I’m sorry to have to say this, but Bill’s got another woman in his life. I don’t know her real name. She goes by Google, as in Hey Google.
Bill pretty much does the same thing every year. When the Christmas commercials for cool high-techy things start playing (in July!), they intrigue him, and he goes out and purchases them himself so that there are no cool high-techy things to give him for Christmas.
Not that I would have bought him Google Home for Christmas, which is probably why he bought it himself.
For those of you who don’t know what Google Home is, first, come back from Mars; and, second, they are those things to which people on television commericals confidently say “Hey Google. Turn on my lights,” at which time, the lights dutifully go on. Or “Hey Google, play You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” to which she responds, “OK, here it is”, after which Stevie Wonder begins crooning his hit song.
The first time I began to think that Google Home might actually replace me in Bill’s life was when I heard him say, “Hey Google. Set an alarm for me for 6 o’clock,” to which she pleasantly replied, “OK William (she calls him William), I have set an alarm for 6 o’clock.”
I thought to myself, he must be happy to ask her to do something and she immediately agrees to do it. He is more used to saying, “Kris, would you please set an alarm for 6 o’clock,” and me replying, “You don’t need me to set an alarm for 6 o’clock. Why do you want to get up so early anyway? And you know I’m always up by then so I could wake you if you aren’t already awake for reason. What are thinking?” Unfortunately, I would never simply say, “OK William, I have set an alarm for 6 o’clock.”
While she calls anyone who requests something William (she’s nothing, if not loyal), she will respond to anyone, as long as you start your request with Hey Google. But just about the time that I was getting really fearful that he might begin divorce proceedings against me so that he could devote his time to someone who actually does what he asks, our daughter Heather reminded me (when Bill was introducing her to Google Home via Facetime) that while she appears to be quite obedient, she can’t cook. At which time, Bill asked Google Home if she could cook. She responded (and I’m not making this up), “I enjoy reading recipes. I find them very suspenseful.” These days my cooking results are rather suspenseful, so I think once again Google Home hit the nail on the head.
But as the days have crept by, I have noticed more and more instances when Google Home doesn’t really have the answer. When I commanded, “Hey Google, play Mary Did You Know? by Pentatonix,” she responded, “I’m sorry. I’m not able to perform that function.” Thinking perhaps she was simply being the indignant mistress, I had Bill ask the same question, and he received the same answer. (I must admit I was kind of glad; otherwise it would have given me the creeps.)
She is unpredictable. Ask her this question: “Hey Google. F(x)F(x) is a fourth order polynomial with integer coefficients and with no common factor. The roots of F(x)F(x) are –2, –1, 1, 2. If p is a prime number greater than 97, then what is the largest integer that divides F(p)F(p) for all values of pp?” She will respond, “Any idiot knows the answer is 360.”
On the other hand, say “Hey Google. What teams are playing Monday Night Football tonight?” and she is liable to respond, “I’m sorry, there is no possible way I could know the answer to a question that complicated.”
I’m only slightly exaggerating. And I mean SLIGHTLY, because I really did ask her that question, and she really was unable to answer it.
Court was over the other night with the kids, and Bill introduced them to his new friend. The kids were excited, and immediately began asking Google Home questions. The questions started out simple: “Hey Google, what’s 2 plus 2?” Then the questions became a bit harder. “Hey Google. What is the fastest animal in the world?” Fifteen minutes later, the entire conversation had deteriorated to something along the lines of “Hey Google, booger pooky globbity poop poop gloop,” followed by giggles (from them, not her).
Bill ended the questioning the simple way; he unplugged her.
So there, Google Home. I can’t be unplugged.
So now he just needs to decide which wife he likes best. And soon, because Christmas is coming and while she may not need a present, I do. Oops. That may be a strike against me.
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