When high tech is too high

Sometimes, while in a group of people, you listen to a tidbit of a story and it sticks in your head until you share it. I’m grateful for this column, which is so often a place for sharing. That way, the tidbit gets out of my head and into yours. I could add “ha ha,” but that would be annoying. 

Here’s the story that just took place in the Midwest during a family Christmas celebration. A gentleman (let’s call him Tony) is extremely high tech savvy, even though he is in his 70s. This alone ticks me off because I am incredibly clueless when it comes to all the gadgetry flooding the market. I thought it was pretty brave of me to invest in Waldo, my robotic vacuum cleaner.

Tony lives alone with Monty, his beloved dog, and Monty was not invited to the Christmas gathering. Tony, in his extreme love and concern for his dog, has set up his home with a Nanny Cam, which is somehow connected to Tony’s smart phone.  During the party, Tony not only used his phone to check up on what his dog was doing, but reassured Monty that daddy would be coming home soon. Tony also gave commands through his phone to the Nanny Cam for Monty to lie down, sit up and heaven only knows what else.

But here’s the part that left me with my mouth hanging open. Tony can not only start his car from inside a house by using a command on his smart phone, but Christmas night when he was ready to leave, he activated the heater in his car.  Surely you have heard about the deep freeze going on back east, so here is the rest of the story. Because of it being so unusually cold, and because Tony turned his car heater on full blast, the whole front windshield cracked from one side to the other.  There really is no point to this story other than it’s a good lead into the following day brightener sent to me by my old school chum, Teresa, who lives in Omaha. She loves the Midwest, and I’ve yet to hear her complain about the weather.

•     •     •

CALLER: Is this Gordon's Pizza?
GOOGLE: No sir, it's Google Pizza.
CALLER: I must have dialed a wrong number. Sorry.
GOOGLE: No sir, Google bought Gordon’s Pizza last month.
CALLER: OK. I would like to order a pizza.
GOOGLE: Do you want your usual, sir?

CALLER: My usual? You know me?
GOOGLE: According to our caller ID data sheet, the last 12 times you called you ordered an extra-large pizza with three cheeses, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and meatballs on a thick crust.

CALLER: OK! That’s what I want.
GOOGLE: May I suggest that this time you order a pizza with ricotta, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and olives on a whole wheat gluten free thin crust?
CALLER: What? I detest vegetables!
GOOGLE: Your cholesterol is not good, sir.
CALLER: How the hell do you know?
GOOGLE: Well, we cross-referenced your home phone number with your medical records. We have the result of your blood tests for the last seven years.
CALLER: Okay, but I do not want your rotten vegetable pizza. I already take medication for my cholesterol.
GOOGLE:  Excuse me sir, but you have not taken your medication regularly. According to our database, you only purchased a box of 30 cholesterol tablets once, at Drug RX Network, four months ago.
CALLER: I bought more from another drugstore.
GOOGLE: That doesn’t show on your credit card statement.
CALLER: I paid in cash.
GOOGLE: But you did not withdraw enough cash according to your bank statement.
CALLER: I have other sources of cash.
GOOGLE: That doesn’t show on your last tax return unless you bought them using an undeclared income source, which is against the law.
GOOGLE: I'm sorry, sir, we use such information only with the sole intention of helping you.

CALLER: Enough already! I'm sick to death of Google, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and all the others. I'm going to an island without internet, cable TV, where there is no cell phone service and no one to watch me or spy on me.
GOOGLE: I understand sir, but you need to renew your passport first. It expired six weeks ago.

•     •     •

I hope this made your day.  Now I can stop thinking about Tony, his Nanny Cam and his dog, but I do wonder if his insurance covered that cracked windshield.


Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock. She is the author of “Good Grief: A Collection of Stories As One Woman Journeys From Heartbreak To Healing Through Honesty and Humor” (Dancing Moon Press). The book (with all proceeds going to Rotary International) is available at JC Market in Newport and directly from Bobbie, who can be contacted at [email protected]

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