Last week a friend of mine shared this video from Saturday Night Live.
If you don’t have time to watch, it’s about elderly people who like to argue with voice automation. The final solution to the problem is an Uh-huh feature that allows Grandpa to have the last word every, single time. It’s brilliant.
If only my GPS had been equipped with that feature when I tried to drive my ninety year-old mother to her new lawyer’s … I probably wouldn’t have gotten that three day migraine.
GPS: Turn right on McCarran.
Mother to the GPS: I don’t think so! I’ve lived here for fifty years and …
Me: I can’t hear the directions Mother. Please…
Mother angrily: Suit yourself. But don’t ask me for help when we get lost. I’ll just sit back and shut up. I’m just warning you and this will be the last time. Yes sirree. Don’t expect me to say anything because I won’t and then we’ll be lost and we’ll be late and I’ll never go anywhere with you again! You can depend on that. Yes, sirree.
I wish I could say my days of technological bewilderment are far in the future, but alas, that would be a slight exaggeration. Well, perhaps not slight. A few days ago I found myself at the Apple Store with a problem I hoped could be solved by a new battery. I was too early to be “checked in” for the appointment I’d made with one of their “genius squad” and so decided to take a look at some of the hundreds of new machines on display.
Alas, my inability to adapt to rapidly evolving technology didn’t manifest until I reached the iPads. Thinking they were just like my iPhone I began randomly poking the screen and something called Galloping Gertie’s All Star Girlie Flicks opened. Yikes! I thought, where the devil is the home button or the X to close the damn thing? I tried the back icon, the forward icon and anything in between and yet all I got were page after page of porno flicks for rent. “Let me out, you damn Gerties!” I shouted, which got the attention of the intern geniuses tasked with protecting iPads from stubborn old farts who think they know what they’re doing.
“How do I close Galloping Gerties?”
“I swish? Sort of like a magic wand?” I attempted swishing and a bright flash went off, temporarily blinding me. When vision returned, there on the screen was an ungodly close up of my shriveled visage. “Get that horrid thing off the screen!” I screamed.
“You have swished too much. You must practice your swishing.”
Finally my swishing skills are adequate (although I can’t imagine using an iPad after a couple of glasses of wine!) and the geniuses inform me it’s time for my appointment with my special genius. They then text my description to the genius and tell me to sit on a box. A few minutes later I hear my name called. (I don’t think they sent my physical description, do you? Otherwise why would my special genius also call my name? I bet they sent a warning. Your next appointment is with a neurotic old bat named Jan. Good luck.)
Unfortunately the news is not good. Apple isn’t allowed by state law (??) to fix seven year old machines. They don’t tell you this when you make the appointment and I think the answer is obvious. Buy, buy, buy.
I hate to tell them but access to Galloping Gertie’s isn’t going to convince me to buy another Apple!