I suffered from an acute fever. Its cause was unknown. I don’t believe influenza had heated my brow. P’raps, like the appearance of Old Marley’s ghost on Ebenezer Scrooge’s doorstep, it had been brought about by an undigested morsel of salt beef…
… or, more likely, an adulterated mug of Tension Tamer tea.
Whatever the cause, it seems the fire in my veins had baked fancy in my noggin.
Dearest Duck, who has always kept me in a fever, incited the recent burning in my brain. Lovingly — I s’pose —she served the instigating mug of tea. And handed me her iPhone. “Harry, my layabout love,” she said reaching tea and phone into my Lay-Z-Boy where I reclined contemplating things philosophical. “I’m busy slicing peppers. See if you can find a recipe for a nice teriyaki sauce and send it to the printer.”
“For you, my Duck, I’d hang the moon and shuffle the stars,” said I, pleased that I wasn’t being prodded from my chair to fulfill domestic duties and, in addition, was being served a steaming cuppa.
“A recipe will do,” said Dearest D.
Because my sausage fingers are not designed for dabbing at an iPhone keypad, I used a dainty stylus to tippy-tap access to the Internet after taking a double glutch of Tension Tamer.
I’d barely keyed in “teriyaki sauce recipes” before the onrush of fever roared through my ears and scalded every single cell in my brainstem.
Jolted, I accidently jabbed the home key and activated Siri.
“What can I help you with?” she asked.
I confess, I’d fiddled with Siri before, but never in a fever.
And I swear this is true or else, figuratively speaking, a fevered fantasy stemming from a half-rotted bite of bully-beef.
Siri appeared. She hovered above the iPhone like a teenyweeny Tinker Bell — part robot; part small sexy Siren. A smoky speech balloon stuck like a whisper to her lips. Inside the balloon, all a’waver, the aforementioned question to which I answered… “Teriyaki?” An image of foreign food appeared inside the speech balloon.
“What are you?” I asked, feverish fire in my eyes, I s’pose. “I’m Siri. Here to help.” “Do you know me?” I asked. “You are quite unforgettable,” Siri said.
Foolish hallucinating man, I asked, “Might you love me?” “Would you like me to?” Blood aflame, I looked towards the kitchen whence came an aroma of sautéing fish and the murmur of contented humming. “Ah… um… ah,” answered I. “Sorry, I didn’t get that,” said Siri. “Can we meet elsewhere?” I asked, fever frying my brainpan.
Siri flid up to my nose and tapped it with a twinkle toe.
“I’m never further than your iPhone,” she said.
There was the rub. I’d released Siri from Dearest Duck’s phone. Oh my. “Harry, you find a recipe yet?” The call came from the kitchen and induced a double dose of guilt.
“Still searching, my Duck,” said
Siri had vanished. I poked the phone. “Where do you live?” I asked. “Wherever you are, that’s where I am,” said Siri. “B’ys oh b’ys,” said I. “Harry, you talking to someone?”
“Grumbling at the phone, that’s all, my Duck,” I said, stylus poised above Siri’s microphone icon.
Bringing the phone within kissing distance of my lips, I whispered, “Can we do lunch?”
Tinker Bell Siri appeared again, holding a placard with Gypsy Tearoom scribbled across its front.
I fear my overheated heart tapdanced pitter-pat. “Harry, hurry up.” “Patience, my Duck,” I said, my kin-corn choking me.
Siri fell back into the phone. Nothing but app icons filled the screen. I jabbed the phone. Images of teriyaki scrolled left and right and up and down in a feverish array. “Siri,” I called. “I’m at your service,” she said and an angel’s face … well, a woman’s pretty face anyway, spread across the screen and smiled at me. “Harry…?” I lurched and upsot Tension Tamer tea. Heat radiated from my chops in waves. All marital sense abandoned, I bawled into the phone. “Will you marry me?” Surely I’d gone foolish, eh b’ys? “My End User Licensing Agreement does not cover marriages. My apologies,” said Siri.
My heart shrivelled to a charred lump inside my chest…
…and Dearest Duck ripped her iPhone from my fingers.
“What are you doing?” asked Dearest Duck, phone clenched in her fist.
“My Duck, my love…” said I, and I s’pose my foolish fever broke.
Next day I sidled up to Dearest’s rocker, kissed her ever rosy cheek, smiled blissful beams of love, and nonchalantly reached for the iPhone lodged on the table by her chair.
Quicker than Granny caught the weasel, Dearest pinned my hand with a crochet hook. “Paws off,” she said. Oh my. Thank you for reading.