until your dying days.”
Rigabold silently congratulated the GPS on the response which not only included sarcasm but also a not so obscure reference to a Magical Mystery Tour. It was a good response but not one he was going to give the GPS credit for, it would only encourage it.
“I did enjoy the tour and the most enjoyable part of it was the goobars where you shut the hell up.” Rigabold responded, then laughed. The GPS was a good sparring partner but he’d have the final say.
If the GPS had a come back it didn’t bother offering it up, instead choosing to do its job, with added attitude. “In seven hundred metres you will turn left onto the Barrier Highway and continue on the highway until Broken Hill.”
Rigabold had slowed the Dodge down to a little over forty kilometres per hour. In the darkness either side of the intersection he could see no headlights and on the GPS screen he could see no vehicles. According to the maps on the screen the intersection was huge, large enough for the big trucks to take easily which also meant it was large enough for him to take without slowing down too much or coming to stop.
“In two hundred metres…”
“Shut up!” Rigabold growled fiercely at the screen.
As he approached his speed was slow enough that the GPS would be convinced he was about to take the left hand corner. He was going to ignore using the indicator again given that there was no traffic and such a thing would alert the GPS to his intention, but instead he decided to play a trick on the attitude driven GPS and he flicked on the left indicator.
Rigabold approached the intersection in the centre of the lane, his left indicator flashing and the GPS silent. Closer, closer and then as the left lane split off and became a turning lane Rigabold drove straight and floored it. The big V8 engine roared into life, the front of the vehicle rose slightly on its suspension and the Dodge rocketed forward.
By the time the speedo had hit fifty Rigabold was turning right and traversing the intersection in the opposite direction to that which the GPS requested. Moments later when the speedometer needle past sixty five Rigabold straightened up the Dodge in the left hand lane and was heading South.
“What in the name of Tumcuddula are you doing?” The GPS screamed at him, this time the system was angry with him. “You were suppose to turn left.”
“And I told you to shut up!” Rigabold replied, levelling the speed of the Dodge off at just over ninety kilometres per hour.
“Your task is to get to the Chiko Roll factory as soon as practical, that means heading north to Broken Hill, not south on some yam hunting expedition. I am only trying to keep you from getting in more trouble than you already are.” The GPS responded.
“How? By spending the last twenty minutes updating the Stargazer’s log so it can be sent back home? Yeah sounds like you are trying to keep me out of trouble!” The GPS screen went a bright shade of red as if it was embarrassed to be caught out. “Don’t play the stupidly innocent machine with me, I know what you did!”
“I did it for your own good.”
“No! You did it because I disagreed with you and your attitude bug doesn’t like it when that happens. And you’ll do it again in a few minutes when you come to the realisation that I’m not turning around!”
“You got that right bucko!” the GPS laughed as it spoke.
“Good night!” Riga bold punched the off button.