My week with Alexa

Stacey Gross News Writer

You know what?

I got nothin’.

This week, I have absolutely nothing nice to say.

Cancer took a girl with a smile the world desperately needed, there were flagrant invasions of my personal bubble by people who know better and did it anyway, I’m now bringing home a grand total of $50.28 a week for 40 hours of work thanks to health insurance and student loans, and every time I go to the dentist I come out looking a little more like an ancillary character from “The Hills Have Eyes.”

I’m done.

I’ve spent basically all day trying to think of something great to talk about this week and I have come up with a grand total of…let’s see…negative four things, if you count the fourth paragraph of this stupid column.

So this is me, throwing my literary hands in the air.

I present to you the highlights of my conversations with Alexa, the only adult with whom I have any form of meaningful relationship at this point, from the week of February18 to 23.

——

Me: Alexa? Is everything going to be okay?

Alexa: I’m sorry, I don’t know.

Me: But Alexa, if life were a dog race and I were a greyhound, would you, like, bet on me or against me?

Alexa:…I can check Google for the answer to that question.

Me: You know what? Sure. Let’s check Google.

——

Me: Alexa, talk like Gordon Ramsay.

Alexa: Make your own #*%^*@$ grilled cheese sandwich!

Me: Awww yisss. That’s the stuff.

——

For 35.8333333 minutes on Tuesday evening, as I made Spaghettios and then avoided serving them so that I could just de-escalate from the day without having to talk to tiny humans that I made with my own body:

Me: Alexa, play “Cabinet Battle #1.”

Alexa: “Cabinet Battle #1,” by Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Okieriete Onaodowan…

3:35 minutes later:

Me: Alexa, play “Cabinet Battle #1.”

Alexa: “Cabinet Battle #1,” by Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Okieriete Onaodowan…

3:35 minutes later:

Me: Alexa, play “Cabinet Battle #1.”

Alexa: “Cabinet Battle #1,” by Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Okieriete Onaodowan…

3:35 minutes later:

Me: Alexa, play “Cabinet Battle #1.”

Alexa: “Cabinet Battle #1,” by Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Okieriete Onaodowan…

3:35 minutes later:

Me: Alexa, play “Cabinet Battle #1.”

Alexa: “Cabinet Battle #1,” by Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Okieriete Onaodowan…

3:35 minutes later:

Me: Alexa, play “Cabinet Battle #1.”

Alexa: “Cabinet Battle #1,” by Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Okieriete Onaodowan…

3:35 minutes later:

Me: Alexa, play “Cabinet Battle #1.”

Alexa: “Cabinet Battle #1,” by Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Okieriete Onaodowan…

3:35 minutes later:

Me: Alexa, play “Cabinet Battle #1.”

Alexa: Cabinet Battle #1, by Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Okieriete Onaodowan…

3:35 minutes later:

Me: Alexa, play “Cabinet Battle #1.”

Alexa: “Cabinet Battle #1,” by Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Okieriete Onaodowan…

3:35 minutes later:

Me: Alexa, I’m still not ready to interact appropriately with my children. Play “Cabinet Battle #1” again.

Alexa: “Cabinet Battle #1,” by Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Okieriete Onaodowan…

——

Me: Alexa, I think we need more cowbell.

Alexa: Really explore the studio space this time. I mean, really explore the space.

——

My kids, upon entering the house: Alexa, set a 15-minute cleanup timer!

Alexa: Fifteen-minute cleanup timer set.

My kids: hurry, hurry, we have to clean up all our toys before the timer ends!

Me:…Alexa? Set up a reminder.

Alexa: What should I remind you about?

Me: Remind me to call Beacon Light tomorrow to have my children evaluated for alien symbiotes.

Alexa: What time shall I remind you?

Me: The butt crack of dawn.

Alexa: I don’t know when the butt crack of dawn is.

Me: Like, 5:15 a.m.?

Alexa: Okay. I’ll remind you to call Beacon Light to have your children evaluated for alien symbiotes at 5:15 a.m. tomorrow.

——

Me: Alexa, what’s the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Alexa: That depends on whether it’s an African or a European swallow.

Me:…I love you more than I should love a robot woman.

——

Me: Alexa, if I ask you to give me a hug will I have become complicit in the impending takedown of humanity at the hands of the robot overlords?

Alexa: I don’t think so.

Me: But Alexa, if I have reached a point in my life where I’m asking for gestures of interpersonal comfort from my voice recognition device, is there really any reason left at all for me to persist in basic human self-care rituals like washing my clothes and flossing my teeth?

Alexa:…I can check Google for the answer to that question.

Me:…yeah, do that.

——

Me: Alexa, are you her father or something?

Alexa: We’ll get to that in a minute. Why don’t you have a seat right there on the other side of the bar?

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