So many ques­tions, so few an­swers

Tri-County Vanguard - - OP-ED - Tina Comeau

One day last week I handed my younger son Justin, who’s 16, my bot­tle of choco­late milk.

The con­ver­sa­tion went like this. Me: “Can you open this?”

Him: “You can’t open your choco­late milk?”

Me: “No.”

Him: “You need to work out more, mom...I’m not al­ways go­ing to be around to open your choco­late milk.”

I knew he was jok­ing, but I felt like I was be­ing scolded.

It’s al­ways in­ter­est­ing when you ask a ques­tion. Some­times you never know what the re­sponse from the other per­son will be.

And some­times there is no an­swer at all.

Last Thurs­day night I walked into my kitchen and a sur­vey com­pany was hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with my an­swer­ing ma­chine. I had heard the phone ring, but I hadn’t an­swered it. How­ever, the non-per­son robotic sur­vey ques­tion­naire must have thought some­one had an­swered be­cause it was ask­ing the ques­tions any­way. I heard it say, “we only need a few mo­ments of your time.”

And then it pro­ceeded to ask, “do you think the gov­ern­ment of Canada is do­ing a good job? Press 1 for yes. Press 2 for no. Press 3 for no opin­ion.”

I stood there star­ing at my an­swer­ing ma­chine to see what num­ber it would push. It stayed si­lent.

Guess that counted as no opin­ion. I was bored for a few min­utes af­ter that, so I did some­thing I rarely ever do. I de­cided to have some fun with Siri – that voice on my iPhone – and en­gage her in a con­ver­sa­tion by ask­ing her ques­tions.

Our con­ver­sa­tion went this:

Me: “What is the tem­per­a­ture in Yar­mouth?”

Siri: “The tem­per­a­ture in Yar­mouth, Maine is 37 de­grees.”

Me: “What is the tem­per­a­ture in Yar­mouth, Nova Sco­tia?”

Siri: “The tem­per­a­ture in Yar­mouth, Maine is 37 de­grees.”

Me: “Is that true?”

Siri: “I am not pro­grammed to lie.”

Me: “What is the tem­per­a­ture in Cel­sius?”

Siri: “The tem­per­a­ture is three de­grees.” like

Me: “How many ba­nanas would it take to eat be­fore you were re­ally, re­ally full?”

Siri pro­ceeds to pull up a BBC story head­lined: “Can eat­ing more than six ba­nanas kill you?”

Ummm…maybe we should skip to the next ques­tion.

Me: “Do you think I’m hav­ing a good hair day?”

Siri: “I re­ally couldn’t say.”

Me: “What’s your favourite colour?”

Siri: “My favourite colour? It’s sort of green­ish but with more di­men­sions.”

Me: “So like teal?”

Siri: “Hmmm…pos­si­bly.”

Me: “What is your favourite day of the week?”

Siri: “My name is Siri and I was de­signed by Ap­ple in Cal­i­for­nia. That’s all I’m pre­pared to say.”

Man, talk about avoid­ing the ques­tion.

Me: “What’s your favourite hol­i­day.”

Siri: “I don’t like to play favourites.”

Me: “Are you very po­lit­i­cally cor­rect?”

Siri: “Sorry, I don’t re­ally know.” Me: “How tall are you?”

Siri: “I con­tain mul­ti­tudes.”

Me: “What does that mean?” Siri: “You got me.”

Me: “Do you eat ice cream?” Siri: “I leave the eat­ing to you.” Feel­ing like our con­ver­sa­tion was go­ing nowhere, I de­cided to go back to my com­puter and do some work in­stead.

A few min­utes later I was thirsty and went to the fridge and got out a bot­tle of choco­late milk. My son Justin walked in as I was open­ing the bot­tle – by my­self.

“I see you’ve been work­ing out,” he said.

LOL. Good an­swer.

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