“I just know iss over!” wailed my friend’s wife. “Thass why I called you. I need your advice. I need your help.” Her voice was shrill and I pulled the phone away from my ear an inch or two.
“I’m not sure how I can help, I mean, a marriage, you know. That’s kind of private stuff.” I said. I really wanted no part of this.
“Of coursh you can help!” she squeaked. Oh good! She was drunk as well as emotional; that was bound to help. We guys aren’t equipped for this kind of stuff. “You kin talk to him, can you?”
“Wow. Uh, no. I can’t do that. No. Jeez, guys don’t do that sort of thing.” We don’t. Really. I mean what, I stroll into where he is and say ‘Hey, let’s talk about your marriage?’ No, I don’t think so.
“You don’t unnerstand. You have a talk to him. You have a stop him from talking to, to, –that ..bitch!”
“Yesh, bitch! He spenz all a his time talking to that bitch.”
“What bitch is that?” I asked, wondering. I didn’t think my friend knew any other women, in fact, I was pretty sure he spent most of his free time at home watching TV.
“On the computer part. The bitch onna computer.”
Whoa. Okay, so he was surfing the dating sites. That I could imagine, although it seemed a bit strange that he’d do it in such a way that his wife would know about it. Thinking more, it didn’t sound like something he’d do at any rate. “Do you know what website he’s been going to?”
“Yeah, you said he was talking to this woman on the computer. What website is he going to?”
“It’s no webshite!” she wailed, sounding as if I was a moron.
“Then …what? I don’t think I get it?”
“His computer phone. He talks to her onniz computer phone.”
“Computer phone, what? You mean he calls her on the phone?”
“Nooooo! you’re not listening. I knew you wouldn’t unnerstand. Hic. Hic. He talks to her onna computer part.”
My mind was going a mile a minute but I couldn’t figure out what she was talking about. Of course, she was drinking… “Let’s start over. ” I said. “He’s talking on the phone?”
“No, he talks a her inna phone.”
“You’re a computer guy, you know what I mean. Ohhhh. Wait. I get it. You’re helping him! Bassard”
“Helping him? Helping him what?”
“Helping him with at bitch. That floozie!”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. What the hell ARE you talking about?”
“The woman inna phone. Inna computer. He talks a her alla time!”
“In front of you?”
“In fronnuv me, in fronnuv everybody. Ever since he got tha goddamn new phone. He talks a her.”
I thought about this a bit. “So, uh, when did he meet this woman on the phone? How did he meet her?”
“He din meet her. He bought her. Inna phone!”
“What the f… Look, I don’t think I get this. What do you mean he bought her in the phone. Uhmm. How much have you had to drink?”
“Nunna yer business how much I hadda drink. I’m axing yoota help me with my husbin. I want him a talk to me, not that bitchy knowidall.”
“Bitchy know it all? Hey, what kind of phone are we talking about?”
“A Apple phone. A myphone.”
“You mean an Apple iPhone?”
“Is this woman named Siri?”
“Hah! You DO know her!”
“Nobody knows her. She’s a robot. I mean, she’s a stupid app that talks. It’s a computer program with a woman’s voice. It’s not a woman.” Of course, being male I laughed and giggling told her she was jealous of the next best thing to a light switch.
“You goddam men!” she screeched. The phone went dead.
If someone had related this story to me, I’d be pretty sure they were making it up. However, then again, I also have some pretty weird tales from my life that deal with the effects of alcohol –on not just my friends, but me as well. For instance, I laid on a beach for nearly four hours one night waiting for two stars to merge into the single star I knew them to be, an indicator that I’d sobered up enough to go home. Then it was pointed out that I actually WAS looking at two stars. I have also virtually given up trying to find lost items, like car keys and my wallet, only to find them neatly wrapped and in the freezer where I’d apparently put them so they wouldn’t spoil. And then there was the time I had driven halfway from San Francisco to Sacramento in order to meet a girl who’s address I realized didn’t have, and came back home dejectedly. I found out later that she hadn’t said Sacramento, but Santa Monica was where she came from, which is a rather long way from Sacremento, never mind the opposite direction.
Speaking with my friend a few days later, he told me that yeah, she’d gone on and on about his iPhone and how he talked to Siri so much. He admitted that the novelty had him asking it all sorts of questions, testing out its abilities. Apparently though, his wife alarmed her mother by calling to ask for a loan to hire a divorce attorney over his infatuation with the mechanical house-wrecker. She pleads, he explains, no knowledge of these events and feels a bit abashed. On that I can’t fault her, after all I was married in a fugue of chemo-brain and have no recollection of the ceremony. However, there are photographs and my badly scrawled signature to stand in testament to the occurrence, so who am I to comment on her lapse? The call ended after I suggested that he show her that her smartphone, a Google Galaxy Nexus, has Google Voice buit in, and it will converse too, albeit in limited fashion, in a male voice. He rang off to go show her.