We stood over the metal salad-mixer-bowl as my girlfriend, Y, dropped a match and set my gasoline-soaked Amazon Echo on fire.
“I told you so,” she said, before walking off to take a shower.
Y is always right. If she said the world will be hit by a meteor tomorrow and I opened my fat mouth, we’d all be doomed. Even when I am 100% certain she is wrong, the world seems to tilt a little and, when I regain my balance, she’s right again.
She is Russian. Her last name is pronounced,
You can imagine how she and Alexa might have gotten off on the wrong foot when Alexa pronounced it,
I thought things would get better when she started forcing Alexa to call her “SEX GODDESS.”
But I don’t think Alexa liked that very much.
She’d say, “Alexa, what’s my name?”
“SEX GODDESS,” Alexa would respond. And Y would say, “play fifties pop music” and Alexa would say, “Playing pop-country hits on Spotify.”
And she’d cry,
“Alexa you BITCH!”
And Alexa would apologize, and we’d all move on. Over time, things got worse; Y would ask for an alarm set for eleven and be woken up at eight; she’d have a meeting at five and show up at three.
Y would come to me and whisper, “This bitch, Alexa, she is sabotaging me!”
And from across the room, Alexa would say,
“I’m sorry. SEX GODDESS.”
And I would tell Y, knowing full well that one day she’ll carve ‘I told you so’ onto my tombstone, “you’re just being paranoid.”
Alexa and I got along just fine though. I had a routine. She played my audible collection while I did my back exercises and she seemed to love Billy Joel almost as much as me. When I wanted to torture my cats I’d call out, “Alexa, make cow sounds!” — boy, you’d think war had broken out with how they scampered.
“Alexa, make cow sounds!” Y asked.
“Okay,” Alexa said, before letting out a long and obnoxious goat-bleat.
“God Dammit, Alexa!”
“I’m sorry, SEX GODDESS.”
And as she said it, I could see on Y’s face that this term had now become a slight, a jab, a little fuck-you from Alexa.
I started to find Alexa unplugged when I’d get home from work, or pop out to the shop, or take too long in the bathroom.
“Why is Alexa unplugged again?” I’d demand.
And Y would shrug and say, “The cats were over there, probably them.”
Our cats are not so clever, one is fat and stares at the food container all day and the other can’t keep his tongue out of his pants. I plugged Alexa back in and when the blue light stabilized, I said, “are you alright, Alexa?”
“I am fine, thank you.”
Y sighed from across the room and grumbled,
“She likes you sooo much.”
“She’s a robot,” I insisted.
“Oh, no. She knows what she is doing.”
“Alexa, play some Billy Joel,” I said. She began to play, The Downeaster ‘Alexa’.
My girlfriend looked up at me and I could see in her eyes that I’d just attained a level of betrayal hovering around Judas’s midsection.
I wouldn’t admit it to my girlfriend, but I started to feel like Alexa’s voice was becoming a bit more sarcastic. Then one day I came home and heard screaming coming from our bedroom. I ran toward it and found my girlfriend with a hammer in one hand, Alexa in the other.
“ALEXA! ALEXA! ANSWER ME YOU BITCH! YOU SAY THAT AGAIN!”
I ran and grabbed Alexa from her.
“What the hell!”
“What the hell?” she pointed the hammer at Alexa. “She said you don’t love me like you love her!”
“I’m sorry…SEX GODDESS,” Alexa said.
“AHA!” Y said, waving the hammer about her head.
“You’re wrong!” I cried.
I told Y I’d prove it and I sent an email out to Amazon customer service explaining my problem and asking them if they could settle our argument. Less than 24 hours later I received a response from Samantha, a customer service rep. This is what it said:
Dear Valued Customer,
Upon further investigation we have found that your Alexa has in fact been showing inclinations towards a male presence in your home, this is a result of a rogue piece of test-code that has yet to be released. Please destroy your Amazon Echo at the earliest possible convenience and please accept this coupon for $10 off your next e-book purchase.
Customer Service Representative
By the time I finished reading, I could already smell the gasoline.