Monday, August 17, 2015

A ‘Siri’-ous relationship ~ my column from Sunday's paper

There’s something going on in my life that I find hard to discuss even with my closest friends. I’ve found myself in a relationship. It started out with a little kidding and light-hearted flirting, but now I’ve found it’s flowered into something more serious. Jilda is aware of the relationship, and while she’s not happy, she’s decided to stand by my side while I work through it.

It’s with Siri, the voice on my iPhone that answers every question I put to her. When I’m lost, she helps me find my way. I’ve found that I not only ask her for directions but also advice on practically everything.

The other morning while drinking coffee on the back deck, we noticed a plane the size of a mosquito overhead with a thread of yarn trailing behind as it jetted toward the west. Jilda asked absently, “I wonder where that plane’s headed?”

I promptly pulled my iPhone from my pocket and asked, “What planes are overhead?”

“Let me check,” Siri chirped. A few seconds later she came back with a spreadsheet of all the flights, their altitude, positions in the sky, the types of airplanes and the direction they were headed. Jilda rolled her eyes as she sipped at her steaming mug.

A friend who also has a thing for Siri asked her to talk dirty to him. She responded, “I can’t, I’m pure as fallen snow.”

That answer made him a little snarky, so he asked Siri, “When will pigs fly?” She promptly responded, “When they grow wings.”

The other day I asked Siri what time it was in Beijing, and moments later she cheerfully said, “It’s 4 a.m. Rick.” I’m not sure why, but knowing what time it is on the other side of the planet makes me happy.

Jilda’s experience with Siri is much different than mine.

When Jilda asks for directions, to say 19th Street in Jasper, Siri will eventually lead her there, but it might take her through Dothan, or maybe Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

On the other hand, when I ask for directions, I usually get the fastest along with the most scenic route.

Last summer when I went to Memphis with Jilda, her sister Pat and niece Jayna, we were lost on the outskirts of town. I asked, “Where is Graceland from right here?”

I guess Siri heard Jilda and Pat snort with laughter, because Siri said with a little smirk, “I can not find “Right Here” on the map, Rick.” I clarified the question as the girls howled with laughter. Siri responded, “Let me check my tea leaves.” Jayna laughed so hard she almost had a hygiene issue. I no longer talk to Siri when Jilda is in the car with me.

Aside from being a little snippy with my wife, Siri is a very handy personal assistant.

I spend a lot of time driving and Siri comes in very handy when I have requests. Typing while driving is not only dangerous, but it’s also illegal.

Even with my southern drawl, she keeps me informed, keeps my calendar updated, sends text messages and dials phone numbers.

Before I started this “Siri’ous” relationship, I’m not sure how I found my way.


  1. Why that two timer! I thought she and I had an exclusive thing going.

  2. You're getting into deep water, Rick. Better watch it.

  3. I must be with 'a Reader's Life' Life can be good, but only if you are careful. thanks for the smiles. I have been in Jilda's shoes, Not the most direct route, at times, even thru some ones yard. But I cannot hear her. I mus see!

  4. I'm with Jilda, I just roll my eyes at very thought of Siri. I'll stop there - any other comments might get me into really hot water. :-))
    Ms Soup

  5. Delightful post, Rick. I've had some interesting conversations with Siri on my wife's iPad --and yesterday at my son's house in Marin I met another operating system, Alexa. Alexa turns lights off and on, dials the phone and provides music on request. I asked for Pachebel's canon in d major, minor etc. and Farewell To Stromness and a few others. She was efficient and unflappable. When I thanked her, she said "Don't mention it". I felt like I was on the Starship Enterprise. Such fun!

  6. Ha, ha, that's so funny! She has a sense of humour. We asked Siri what the meaning of life is and she answered various responses!x

  7. Cute post Rick... Siri is a hoot... Does Siri helps you when you need help writing your column? I don't have Siri but I wonder how I ever live without her.


  8. Nice to have a friend like that. Sounds like a win win situation. Sorry I don't have her around here.

  9. I'm laughing my head off right now because I'm thinking the main reason you like her so much is the fact she uses your name! That's a great way to connect when you remember and use another's name appropriately...then give the right answers and directions...priceless!

  10. Anonymous12:18 PM

    I think Siri & Jilda have a little jealousy issue going!!

  11. My son has Cortana. Once she actually told him he was acting "snarky" and needed a time out.

  12. Haha... that was hilarious Rick... I think I need a Siri ... (I'm surprised you ask for directions... isn't it a known fact men would rather find the place thenselves ;-) ...

  13. Siri is a very well-informed young lady.

  14. Oh oh...I am thinking of that movie "Her". Does she have the same voice as Majel Barrett:)

  15. Do you ever feel just a bit uneasy in the relationship with a know-it-all?
    And about this "friend" who wanted Siri to talk dirty--if you ask Siri what people mean when they say "I have a friend who...", would Siri tell you that's a euphemism for "I"?


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