The Trouble With Alexa by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

Dave, my husband, is struggling with Alexa, our know-it-all internet gadget given to us by one of our sons. When Alexa hears her name, a white light spins around her top, letting us know that she is ready to respond. Last night, Dave and I were trying to recall the name of the new movie about Serena and Venus Williams’ upbringing. “Alexa,” Dave said, “What new movie will soon be released that is about Serena Williams and her family?”
“Too many words,” I told him. Alexa: “I don’t understand your question.” Me: “That’s because you used too many words,” I offered. Dave: “Alexa, what new movie will be coming out soon that is about the Williams’ tennis sisters and their family?” Me: “Much better,” I said, trying not to laugh. Alexa muttered something about Serena Williams’ most recent tennis tournament. Dave: “Could you hear her?” (I could not.) “How do I tell her that I can’t hear her?” Me: “Tell her that you can’t hear her. Or maybe you could just Google your question and get a faster answer.” Dave was not about to lose this competition. “Serena, please speak louder. No, I don’t mean Serena. I mean Alexa. Alexa, please speak louder.” Me: “Definitely improving. Much shorter sentences.” At this point, I cracked up. After two more attempts, Alexa admitted that she did not have an answer for us. Dave thanked her anyway, and she responded, “No problem.” “You thanked her for trying?” I asked. “She’s a machine. She’s not your friend.” “You never know,” Dave muttered, texting his question to Google. Alexa, like the rest of us, has her limitations. Sometimes she interrupts our conversations, even when she’s not invited. She doesn’t hear all. She doesn’t see all. She doesn’t know all. Most of the time she tries to help, but often, she can’t. As one of my friends said, “Well, she isn’t God, you know.” And my friend is right, even though it’s hard to fathom that God knows everything. He knows how many hairs are on our heads, the number of days of our lives, what we are thinking, how we will die and where we will spend eternity. No one has ever lived who understands life as He, our Creator, does. I love the (yes, over-told) story of the group of scientists who decided that man no longer needed God. So, they picked one scientist to go and tell Him so. The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we’re at the point that we can clone people and do miraculous things; we don’t need you here anymore, so you can go your way. ” God listened patiently to the man and then responded, “Very well, but how about this? Let’s say we have a man-making contest just like we did in the old days with Adam.” The scientist replied, “Okay, great!” and then bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt. God looked at him and said, “There’s just one slight problem here. Get your own dirt!” This morning, Dave Googled his tennis question and learned the Williams’ movie is King Richard. While he was figuring out how to word his question, I asked Alexa to “play contemporary Christian music.” Four words. That’s all. Alexa obliged. Sometimes you just have to know how to ask.

One thought on “The Trouble With Alexa by Patty LaRoche”

  1. Pretty funny! I’m happy I can always ask God for the answers to my questions and He leads me to to the answers with the Bible.

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