Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Siri's revenge

I’ve mentioned in the past how I've pulled my share of practical jokes. (My partner, David Isaacs and I wrote all of the Bar Wars episodes of CHEERS). Well, I’m not the only one in my family.

At the moment I’m still in Maui. I’ve become friends with one of the waiters at the Grand Wailea poolside burger shack. (He refilled my ice tea once. I love the man.) I told him my son Matt was due to arrive the next day and would he help play a prank on him? Matt is an engineer for Apple computers and as you can imagine, there’s nothing he loves more than people asking for tech support (myself included). So I said to my waiter chum, “When Matt comes tomorrow tell him you’ve got a problem with your Mac laptop and that I said he’d be happy to help you.”

Sure enough – next day, we’re at lunch, the waiter ambles by, and asks Matt if he’d look at his laptop. Although steam was escaping from his ears, Matt graciously said he would. At that point we let him in on the joke.

He said he would get back at me.

A few nights later my wife and I are at dinner with two other couples. I just got the new iPhone4S and am showing off the new Siri feature. I ask her when the Superbowl is? She didn’t understand the question. So I ask her again but with more of a ‘tude this time. I said, “When is next year’s Superbowl, bitch?”

She answers: “I don’t know, Jackass!”

You can imagine the laugh this got at the table.   Getting royally insulted by my iPhone.

And as we were driving home a new concern crossed my mind. Based on the input she receives, Siri “learns” things. Does she now just assume I'm a giant  asshole? I mean, calling me a Jackass was pretty rude!”   Was I forever to be hated by my cellphone?

Well, it turns out Matt programmed Siri to call me that. You can do that I guess.

Good one, Matt!  

I’m currently reading the Steve Jobs book. In it, I've learned he loved pulling practical jokes. I’ve always been proud that my son works for Apple Computer. But now I know, he really belongs.

For the record: Siri now calls me Kenny. At least to my face. Behind my back – God knows.

15 comments:

JOV97 said...

Haha, great article! Really made me laugh

Mary Stella said...

Everytime I see or hear something about Siri, I think of Tom Cruise's daughter Suri. Now I've imagined your phone calling you a jackass in a little girl's voice.

Cathy S. said...

Ken, have you seen the blog post Norman Lear wrote for HuffPost? Hilarious. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/norman-lear/my-start-in-television_b_1135464.html

Jake Mabe said...

Enjoy Maui, Ken. I know I don't have to tell you: that place is paradise.

John said...

Ken, you need to get Matt to replace the Siri voice with Rhea Perlman's and you could have the speical Apple iPhone 4S Carla Tortelli app.

Jeffrey Leonard said...

My son, Kelle, also works for Apple. It's a great company. They have been very generous to him. BTW, he pulls little pranks on me too. These kids...

kingvermin said...

A question for your Friday questions if you are not annoyed by it!

Jim Bowden claims that free agent Prince Fielder would be great for Seattle. My friends theorize that would be a terrible idea, as Safeco they claim is where the power hitting goes to die.

Is this true? I know Griffey Jr. was a little upset with the new stadium he demanded they build when it opened (and the left field dimensions look a little long). Miller Park also has longish dimensions (at the corners) and the field look waaay deep compared to Wrigley. Is there something about the field or in the air (opposite of, say, Colorado?) that keeps the ball from flying out of the stands?

-Paul, Chicago

Cap'n Bob said...

Mariner batting is what keeps the balls in the park, IMHO.

Horaceco said...

I was gonna ask you about what you thought about the article in Huff Po on the "Friends Mafia", but then I saw you were quoted in it. How does it feel to be an "Elder Statesman". (If you have anything to say about the article, that would be cool too. Maybe for friday.)

Roger Owen Green said...

I really hate machines that talk to me. Reminds me too much of HAL in 2001.

Max Clarke said...

Open the pod bay doors, Siri.

Sebastian said...

Siri can identify by your name - your son must either have replaced "Ken" with "Jackass" or the blank there was because you didn't put it in.

Fun thing is - when you add a calendar entry for "Dentist Appointment, Monday at 9am" for instance, and you want to know when you have to be at the dentist on monday, you have to phrase your request to Siri "When is 'dentist appointment' (on monday)" OR "When is Ken's dentist appointment" if Ken is the name that you entered as your name into the phone.

So if I'm right you could just ask your son that who the Jackass is Siri keeps referring to because he has all those appointments back in LA when you guys return to California :-)

HogsAteMySister said...

If your son is ever in Nu Zillans, I will buy him MANY ice teas if he can make my smart phone do that. Har.

Anonymous said...

You should be careful using the word "partner."

Jon J said...

Was the big joke simply asking Matt for help?