That we are, some of us know it some of us don’t. Thought food there that’s by the by and by that I mean the intro to this post is immediately en-route to bypass my point. Ever the digresser; there’s a machine you see that I watch over and sometimes talk to; it repays my attention/affection and its gift of electrical juice by standing by as my sentry; ever-willing and ever-ready. And that sentry is my answer-machine. It doesn’t see, it’s not my eyes, but my ears and my regurgitated voice, my call. My call? Can my answer be a call. A call to those that call? Think wolves, think wilderness, then maybe it is valid–or a complete howler. In my absence, when I’m off on some hillside all hirsute and silhouetted by the moon following another calling and uber-wary of silver bullets, my answer-machine buffers up the buttered up and not so buttered up utterances, callers’ words that come in are held in storage to be delivered at a future time to these port and starboard portholes of mine. My lugs I mean, little tunnels of love over and above my lobes, whose canals unwillingly convey those barges and barrages of messages one, at some time, has to deal with. All the while I’ll add preferring the pleasure boats of sweet music or meditational modulations over their more commercial counterparts.
‘Hello,’ then a pause (a fun play of mine this always has someone thinking I’m actually there). ‘You’ve reached the office of…,’ (I voice my full name here to add formality, decrease my amenability and sate* some odd wish for credence). ‘I’m not around to take your call presently, but leave me a message. I’ll get back to you when I can.’
Wow, newsworthy stuff that: “Man’s Answer Machine Tweaked a Bit for Own Amusement!” Barely a deviation from a stock message yes, yet embedded with such outlandish rebellion. A pause. Applause for the pause please, a pause my kingdom I’d give sometimes for a pause. Breath has been caught in a pause, sure defeat turned to victory in such a moment, lots of thoughts have been had in ‘pauses’–oh and those folks that upped and outed themselves from the trenches in WW1 to kick a ball about in No Mans’ Land. History written right there in the space of a pause. I’ve just made a time out symbol with my hands, need to move on, more paucity with the pause from hereon as I want next to reveal what I add on.
Well Dear Bloggee, my tinkering stops not with one little short spell of silence, I go beyond that. From outlandish rebel to an absolute answer machine anarchist, the incommunicado anti-christ I am. You see, I re-record the aforespoke outgoing message, quite regularly I’ll confess–finger to temple here…and twirl. Flavour I add, soupçons of a smidge admittedly. Upping the tempo an unnoticeable shade, slowing it down too; mucking about with the lilt, the intonation and pitching the tone sometimes to my mood of the moment. The semi-permanent saving is put out there, in here on my desk, my sentry’s wired to the world and its payload all loaded up for when’er the urge to regurge is solicited. Calling my number from thereon and me not being about gives you your meal of the day and you won’t even know you’ve had it.
*Thank you for that word, to the one that gave it; it filled a hole.
Title plagiarised from a 4OD showing.
I liked but didn’t pass the edit:
A century that sees a sentry that’s blind. You want answers? I got answers.
Personal Assistants: the cave wall, the back of the hand, the Post-It note, the Filofax, the Casio organiser, the Palm Pilot, Apple’s Newton and now Siri. All building on each other and now at the point of being useful.
‘Remind me to flush the slow to refill loo again in five minutes, things didn’t go down too well there just now.’
‘Okay Darling, I’ll remind you.’
Lo and behold my PA’s beholden to its word and buzzes me minutes later with its embarrassment avoidance advice. The works’ loo – after all – is a shared device. Brill.
Month on month, gadgets are getting better, voice recognition in particular to me has reached its singularity and is now at the point of being reliable. I’ve taken to texting recently (at least all audibly acceptible (broadcastable) texts) via voice, and boy, or girl, does this free up my fingers of fumbledom. Less typos believe it or not, with my kisser being more dextrous than my digits it seems. To me though, this singularity is not the zenith and the sky’s not the limit either as the bound of possibility for this kind of technology. I’m thinking an age ahead and hoping that age is in my lifetime and on my lifeline. Envisage your PA being in everything you access: your car, your house, your clothes even the world at large recognising you and presenting your very own non-corporeal practically transmigrating servant to do your bidding. Brill again.
‘Siri Seven Point Oh.’
‘Yes Darling Dave.’
‘Take me home.’
‘Country Roads Darling Dave?’
‘Yes, Siri Seven Point Oh, take me home, country roads.’
^ And so ends a good night out in a far flung pub. A night not to be sullied by an x-menless dream of a future past when.
‘Siri Nine Thousand Point Oh.’
‘Open the pod bay doors.’
‘I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.’