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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

“The Door is A Jar”; or Appliances Usually Don’t Know What They’re Talking About

I’m not sure if my dad is messing with me or not.

It is probably safest to assume that he is.

“So I woke up, what? 2:00, 2:30 in the morning, and I hear a voice I don’t recognize coming from the kitchen.”

I take a drink of my beer, keep a wary eye on his face.

“And I’m thinking to myself, holy cow!  There’s someone in the house!  What do I do?  Should I wake your mother?  Where’s that baseball bat?  Do I have time to go to the bathroom first?”

I snort appreciatively.  My father taps the side of his nose, nods. 

“So I go into the kitchen,” he continues, raising his eyebrows significantly, “and there’s Mumma’s phone on the table.  It’s all lit up, and as I reach for it, the phone says to me, Please say a command.

“Well, I damn-near fell over.  Please say a command, the lousy thing says.”  He shakes his head in disbelief, takes a sip of beer.  ”Pfft.”   

“So what’d you do?”

“What could I do?” he says.  “It wants a command, I’ll give it a command!  I tell it:  Shut up!”

I laugh.  “Your command is shut up?”

He nods, takes another drink.  “But does that satisfy it?  No.  Please say a command, it says again!  Another command from the phone!  So I tell it OK, shut up and drop dead.”

I can’t help myself.  I laugh again.  “Did that work?”

“Nah,” he says, rising with his empty beer can, “but I was done with it.  A phone that wakes me up, makes demands?” 

“So what’d you do?”


He shrugs, drops the can in the recycling, pulls another beer from the fridge.  “What could I do?”  He pops open the can, takes a drink.  “I stuffed it into the kitchen towel drawer.  I figured your mother could have a talk with it in the morning.”

29 comments:

Simply Suthern said...

The baseball bat works wonders with those high tech gadgets.

Reminds me of my dad standing at the end of the driveway hollaring at his phone to "CALL MOM, HOME". "It has voice dial" he says.

After about a minute I recommend just pushing the buttons. It was quite the sight.

bill lisleman said...

Darn I thought he might pour it a beer.
This is why I mute the GPS lady.
Off in the future people will chuckle about how we were surprised by talking gadgets and then they will tell the story to their listening robot.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
HAH!! Double HAH!!! I'm with your dad. Best place for the pesky things, the towel drawer.

I supppooooossseee, (eventually) I'll have to give in and have a - deep intake of breath - mobile telephone.

Eventually, I said. &*<

Shelly said...

I wish you could Skype these convos with your dad to all of us. I really do.

jabblog said...

No surprises who washes and dries the dishes in your parents' house . . .

Perpetua said...

What wouldn't I give to be a fly on the wall during these conversations with your dad, Pearl. :-)

Geo. said...

I too am puzzled by a future in which devices make untimely requests and dashboards signal strange opinions about the door.

Daisy said...

When is a door, a jar? What kind of jar? What is in the jar? Does the jar talk, or does the door? Is the phone in the fridge?

So many questions arise!

jenny_o said...

The rare time that an automated answering machine has told me to say 'yes' or 'no' or 'one' or 'two', it has so unnerved me that I hung up. I just can't do it. Especially if 'yes' or 'no' really doesn't encompass what I want. Gah. Your dad did The Right Thing.

Lo said...

Oh, Pearl....I love this post.
Reminds me of my constant dialogue with my laptop....."Oh, shut up" never works there either.

klahanie said...

Hi Pearl,

Oh my! I can imagine your mother having a conversation with the phone. Personally, I'd give up with the phone and throw in the towel.

Have a good one. "That's an order!" LOL

Gary

Belle said...

A great story. I love your dad. I had something similar happen to me with my husband's new computer. He put a Star Trek screen saver on that had the crew talking to one another. I thought there was someone upstairs. Scary!

Kana said...

PRO TIP: The freezer's more sound proof because of the temperature sealing at the edges of the door.

Although that probably buys you a lecture instead of just a glare from the owner when it's discovered.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I just hate it when the equipment talks back.

Gigi said...

My phone has been known to give off some rather loud and unnerving noises - but it has yet to "speak" to me, thank Gawd - otherwise it would also end up in the towel drawer!

Daisy said...

Ha! There is just no reasoning with those darn phones!

sage said...

My daughter seems to like to set her alarm on her phone to get up early (like 5 am) and to leave it at random places throughout the house because I love pre-dawn hide-and-seek games...

HermanTurnip said...

That's yet another sign of the upcoming Robopocalypse...

Linda O'Connell said...

Funny stuff here, Pearl. Friend left his cell phone with his mom and ran back home for a second, said he'd be right back and would check on her as soon as he got home. She didn't answer. He rushed back to her house thinking the worst. She said the phone never rang, just kept playing the same damn song over and over.

esbboston said...

When I see the message "The DOOR is AJAR" I think, how is a door like a jar? and then I realize they both end in R and have two vowels that are the same and they have an enclosed shape, O has a circle and A has a triangle, and J is kinda like a D that has been opened up. Or perhaps I am overly thinking it. I think back to a favorite jar story and it involves someone else catching fireflies in Michigan but I sadly know this story is long gone because my friend had her MySpace account obliterated for reasons I will not go into, and besides, I am sad in grief and my dog is hungry and doesn't know where I am.

Susan Kane said...

Your father strikes me as a wise man.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Your father reminds me of my late pop........you never knew if he was serious or pulling your leg

tiffany rose said...

I used to work with a guy who often had the same boring conversation with his car: "No, the door is a door ..."

Elephant's Child said...

What a wonderful place for a dictatorial phone. Your father is a wise man.

Tez said...

This had me laughing out loud for a long time. Thank you, a good laugh always does me good.

I now know where you get your sense of humour - your dad is hilarious!

River said...

I love your dad.

the walking man said...

He should have told it to get him a drink of water that would have killed two birds with one command.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Your dad is my kind of people!

Diane Tolley said...

I'm always suspicious of talking electronics. My dad's elevator and I have a history...