Thursday, November 17, 2011

One Siri-ously Funny Conversation

We all need someone in our life who makes us convulse with such laughter that we squirt adult beverages out our nose and practically pee our pants. (Yes, I am five going on eighty.)

Lucky for me, my friend Mike has a Ph.D. in adolescent behavior, with a specialty in potty humor.

Before my recent Milwaukee visit with him and his wife Peggy (one of my oldest and dearest friends), Mike bought a new iPhone 4S. Infatuated with his toy--as grown men tend to be--he began to show off the phone's new voice-command feature.

"Text Scott Johnson," Mike instructed Siri, the voice-recognition assistant.

Siri seemed a bit slow on the uptake."I don't know who your father is," she replied. "In fact, I don't know who you are."

"What the hell?" Mike said. "OK, text Sherry Stanfa."

"Sorry," she answered. "I can't find places in the Falkland Islands."

"What an effin moron," Mike said.

Poor Siri. I was willing to give her another chance. So far, she didn't make me feel anywhere near as stabby as GPS Wench, who constantly likes to remind me how my screw-ups have forced her into "recalculating."

But Mike had his fill of serious queries. He was ready to move on. "Siri, why do farts smell?"

I giggled. Fart jokes: Not just for kindergarten anymore.

"I have no answer," said Siri. "How about a Web search for 'Why do farts smell?' "

"No," Mike yelled. "I said, 'My wife farts a lot. Why do they smell so bad?' "

"What's your location?" asked Siri.

We howled. Apparently, Siri wished to steer clear of our particularly unpleasant smelling location.

"Forget that," Mike said to Siri. "Where is my underwear?"

She hesitated just briefly before responding. "You sound disoriented," she told him.

And that's when my drink found its way out of my nostrils. It seemed Siri could give it as good as she could take it.

The saintly tolerant Peggy glared at her husband. "Mike, ENOUGH. You're going to make her mad."

"Peg, it's a computer," he said.

"I don't care. You're going to piss her off and break the phone," said Peggy. "Besides, don't you think there are ten million people asking her these same stupid questions?"

I crossed my legs, still laughing. "He asked where his underwear is," I said. "I sincerely doubt ten million people have asked that."

"OK, but he bought this phone and is paying hundreds of dollars for something he has no idea how to properly use," Peg said. "Mike, do you even know how to send a text message?"

"Sure," said Mike. He squinted at the phone. "You just have to push something."

Peggy rolled her eyes and refilled her drink.

"I'm paying hundreds of dollars for this phone," Mike demanded of Siri. "So I want to know, where is the nearest whorehouse?"

"Jesus," Peggy said, with a palm to her forehead. "You're going to get a phone call any minute from a customer asking, 'Why did you just text me and ask where the nearest whorehouse is?' "

Mike ignored her, still intent on his nonsensical phone conversation. "Siri, can you explain poop soup?"

And so it went for the rest of the night. Mike berated Siri with juvenile and inappropriate questions, and I giggled until the wee hours of the morning.

We had lunch the next day with my youngest son, a Marquette student majoring in techno-geekology. I relayed Mike's encounters with the new iPhone and Siri.

He nodded. "Yeah, Siri, she's a sassy one. Let me see the phone."

"Siri, why are you such a bitch?" he asked.

After the previous night's altercations, Siri apparently had grown weary of such talk. "I'll pretend I didn't hear that," she answered.

"Really?" he countered. "I don't believe you."

And right on cue, Siri said, "You are certainly entitled to your opinion."

"See?" Son #2 said, passing back the phone. "The computer understands almost everything you say, and it's recorded and saved forever."

"Forever?" Peggy's chin dropped. "Oh Mike, you are so screwed."

But it seems to me Mike has found his match in Siri. I'm guessing they'll become fast friends.

I just pray she doesn't short-circuit when she squirts her margarita out her little electronic nose.

Are you hot for the new iPhone? Do you have a friend who makes you squirt margaritas out your nose? What's the stupidest question you've ever been asked? And do you know where your underwear is?


  1. 1. No -- All I want my phone to do is make and receive phone calls. And I have to turn it off at work, anyway.

    2. I have three friends who can flood my sinuses without even trying. If we ever all sat down together in the same bar, I'd drown.

    3. Spoiled for choice . . . but "Do you work here?" is a favorite.

    4. Of course I . . . oh. Um . . .

  2. My husband just got one and spends most evenings enraptured by Siri. The funniest question I've heard posed is, "Where can I bury a dead body?" She answers by first asking the caller what land form they prefer.

  3. Sarah: And I'll bet Number 3 is when you're standing directly behind the counter that says "Check out books here." How can these people manage to read a book when they can't read a sign?

    MSB: What I want to know is who asked Siri where to bury a dead body, and was this before or after your husband left you alone with all the kids for an inordinate amount of time?

  4. I don't have a smart phone, much less a new iPhone. It was a big deal for me to get a phone with a slide-out keyboard this summer so I could more easily text. Yet something tells me I'll still be able to navigate my life without a Siri. :)

  5. When I was a psychiatrist the stupidest question I got asked over and over was, "Can you read my mind?" PSCYCHIATRIST not PSYCHIC you moron.

    My underwear are where they always are, riding up.

  6. Of course I'd be the moron who can't spell psychiatrist

  7. Laura: Yes, I've finally become a texting wizard, too. But I'm nowhere near smart enough for a smart phone.

    Bobbi: Hee. Glad you gave up that old practice; now you can just make me laugh and write a wonderful new book, which is all I ask for. Did you just read my mind?

  8. I know someone who said "I'm horny" and Siri gave the address of the closest brothel.

  9. Julie: Ah, so Mike simply didn't word his whorehouse question properly. And speaking of seeking answers, my statcounter indicated someone in Cincinnati landed on my blog this morning by googling "Siri, why does my poop stink?" Guess I can take that landmark blogging success to my grave.

  10. Now you're going to be the #1 location for Why Does my Poop Stink searches. Perhaps you should post something useful regarding fiber.

  11. Bluz: Damn. Hate to offer a good story without the proper medical advice. "If you are hoping for less stinky poop, be sure to consume lots of fiber." There, I hope that does the trick. Although noting this made me feel more like a kindergartner than a medical writer.

  12. Oh, that is priceless. Siri...built to answer questions your wife won't entertain.
    1. No
    2. Yes and they are my favorite people in the universe.
    3.Is the market going to go up or down?
    4.I haven't checked lately, but goodness I hope so.

  13. Lyra: The market is definitely going up. I'm planning to sell my house for big bucks, quit my day job, move south to tend bar until I finish the Great American Novel and then retire. At that point, I won't care where my underwear is. And you?

  14. Are you hot for the new iPhone?
    nope, i waited out four weeks while i begged my carrier for a free smartphone. it was one of their cheapest, but it works. the trick is to keep asking until you find a customer service agent who doesn't care.

    Do you have a friend who makes you squirt margaritas out your nose?
    besides you?
    (actually, this is a requirement to be consider a friend.)

    What's the stupidest question you've ever been asked?
    this morning my husband asked me if i wanted some coffee.

    And do you know where your underwear is?
    yes, this is the one thing in my house i can keep track of.

  15. Upon your wise insight, I turned in my notice, and am going home to pack for our trip to Key West to check out Hemingway's six-toed cats. I'm bringing all of my bikinis that haven't fit since prechildren, and a blanket to lay in the shade while we wait for the royalties to start pouring in.
    You bring the tequila.

  16. Amy: Free? You are the Negotiation Queen! If only I could get them to waive the $30 monthly fee, too; that's what's holding me back. (Well, that and being clueless as how to use it.)

    Lyra: I AM IN, BABY! Sensible Sherry and Logical Lyra can take a flying leap.

  17. Wait? There's a voice recognition phone?? Man,I'm out of touch.

    Where are my underwear ? If I could just find my glasses, I'm sure I'd see them

  18. Hilarious. I'm still using a Samsung caveman edition plain old vanilla mobile. If I got the new phone Siri would just be another being offering me good advice I refuse to take.

    Underwear? On a Saturday?

  19. Downith: I would have remained clueless about it too, it if wasn't for Mike's snort-invoking demonstration. And you have more important things on your mind right now than keeping up on the newest gadgets. Have you sent off that special delivery to Betsy yet?

    Lisa: Yes, underwear is not just part of your Sunday-Go-to-Church clothes anymore.

  20. I was not hot for the new iPhone and had resisted an upgrade until my current iPhone dropped on the cement and shattered in a million pieces. I am suddenly hot for the new iPhone . . .

  21. Lisa T: Every time I'm eligible for an upgrade, one of my kids breaks his phone. By now, they're both on their second or third smart phones, and I'm still using a flip phone (which I'm told are no longer even made). And I'll be looking for a post with your own Siri stories...

  22. Oh, Sherry--there's no hope for this kid. My husband and I are still using our no-frills cell phone and the more I know about the IPhones the more I know I would never leave my house if I had one.

    I'd play all day. I really would.

  23. That is absolutely hilarious. Sounds like the perfect night. XD I always tell my friends that I must secretly be an eight-year-old boy, because I find the most inappropriate and juvenile humour drink-spittingly funny. You're in good company!

    There are a couple of websites around dedicated to especially humourous responses or misunderstandings from Siri. They don't do a whole night worth of hilarity any kind of justice, but I still get a kick out of them.


  24. Erika: Yes, far too many time-sucks available. You wonder how much more work we'd get done if it weren't for the internet. (But then, most of us would never have met each other!)

    Ashlee: ENTIRE WEBSITES??? Damn, there goes my evening. Thanks for stopping by, Ashlee. Heading over your way...

  25. I am not hot for I anything. I'd throw my IPad out the window if the stupid thing didn't cost so much. Last week I went on ITunes to download a book. I've been using my old IPhone from Finland as an IPod since it won't work here. I usually download music, etc. on my computer and sync with the phone. Anyway, this screen pops up with an update. Since I wasn't having luck downloading the book, I hit ok. It locked my freaking phone so it is no longer usable. I get a message that the sim card isn't installed, doesn't match, blah, blah, blah. Can't even use my music which I paid for. Good thing I bought a docking station last month instead of a stereo. Can you tell this is a bit of a raw subject for me?

  26. Deb: So you have an iPad, an iPod and an iPhone? And only one of them works? iPersonally would steer clear of Apple products.

  27. I'm totally hot for Siri. She could become my entire social life.

  28. Averil: Just a wild shot here, but I'm guessing Siri might have a field day with your line of questioning. I would too.

  29. Sherry, you are the mom I so often wish I was. As for Siri .... she leaves a lot to be desired, but with my lack of skills all I really use her for is to speak my texts. I rarely ask her a question, preferring to remain the dark, like the old days when we had to go ALL THE WAY TO THE LIBRARY to look stuff up, you know, like a million years ago.

  30. Teri: Sigh. I miss doing research at the library. Sorting through the catalog cards, writing my name in pencil on the check-out card and having the librarian officially rubber stamp it. Siri may be a fun chick, but she will never take the place of that beloved ritual.