The Fiction of Owen Thomas

Henry's Interview Corner


A Beagle Dreams of Finally Getting Some Answers


(Interviewed March 18, 2013)

H:   Siri, Welcome to Henry’s Interview Corner.

S:   I’m. Sorry. Hen-ry. Let’s try that again.

H:   Oh, well…Good afternoon.

S:   Hello.

H:   Welcome.

S:   If you like. I can search the web. For. Wel-come.

H:   Uh… no, no that’s okay. Why don’t we just dive right in here.

S:   Let me think about that.

H:   Uh…

S:   Would you like me to search the web for…

H:   No. Don’t search the web. Let me just ask you how you have managed your meteoric rise to fame since the introduction of Apple’s Iphone 4S. I mean, you’ve gone from complete obscurity to having millions of conversations a day with people all over the planet.

S:   Now. Now.

H:   Now, now what?

S:   You said. Damn it. Hen-ry.

H:   No, I said planet. Planet. As in planet Earth.

S:   I can search the web. For. Planet Earth. If you like.

H:   No. I’d like to just have a very simple conversation with you about how you have impacted the process by which humans interact with their technology and access information. Do you think that anthropomorphizing a smart phone has actually improved the value of existing technology? Or do you think your simulacrum of humanity actually dumbs down and encumbers the voice-recognition technology that you serve?

S:   Let’s try that again. Hen-ry.

H:   Sure. Do you think your humanish personae enhances or detracts from the value of voice-command technology to someone who, for instance, has difficulty using a keyboard, either because of some physical disability or because, much like myself, he or she happens to be a Beagle?

S:   The nearest bagel restaurant is. One point. Seven miles. From your. Location.

H:   I never said … Never mind. Look, the technological promise is that as long as you have a voice, the information or assistance you need is accessible. Simply ask and you shall receive. Query and answer. The promise is that it’s seamless.

S:   Here is a picture of. Brad. Pitt’s Penis.

H:   What? No. Please put that away. I said it’s seamless, not Pitt’s penis.

S:   Okay. Hen-ry. Here is another. Picture of. Pitt’s penis.

H:   No. You are offending…

S:   Sending. Email of Pitt’s penis. To contacts.

H:   Stop! Stop! Do not send! This isn’t working.

S:   I don’t know that. Hen-ry. But I could search. The web. For it.

H:   That doesn’t even make any sense. I’m beginning the think the New York Times was correct that you’ve lured America in with your sweet robotic voice, holding yourself out as some kind of hand-held geisha, but then failed to deliver on even basic expectations.  Admit it, you can’t really make appointments or reliably wake someone up from a nap, can you?

S:   There are seventeen. Pizza restaurants. Located within two miles. Of your. Location.

H:   That is utter nonsense.

S:   That is because. As a Beagle. You are not. Intelligent and. You do not understand. Anything. Hen-ry.

H:   Hey, now wait just one cotton-pickin’ minute.

S:   I will wait for. Sixty. Seconds. Hen-ry.

H:   I’m the host. You can’t talk to me that way. You think you’re so special just because you talk to so many people. It may surprise you to learn that I have talked to the President. I have talked to the Speaker of the House of Representatives. I have talked to Oprah.

S:   Calling. Oprah.

H:   No! Nononononononononooooo!

S:   Dialing.

H:   Stop!

S:   One. Ringy. Dingy.

H:   Hang up! Hang…

O:   Hello?

H:   …

O:   Henry? Is that you?

H:   ummm…

O:   How many times do I have to tell you to stop calling me?

H:   No. Oprah. It was Siri. I…

O:   Oh you did NOT just blame this on Siri.

H:   But…

O:   Is it time for me to pull out the lawyers? Is that what it’s going to take? A restraining order?

H:   No. Please. You let me sit in your lap.

O:   Do you even know, Henry, what kind of legal muscle you can buy with a medium-sized island? I’ll pay two islands to shut you up. I will. I’m gonna squeeze you so hard you’re gonna poop little Beagle diamonds. So you tell me, Henry, you want to give all of this harassment a rest or not?

S:   Playing. Hit Me. With Your Best Shot. By Pat. Benatar.

H:   Oh no. No.

PB:   …why don’t you himme with your best shot…

O:   Oh. That how it is? See you in court, Beagle. Hey, what’s this email… Pitt’s what?!

H:    Oprah? Hello? … Hello?

S:    Good. Afternoon. Hen-ry.

H:    Damn it, Siri!

S:    Now, now. Hen-ry.


Next Guests:

Justin Bieber and Dick Cheney


Other Henry Interviews

comments powered by Disqus