This is the weekend of the Miami Book Fair. I’d planned for months to go to it, and I joined the South Florida Writers Association so I could sell my books from their table at the fair. I reserved a room in a nice hotel and my best friend and his girlfriend were going to accompany me and my girlfriend  for three great days and nights up in Miami. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, to start with, my girlfriend came down with a severe cold. She didn’t think it would be wise to spend three hours in a car with me, and then spend the following three days with our friends. I agreed, so she stayed home. I left around noon on Thursday.

My friend decided to take his car up there because his girlfriend wanted to go shopping and he wanted to be able to take her around without inconveniencing me. However, when he found out I was going up alone, he told me he was staying home, since the idea of the trip was two couples having a good time. Unfortunately, he didn’t tell me this until I had hit Florida City, the first town out of the Keys on the mainland, only an hour or so south of Miami. So now, I’m going to be there by myself. No problem, I said, I’ve traveled alone extensively. I kept going.

Along about this time, my girlfriend emailed me with the directions to the hotel. They came off her GPS. Now, I have to add here that I never use GPS because it never gets you where you want to go, at least not via the shortest route, and often doesn’t get you there at all. I don’t trust it. Her GPS’ directions seemed needlessly complex, but I followed them anyway.

Long story short, I travel forty miles northward on the Florida Turnpike looking for a nonexistent exit, which the GPS assures me will lead to my hotel. I turn around and head back south on the Turnpike, searching for the exit, but no luck. No exit, no hotel, no Book Fair. I kept going south till I got back home.

To say the least, I was not pleased. I’d awaited this weekend with great anticipation, mentally preparing myself and gearing myself up. But once again, I was foiled by a GPS.

Anyone else distrust these things, or am I just crazy?

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