It should have been the simplest of runs. Collect two “ladies” from one address, then one more at a second address, and drive them to the Port of Tampa. Yep, they were off on a cruise.

I have never cruised, unless you count the odd day trip along the Rhine or the Mosel. The phenomenon of modern cruising appears to be a sea-borne religion of gluttony, a cult of conspicuous consumption beyond that which any reasonable person would want. It looks ugly to me.

And so, indeed were these ladies. It turned out they were sisters on some kind of sibling satiation sabbatical. It all started happily enough. They were, after all, going on what should have been a happy vacation.

I was early, with my usual happy “chauffeur face” on, and it was a beautiful Sunday morning. The downhill slide started while navigating to the second pick-up. No, I don’t know your sister’s condo complex by name, there are quite a few in Florida. (Der. Me rolling eyes.) An address would make things much easier.

They didn’t know the address. Fair enough, but if you are directing me in a large beast like a six-passenger Cadillac, turns are easier when pointed out ahead of time. Not as they disappear behind.

But we made it.

Off we went towards the port, along what I knew was the quickest and smoothest route. Mr TomTom agreed with my local knowledge, so it came as a shock when, about ten minutes short, one of them piped up with “Which way are we going?”

It could only have been a rhetorical question. There are only two freeways in our part of the world, and we were on one of them, about eight miles short of downtown Tampa. What could she mean, “Which way are we going?”?

Of course, she added “I think we should have gone via (State Route) 41. It’s quicker.”

I was silent. We were almost at our destination, and to take the road she described required us to make adjustments forty minutes and the entire Tampa Bay ago. And it wasn’t like she was paying by the hour – it was a fixed price trip.

Mindreading isn’t a skill I have. Divining which way you want me to drive you is only possible if you open your yap and communicate in the customary way; by speaking. (You stupid bitch.)