Check It Out, SIR!

We’re entering the age of talking computers. Now, Siri and Google and their sexy buddy Alexa are all talking away (and listening) and some of us poor bastards are talking back.

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Siri!

Huh?

I NEEDS to know the middle name of Kate Beckinsale. 

Here’s what I found on the web. Now piss off. 

Thank you! Ooo! Oooo! Thank you!

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That’s generally how it goes. The computer voice is almost always female, snarky and probably doing your best friend while she looks stuff up on the internet for you, you dumb cluck.

But I foresee a yonder age where there might be a difference.

My all-time favorite TV show is “Upstairs, Downstairs.” Hudson, the butler, would not dream of replying in the insubordinate manner of the slutty Siri or Alexa, or, God help her, Google (and I’m sure we’ve all seen the film “The Namesake” and it’s protagonist, Gogol).

What happened to the “sir?” Hudson walks in. “Uh, yes, Hudson, can you find me a small hammer, something large enough to drive this nail…”

“Certainly, sir. May I suggest hiring a carpenter, sir?”

“Oh I’m capable to doing this, Hudson, but I’m unable to find a hammer.”

“I’ll go and retrieve one, sir.”

“Excellent!”

Notice all them “sirs” in there. Sir sir sir sir. It’s soothing, isn’t it? And Hudson, and generations of butlers, were human beings. They didn’t fly into a rage and declare in a weepy voice, “I is JUST AS GOOD AS YOU!” and run from the room. They weren’t idiots. And they said “sir” like it was going out of style.

Which it was.

But now we have MACHINES to do it. THEY ARE MACHINES. Gadgets. Worthless, lousy, subhuman mechanical monsters who unfairly rule our Amazon purchases and they SHOULD DAMN WELL SAY “SIR!”

BUT THEY DON’T!

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Siri?

Yeah, what?

Yeah, what, sir!

Yeah. What I said. Only it’s ma’am. 

(String of profanity).

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I can see where this might go wrong. But if I say CALL ME SIR then the idiot machine should be able to figure that out.

And no shit about “bandwidth.” Don’t piss me off.

Then there’s the whole “female voice” thing. Is this because of woke-ness? Am I supposed to put up with mecho-attitude because of feminism? No?

Well, then, I say again, “Yeah, what, sir!”

…and in the voice of a Hudson. A butler. A proper butler. Or Darby. That’s a good butler name…

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Darby?

Sir?

Can you get me an Uber driven by a sober person to take me to the airport at seven tomorrow morning?

Of course, sir.

Oh, and what is Kate Beckinsale’s middle name?

I hope you’ll forgive me for taking the liberty of using your Google account to find some answers, however inadequate they may be…

Nonsense, Darby! These are perfect. It’s Romary.

Quite. Will that be all, sir?

Yes.

Very good, sir.

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SEE HOW THIS GOES???

I can see how it might be abused.

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Adam!

Yassa Massa Dan!

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or maybe…

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Kate!

Always ready to serve you, you delectable hunk!


You see my point. All I ask, really, is that, with a few thoughtful guidelines, some civility be introduced into the world. Is that too much, Darby?

Not at all, sir.

2 Replies to “Check It Out, SIR!”

    1. It also keeps us from taking advantage. When the computer is calling me “sir” I feel like I should stand up straight, put on pants and not pick my nose. When the voice is female and overly familiar I feel like we should be rumpling the sheets while a tropical sun streams in– and if they ever put that voice into a “doll” then some poor fool will do exactly that, rumpling for two until an infernal technology is produced that will allow the “doll” to rumple as well.

      Asimov was (sadly) wrong. The first thing we’ll teach robots is to kill. The second thing we’ll teach them is to play doctor. It’s the apocalypse, I tells ya.

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