It’s easy to see the prob­lem with dic­ta­tors

The Woolwich Observer - - APORTS - OPEN COUN­TRY

I’M NOT VERY GOOD at tex­ting.

That’s why I typ­i­cally use the voice recorder op­tion on my cell phone to dic­tate text mes­sages. That, how­ever, is not with­out is­sues.

The other day, for in­stance, a friend texted me and asked how my turkey hunt was go­ing.

I put my thumb on the lit­tle mi­cro­phone but­ton and proudly dic­tated, “Great! I shot a re­ally nice gob­bler.”

It should have ended there.

Un­for­tu­nately, my phone’s recorder must be hard of hear­ing be­cause it trans­lated my words into a text mes­sage that read, “Great! I shot a re­ally nice cob­bler.”

Luck­ily, I proof read the mes­sage. Un­luck­ily, I hit the send but­ton first.

My friend’s ini­tial re­sponse was about 10 full sec­onds of si­lence. I believe this was be­cause he was try­ing to fig­ure out whether I was crazy enough to shoot a nice man who makes shoes or his favourite dessert.

Then he sim­ply replied with a mes­sage that read: “???? ”

And I quickly an­swered with, “Damn au­to­cor­rect! I have noth­ing against shoe mak­ers! I meant to say, I shot a nice gob­bler!”

Again, I prob­a­bly should have proof read be­fore send­ing.

For my voice tex­ting sys­tem got it wrong and cre­ated a text that read, “Damn cor­rect! I have a thing against shoe mak­ers! Amen to­day, I shot a nice cob­bler!”

The next few min­utes con­sisted of a back and forth in which cul­mi­nated with my friend urg­ing me to turn my­self in. Hop­ing to clear this up, I sent him a blurry photo of me kneel­ing with shot­gun in hand over what, if you had a pre­con­ceived no­tion, could have been a cob­bler wear­ing a feath­ered boa.

It took a while to straighten this out but in the end I was able to con­vince my friend that I had not caused in­jury to any shoe­maker.

I had three things go­ing for me. The first is I don’t even know a cob­bler. Heck, I’m not even sure the trade ex­ists any­more.

The sec­ond is that, of all the old crafts­men, the cob­bler was prob­a­bly the least hated. If I un­der­stand cor­rectly, all a good cob­bler did was make or re­pair shoes or boots for his cus­tomers – and peo­ple must have surely ap­pre­ci­ated that.

Lastly, cob­blers were prob­a­bly ig­nored by bad guys. No one in their right mind would shoot a guy who chose to makes shoes for a liv­ing – un­less, of course, they were Crocs. As a re­sult, I think it’s fair to say the av­er­age cob­bler did not make too many en­e­mies – un­less, of course, he was hor­ri­ble at his job and made ev­ery shoe a cou­ple of sizes too small.

The truth of the mat­ter is the cob­bler was sort of the ac­coun­tant of the trade in­dus­try – which is to say, no one in the his­tory of mankind has ever told a good cob­bling story.

For these rea­sons alone, I would never use my turkey li­cence to shoot one. And my friend even­tu­ally agreed that this made sense.

“You didn’t ac­tu­ally think I had gone crazy did you?” I asked af­ter­wards.

“Of course not,” he said. “Hey, how much does a turkey li­cence cost these days?”

I told him it I bought two at $31.45 apiece.

A few sec­onds of si­lence passed. Then he asked me what I had against his favourite dessert.

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