From the Magic 8 Ball to Siri

Seems to me that the world’s becoming smarter and smarter … if you’re talking digital, not biological life.

Based on the last few weeks and our politics, however, I’d say the biological side seems to be getting dumber and dumber.

But in our household, we’ve taken steps to combat that slide and boost our access to “AI” … Artificial Intelligence.


This slippery slope started for me with the old Magic 8-Ball … Mattel’s 1950’s fortune teller designed for kids.

A 20 sided icosahedral die floated in a bluish liquid … and when turned over, in a small window the 8-Ball revealed its answer to any question asked.

I spent hours with it … and still have one to guide me through my tougher days … which appear with great frequency thanks to the Freeing of OJ, the White House being occupied by a man with “Hooker Hair” … and a mountain of evidence that Mother Nature is really pissed.

For the sake of full disclosure, I also have an “Ask Jesus” and an “Ask Buddha.”  Just making sure I’ve covered all my bases.


Not too long ago, my wife, who’s never consulted any of my personal Oracles, somehow allowed Siri to join our household.

I have no clue where Siri came from or how she became a member of our family … I just know she’s here because I hear my wife talking with her regularly.

In fact, she talks with Siri more than she talks with me … though I haven’t heard her say “Goodnight, Siri” … yet.


Before Siri, I enjoyed a secure family position … as “The Answer Man.”

Even Rani, our standard poodle who has the intellectual abilities of a toddler, looked to me for guidance.

But now, when I hear a question I pause before I volunteer the full depth of my understanding of all facets of life.  I’ve learned to rather timidly say … “Are you asking Siri, or me?”

It’s a real blow to my very fragile ego to no longer be The Source for all answers … good, bad, true, false … whether data or knowledge is required.


But … before you feel too sorry for me, you need to know I’ve drawn my own “red line in the sand” … there’ll never be a “Smart Refrigerator” in my house!

A man’s gotta know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.

Just sayin’ …

20 thoughts on “From the Magic 8 Ball to Siri

  1. icosahedral die, die! I always wanted to use that word in a sentence.
    Richard, you are one funny guy!

    • Yep … I’ve been toying with this blog for over a year …

      When Dr, Google dropped that word on me naming the geometric cube in the Magic 8 Ball, I was solid on doing it. When Siri entered my life via Mari … it all fell into place.

      At least you didn’t say: “Take that icosahedral die and stuff it!”

      Thanks for reading …

  2. Bravo, Richard
    It’s better to be “behind the 8-ball” than than in front of a cyborg Kelvinator that’s smarter than we are!

    • Hey, TL … So, I asked the Magic 8 Ball if it would be better & this is THE ANSWER: “Without a Doubt!”

      Thanks for reading.

  3. Very clever and entertaining. Not to worry, you are old and wise, and Mari will still come to you for the important questions about life and to make her laugh.

    • Hey GL … Thanks for the encouragement and for reading my stuff.

      I am old … vote’s still out on the “wise.” Mari will be coming to me because we’ve both decided we’re not going thru the trouble to “break in” a new mate in the future … so we’re both doing everything we can to live long and prosper … and have fun with each other!

      Abrazos …

  4. My sister likes to ask Siri, “Do you love me?” The reply she always receives is, “I don’t understand the question.” So I started emulating the wisdom of Siri when asked that question by my girlfriends.

    Is that why I sleep alone?

    • No … but it may be why you’re sleeping with Tzuri … Thanks for reading my stuff, Oops.

      I also checked with the 8 Ball and it said: “Better not tell you now.”

  5. No danger of a smart fridge here; I had to look up what it is. Not surprising that technology has moved into the realm of kitchen appliances considering the gadgets available to make coffee these days. But something about scanning our food is sorta creepy. Thanks for sounding the alert.

    • Hi Gail … Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Yep … “Smart appliances” are allegedly in our future … I’m banking on a “Smart Toaster” that will not turn on when ToastEm Pop Ups are placed in it! Or, Eggos, which may taste okay but I hated their annoying commercial, “Leggo my Eggo!”

      Besides, who wants to admit they were “helped” by their refrigerator?

  6. Richard: This is your new refrigerator.
    Put those ding-dongs down! Stop eyeing the Haagen-Dazs! Do you have any clue how many calories are in that slice of cheesecake?
    Eat some freakin’ vegetables, fool! You’re starting to look like the Pillsbury Doughboy’s evil twin brother.
    Oh for God’s sake, man, drinking a six-pack of diet coke while eating an entire pizza by yourself WILL NOT make you lose weight, moron!
    Touch that piece of chocolate and I’m texting Mari. She’ll deal with you AND your ding dong…
    Hey! I don’t care what the 8-ball says, Guacamole is NOT the cement that holds the whole food pyramid thing together!
    Go ride a bike. Go take a hike, Go….wait a minute…stay away from that power cord……bzzzzzzzzt.

    SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. Please restore power supply and re-boot refrigerator.

    • Good work TL … I see a future blog already started here!

      I just don’t want to open my refrigerator and be told: “You forgot the milk again, a**hole!

  7. When we were looking for a new fridge we saw too, too many of those over-priced, spy-capable devices. They also cost too-damn-much.
    Then, we said, “Who would want one, anyway?”

    • My guess is it’s the folks who are signing up for Amazon’s Whole Foods Shoppers.

      Your fridge will connect with Amazon communications and someone at Whole Foods will shop from your list … you drive-by and they throw your loot into your car because they will also have all your auto ID info … bitcoin will be deducted from your account and you will feel totally superior to all other beings.

      Of course, you’ll miss all the Whole Foods “feeding stations,” unless Bezos is eliminating those, and your leg muscles will atrophy sense most of us count walking the aisles of Whole Foods as our weekly exercise regimen.

      Thanks for reading, Janie …

  8. The cartoons! Rarely does one make me just howl with laughter, but these did!
    Now to try to educate myself on what the devil Siri is. Wonder if they make one with captions for people like me, who can hear sounds but can’t discriminate most of them without lip-reading simultaneously.
    God forbid they make one that I can lip read! I’d have to stab it with my Cajun Grandma’s Great Big Ol’ Butcher Knife, kept on hand for any and all emergencies too offensive for my delicate and refined sensibilities, thank you!
    Loved this one!

    • Thanks for reading PMartha … I’ll remember “Grandma’s big ol’ butcher knife” just in case I piss you off in a future blog! That was quite an image you created.

  9. “a real blow to my very fragile ego” – careful!

    A real blow to your “fragile ego” could result in a “geo fir gale”, leaving you looking like a porcupine with fir quills and pine scent everywhere …

    • Okay Mike … I really do appreciate your support and reading my blog … and leaving a comment, I think.

      Aaaah … A “geo fir gale” may be possible, but what I really was referring to was a problem I have with my golf swing … which results in an occasional “frag leg lie” for which I’m obliged to take a penalty stroke.

      It took me a while, Mike …

  10. hilarious. and i’m sure rani still counts on your guidance…right?
    that said, let me add, i hate siri. about a year ago i asked for a simple piece of information and she said, ” i’m afraid i can’t help you with that.” i tried rephrasing it and she said. “i’m not able to nswer that.” useless! but when i asked, “well what the [expletive deleted] can you do?” she was quick to reply, “there’s no need for that.” my mind was made up.
    i disabled her. hsve not missed her at all.

    • Hey, Jeanne … sounds to me like you and Siri had a mutual parting of the ways … Kinda like, “You’re fired” … “You can’t fire me, I quit!”

      That’s a riot … I can see you telling-off Siri. Life’s tough enough without getting your ass kicked by a digital big mouth!

      Thanks for reading …

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