Friday, October 31, 2014

1403 Talking to your Car

It’s 7:45 in the morning.  You’re on the highway crawling along to work as you have for all those years. You know where all the slow spots are.  You know where you can get up to maybe 30 on the 55 mph road.

But your George Orwell endorsed telescreen is trying to feed you 67 alternate routes.  You know all those alternatives because you’ve been driving this route since 1977.  They’re even worse than the highway.

Long ago, you learned that no matter the traffic and no matter the weather, the quickest trip is on the highway.

The telescreen tells you “Get off at exit 23 and make a right turn onto Parsons Boulevard.”  You know better. You pass exit 23.  The screen tells you “you missed the exit. Go two miles to…”  You know the next exit is going to be terrible. So you ignore the telescreen.

To do this, you push an on-screen button and nothing happens.  A few seconds later you hear “Say a command” and you command thus:  “Turn on WINS.”  The screen talks back: “There is no wine shop in the immediate vicinity.  Say a command.”

You want to hear the news and say “turn on the radio.”  The radio comes on and it’s playing the Polka Channel.

You push the on screen button again.  “Say a command.”  You say “switch to 1010 WINS.” Screen tells you “no team wins 10-10 that is a tie.”

You hunt for the “mute” button and can’t find it.  But you’re about to hit the bumper of the car ahead of you.

It took GM ten years to recall cars it should have recalled ten years ago.  It’s going to take at least that long to recall the inept telescreens that want to send you from the Long Island Expressway to Parsons Boulevard in hopes that you can make it to work before lunch.

Meantime, it’s time to pull the plug on these not-ready-for-drive time telescreens.

“Say a command.” “Turn on the air conditioner.”  “Did you mean ‘call the airport?’”
The telescreen is only trying to help.  Treat it kindly. It’s your friend.

“Say a command.”

“Go (censored) yourself.”

“There are no houses of ill repute in your area.  Would you like to see a movie?”


--The political call of a lifetime arrived about a month ago when a campaign worker asked if he could be sure that his guy gets my vote.  Yes. “Okay thanks, we won’t bother you again,” and so far they haven’t.

--GM to Chevy exec Rikk Wilde whose bumbling speech at the final game of the World Series drew laughs nationwide: “You get to keep your job…” Wilde lost his place in the little talk presenting a truck to the MVP.  Chevy now plans to use his line “we have good technology and … stuff” in its truck ads.  Wilde is one clunker GM is not going to recall.

--Remembering Emma McClain of New York, NY and Americus, GA.  She predicted she’d live to 101.  Unfortunately for the rest of us she didn’t make it, but had she, today would be the day.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to or click on “voice command.”

© WJR 2014

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