Choices and Routes

[The topic for today’s Daily Post prompt response: travel style.]

Turn left at Conover Street. In the passenger’s seat, Butch yelped as if he had been bitten.

“What?” OK slammed on the car’s brakes, the long curls of her red hair brushing against her cheeks.

“That thing!” Butch pointed a fat finger at the phone mounted on the dashboard. “Why do you use it?”

OK stared at her phone a moment, making sure she was looking at the same “thing” which had Butch so terrified. “It’s a GPS. I use it, ‘cuz its useful.”

“But doesn’t it bother you that it tells you where to go?”

OK blinked. “Butch, we’re in the city. I don’t get up here much, and I’m trying to get us home, to Bark Bay.”

“Why don’t we get a map?”

Because — ” she ripped the phone from its mount, thrust its surface up into Butch’s face — “this IS a map, you nimrod!”

“But it only tells you one way to go.” Butch touched OK’s hand, lowered it to the seat. “What if you want to go a different route? Or you don’t like where it’s sending you? It’s just a machine, all it knows is where the roads are, but not what they are. If you use a map — paper one, that is — you can see what all your options are, and you can decide which one you like best. But when you use a machine, you let it make all the decisions for you. I don’t know, I just find that kinda — creepy.”

OK sunk back into her seat, considered calling Double-J and arranging for a passenger swap. She shook her head, waved at the glove compartment. “Old man was getting rid of stuff he didn’t want a while back. Gave me a bunch of old maps, and I was like why don’t we just throw ’em away, but for some reason he insisted I keep ’em.”

Butch opened the glove compartment with the excitement of a toddler at Christmas. “Awesome!”

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