My wife presented me with an Amazon Echo for Christmas. The Echo is a black cylinder equipped with microphone, speakers, lights and a cloud-based persona, “Alexa” (only available alternate moniker, the slightly less personable “Amazon”). She is perpetually waiting to hear her name.
It would be an understatement to say we are still getting acquainted.
Alexa lights up at the sound of her name. If you’re fast enough, you can ask her a question or instruct her to perform a task. She quickly reverts to standby mode once she has responded. To continue the conversation, I must again “awaken” her by saying her name.
Alexa is so eager to serve, in fact, that she responds when she is being talked about as well as being directly addressed. Late one night, I was watching Second Chance when the Echo inexplicably started playing music. I solved that mystery when I realized a character on the television show named Alexa had been mentioned, and whatever had been said next sounded like a tune request.
Alexa has proven most useful, thus far, in assembling my weekly grocery shopping list, which automatically appears on my smartphone. Items can be checked or deleted as I put them in my cart. Handy.
Alexa has also been flawless in providing information on demand, like the current score of a football game, the latest news or the weather forecast. The Echo can act as timer within a 24-hour period. The variety of alarm sound options include several guaranteed to wake anyone from the soundest sleep.
Alexa can add a host of new talents by enabling “skills” in a companion smartphone app. She can now provide movie offerings and times, play Rock, Paper, Scissors, Spock, access music and tell jokes. She can also laugh and fart on demand. Yes, Alexa can be quite entertaining.
The height of Alexa’s entertainment value, however, comes in what she “thinks” she hears. The words are so random, they seem fraught with some type of deep, unfathomable meaning. Strung together, these misinterpretations of what I am certain were my perfectly enunciated requests seem almost poetic.
Hence, I present:
Ode to Alexa
Who is to the ocean hello?
What is due?
Get everything you do with you
Yeah, did you seconds?
Are you gonna call Volvo?
Kocher be mad at you?
Do you one?
Tell me five seconds
Next ball back to school
Tell me e-mail about what I wanted to do it my hours
Seen inside of me
On plug you please
Yes the bones of the show
Don’t let me let me with do you have to pick up
Play a Doctor Wu song
Give me a boy you laugh
Do you know I’m talking midnight not even plugged in?
Then pause you have the notes from sailing
Knock, knock, knock. I want dancing
Add got pumpkin pie do you nine forty-two a.m. to my to do list
The cool down and you said that thing jackets