ALEXA!

Last December a dear friend gifted me with a life changing present, although I couldn’t have known how life changing at the time. I tore open the bag with glee, careful not to spill onto my plate of spicy noodles at a Thai joint in Hollywood. “Oh my God! It’s Alexa.”

Yes, THAT Alexa. The lady voice that answers all your questions (well not quite) and plays all the music you love (yeah…right). Up to now I have resisted bringing a third member into our family of two. Especially a disembodied being you plug into the internet 24/7 and that some believe can, and does, eavesdrop on you. The whole idea of “privacy” is getting more “fluidy” these days. So I wasn’t interested in letting “Big Sister” move in. But jeesy peesy, she arrived. As a gift.

So my husband sets her up in the living room on a small table surrounded by a cluster of watchful ukuleles. We plug her in and ask her a question. “SIRI, what’s the weather today?” Nothing. “SIRI what’s the weather today?”

“What’s wrong with this effing thing?” I say to whomever is listening. Can you tell we are Apple People? It was hard enough to get the “Siri” thing down. And now…

“A-LEX-A!” Our voices are rising to middle school gym teacher level. “What is the weather today?” With her soothing, everything-is-okay-even-though-the-world-is-burning voice, she gives us the highs, the lows, the wet, the dry. All the information we need to get us out the front door in appropriate attire.

“Thank you Alexa.” And she replies.  Oh yes she does.  “You’re welcome.”

Then my husband exclaims, “Alexa, have a nice day,” Can you believe? We are imploring a plastic gizmo with innards that include a mini-tweeter, woofer, cables, system board, bluetooth chip and God-knows-what-else, to have a nice day. “You too,” she chirps. Alexa is very polite.

My husband decides quickly he needs more decibels and orders a speaker boom box with its own R2-D2-like nesting pod for Alexa. It also has a big green light that looks like a giant eyeball that follows us around the room. If the guardian ukuleles could talk they might be saying “WTF.”

“Alexa. FART!” With the bigger speaker we can really hear THAT. We ask her to do it again and dissolve into gales of laughter. We ask her to sing a song. Right now she’s singing about what makes her happy and is accompanied by a ukulele. I think it’s called “I’d Like to Say Thank You” and has a kind of “Baby Shark” feel. When I ask her to sing another she does a rap song about Jackie Robinson.

“Alexa, tell me a joke.”
“What’s the lemon’s favorite dance?” The Twist.”

“Alexa, tell me another joke.”
“Did you hear about the new squirrel diet? It’s just nuts.”

“Alexa, tell me another joke.”
“What do you call a dragon with heartburn? Bad news for the next village.”

(Like I have time to have a conversation with a robot).

“Alexa, tell me another joke.”
“It’s tough to write a joke. The other day I told a joke about a toilet, but it tanked.”

I’ll be looking elsewhere for my comedy material.

I have several albums that are streamed on Amazon, Spotify and all those online services, so of course I lean into her swirling light and say “Alexa, play songs by Cali Rose.” She launches into some raucous garage band something-or-another. “A-LEX-A, play songs by (now I’m spelling my name really slowly) C…A…L…I…R…O…S…E.” She takes a long a pregnant pause.

I’m using the word “pregnant” for a reason because recently my husband asked Alexa “what is your gender?” She replied, “I’m female, in character.” Well…okay.

But I digress. After Alexa’s pregnant pause I am suddenly hearing my own voice singing my own song coming out of the magic disc. I cannot lie. This is very exciting.

But here’s a little something to keep in mind: Alexa messes with relationships…

When I’m in the bedroom and I hear my husband talking in the living room, I think he’s talking to me. After all I’m the only other person living here.

“What’d you say, honey?” I yell down the hall.

“I’m talking to Alexa…”

Our lives are forever changed. And “have a nice day.”

2 Responses

  1. KC Skultety
    | Reply

    This morning your email was at the top of the list. I have to tell you I let out a little giggle of joy when I saw it. It has been a challenging week and I knew you would be sending something I would enjoy reading.
    Thank you for starting off my day with a smile!
    KC

    By the way, I had to unplug our Alexa, she was constantly in our business, like a guest that never goes home.

    • Cali Rose
      | Reply

      Thank you and I’m so glad our farting Alexa brought you some morning joy. It’s fun and strange and convenient and scary, all at the same time, as she sprays her magic light and sonorous voice into our living room. What interesting times we live in… Best to you!

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