Chris Pascoe’s Fun Tales
Ay, there’s the rub… unruly devices and pets disrupt the Pascoes’ sleep
With Christmas on the way and the nights nearing their longest and darkest, you’d think it would be about the easiest time of year to get a good night’s sleep, wouldn’t you?
Not so for my wife Lorraine – with a big workload up until Christmas Eve, when she can finally relax and do nothing, she’s having to burn the candle at both ends and sleep-time is at a premium. As you can imagine, I’m not helping much.
I have a middle-of-the night habit of doing stupid things (not unlike my daytime habits, in truth) that tend to cause disturbance. If it isn’t waking from an amusing dream in fits of laughter, then charging around like a rhino to make notes, it’s through my interactions with the household AI devices.
Note I said “devices”, because now not only do we have Alexa in the corridor, we have her bitter rival, Google Home, in the bedroom.
This can cause problems. Last night Lorraine got to bed late, head full of facts and figures, and finally nodded off around 1am. I awoke about two minutes later, suddenly realising I hadn’t set my alarm for the morning. I too get busy during the Christmas run-in, what with people going on shopping weekends and spa breaks to relax, and I needed to make an early start. Leaning close to the Google Home on my bedside cabinet, I whispered in my very tiniest voice “OK Google” (her wake word), “set alarm for 6am.”
At around 100 decibels she roared back, “OK, THAT’S DONE FOR YOU!”
Lorraine almost fell out of bed, shouting words not printable in this magazine.
Bravely pretending I had nothing to do with it (Lorraine can be very feisty when woken at night), I soothingly told her it must’ve just been a glitch and we both settled back down.
Around an hour later, our giant tomcat Bodmin jumped on me in the middle of a fight dream, causing me to wake up shouting and thrashing.
Lorraine was less than impressed, I can tell you, especially as she didn’t believe for one moment I had nothing to do with the first incident. As we again settled back down, I felt like a man on death row.
At 6am, my alarm sounded and I murmured, “Alexa, stop alarm”. Nothing – the volume grew louder, Lorraine stirred.
“Alexa, stop!” I whispered urgently. Nothing.
“ALEXA STOP!” I bellowed. Lorraine sat bolt upright, her face like thunder, just as a voice from the corridor, Alexa’s actually, called back, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”
With the Google Home alarm still going full blast and Alexa now chatting away in the corridor, I realised I’d been shouting at the wrong device. I also realised Lorraine was hovering above me holding her pillow in an extremely menacing manner.
So my job this afternoon is removing the Christmas decorations from the spare bed and putting them up because, apparently, the spare bed’s going to be needed tonight. Can’t imagine why…
Around an hour later, our giant tomcat Bodmin jumped on me