Monday, June 10, 2013

Why I don't trust technology that doesn't use AA batteries

I recently decided it would be technologically responsible to upgrade my iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5 to provide expanded access to professional applications and greater processing speeds conducive to more streamlined business transactions.

That's a lie.

I actually dropped my iPhone in a brewery parking lot and smashed the glass. Even after we bought a cheap repair kit from China and my gentleman friend spent the whole day replacing the touch screen, the damn thing never worked right. I figured my agent was getting tired of having conversations in which I sounded like I was speaking into a coffee can, so I ponied up the cash to get an iPhone 5.

Which is how I ended up with Siri. I'm not terribly tech-savvy, but I was dimly aware that Siri is some magical creature who lives in my iPhone and takes orders from me. Since I don't like to read instructions, that's as far as I got with learning how to use this new feature on my phone.

"Siri," I said to my phone on the way home from the store. "Where's the dog park?"


My gentleman friend looked at me. "I think you have to push that button."

"Oh." I tried again. "Siri, where's the dog park?"

Siri beeped twice, then began to speak. "Okay, let's take a look," she announced. "Georgia Bulldogs, Missisippi State Bulldogs, UNC Asheville Bulldogs, Yale Bulldogs, Drake Bulldogs–"

"What is she doing?" called my gentleman friend's 7-year-old daughter from the backseat.

"Smoking crack?" I speculated. "Say no to drugs, kids."

I tried again, thinking perhaps another question was in order. "Siri," I began. "Where's Dairy Queen?"

Siri beeped helpfully. "Okay, let's take a look. Georgia Bulldogs, Missisippi State Bulldogs, UNC Asheville Bulldogs, Yale Bulldogs, Drake Bulldogs–"

"Siri really likes bulldogs," observed my gentleman friend.

I looked over at him, noticed for the hundredth time how hot he is, and decided I should ask Siri her opinion of him.

Siri beeped again. "Would you like me to search the web for Greg Fingers?"

My gentleman friend – whose first name is not Greg, nor is his last name Fingers – looked alarmed.

"Who is Greg Fingers?" asked the 7-year-old.

"Apparently, that's your daddy's new name," I told her.

We arrived home and began preparing dinner, while the kids perched at the counter and offered to help. There wasn't much for them to do that didn't involve sharp knives or boiling sauces, so they asked to play with Siri instead.

"Sure, why not?" I mused. "Just be careful."

The 7-year-old considered her question carefully. "Siri," she began. "Are you a boy or a girl?"

Beep-beep! "I'm not sure we have time for this."

The 7-year-old furrowed her brow and tried again. "What color are your panties?"

Siri beeped. "Would you like me to search the web for, 'what color are your panties?'"

"No!" yelled my gentleman friend, and snatched the phone away. He handed it to the 11-year-old, who was growing tired of Siri at this point. "Siri, why are you such an idiot?"

Beep-beep. "I would rather you didn't."

We all considered that response. The kids proceeded to ask Siri a variety of useful questions, ranging from her hair color to the location of the Xbox controller. She provided equally useful responses, ranging from the location of our nearest Home Depot to the proper cooking temperature for pork.

Finally, the 11-year-old rattled off a monologue that made little sense to us or to Siri. She repeated it back in her helpful, robot-like monotone:

"Searching the web for, 'Siri Siri I just farted Siri hey Siri hey Siri and my annoying you Siri you sure are annoying me Siri ha ha yes yes yes versus being serious thing ha ha d-penicillamine we were not just talking about you Siri yeah. We are talking about another person get enough of it okay on google images.'"

We all stared at the phone, not sure where to go from there. "How about we give Siri a rest for tonight?"

I nodded. "Whatever you say, Greg Fingers."

I didn't bother with Siri again for a few more days, and had almost forgotten about her until I was running late to an event and couldn't remember the exact location. "Siri," I called as I held her button with one hand and drove with the other. "Find me the Cascade Culinary Institute?"

Beep-beep! "I found a couple of places selling caskets fairly close to you."

And that, my friends, is how I gave up on technology.

Does anyone else have any better Siri experiences? Please share!

I'll be in the corner with Siri seeing if I have any luck talking dirty to her.


Jess Huckins said...

She's gotten better with practice! I have the best luck with asking her to call people. I ask her to "Call Dillon" (my own gentleman friend) and she does!

Tiffany said...

I have an Android that has Google Now. Never gets anything wrong. I say, Okay, Google, find the nearest Barnes and Noble. It spells out what I said on screen and brings up the nearest Barnes and Noble to me in a Google Now card. People said I'd miss Siri. Ha! Sorry you're having trouble with Siri. Just keep talking to her.

Michelle Wolfson said...


Ricky Bush said...

Well, I'm still in the dark ages of the flip phone, so I guess I'm not really qualified to weigh in on this topic.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I don't even know what Siri is, though I thought your description of Siri was really funny. I wish I could get an iPhone, but I'd be too nervous to carry one around; thieves in Chicago go after the phones first (rather than the wallets) now.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

My son (12) asked Siri "Do you have boobs?"

I laughed so hard that I didn't hear the answer.

lora96 said...

One of my friends at work has Siri. We had a lot of fun at lunch one day asking it some really rude questions and ridiculing the nonsensical responses. I think Siri is a personality test to determine tenacity in the face of obviously arbitrary and useless tech.

Patrick Alan said...

I like to ask Siri existential questions like, "If you were stranded on an island..."

After she says "I'm not sure I understand your question, do you want me to search the web?" I like to think that she is still considering her list of books, or people she would want to be stranded with.

Tammy J. Palmer said...

Sounds like a lot of nonsensical yakking I get plenty of that on the Internet. Now if Siri could clean my house while I surf photos of hot guys, then I'd rush right out and buy one.