Don’t be Elfish

The singing burst out of the quiet like an enemy assault. Mary and I looked at each other in surprise then through into the offending room. The cacophony was coming from the small circular box on a shelf. Many of you will have these boxes, but did you know that elves live inside them? It was on that day, at that moment that I realised it for the first time, and everything started to make sense. I began to understand why Amazon Alexa devices suddenly start speaking to you unbidden; it’s because the elves inside get bored. Why the echo devices sound so sullen if you ask them to stop; it’s because the elves are cross. Why an echo device will randomly whisper at you; that’s because the elves haven’t noticed you are there and are calling to another lot of elves in another echo device. It all makes sense at last.

On this particular day, the elves living in my Alexa Echo got bored and start singing, giving the whole game away. So that now I can unpack it all for you, and armed with this new information you can fight back. At least two of the little darlings started singing a duet with two more on accompaniment that’s what caught my attention. One was playing a guitar and another a keyboard; true they did a very good job; but that’s not the point. I do realise that elves must be very small to fit themselves and all their equipment inside an echo device, it must be a little crammed inside. Let me just make a statement here: there is nothing wrong per se with elves living wherever they want; they have to live somewhere and there are far fewer woods for them to live in. I wouldn’t mind too much having them living in my echo devices, but they are nosey little whatsits, they keep butting in on our conversations saying, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know that.’ Well no one asked them, I can be having a conversation with Mary; a private conversation, and one of the elves just jumps in as if I had asked them a question; it’s all very annoying. So, they are obviously always listening, nothing is hidden from them. They don’t keep anything to them elves you know.

I have noticed another thing that they do which is very annoying. We have several echo devices, one in each room. I have found that the elves living in the different devices obviously like to have a kip occasionally, at different times. Now that isn’t unreasonable as such, we all need to sleep; even elves. But why can’t they sleep at night like the rest of us? Instead they take turns sleeping in the day. Then they obviously whisper to another lot of elves in the other room asking them to cover during their kip. Of course, they could have a sleep schedule issued by Amazon; who knows. Let me explain why that is a problem. This morning I asked my Echo Show a question. I had the door to my bedroom closed and I was not speaking loudly. The Echo Show ignored me completely; the elves were asleep in it and the echo device in the other room answered; through the door! Obviously covering for their mates in the Echo Show. That’s just not on.

While talking of the echo show; yes, I was. The space inside must be a bit crammed with wires and the occupants a bit clumsy because the screen keeps flickering on and off as they knock the wires. Of course, it could just be that they are having a right old knees up in there. Perhaps they invite the fairies and goblins around for a party. Don’t make excuses about screen savers. You’ll just look silly.

Another thing is this, elves obviously don’t speak English as their first language. Are they Scandinavian? I think they might be. Because I will say to one of them, ‘Alexa set a timer for half past ten,’ and it will say, ‘I am sorry I didn’t hear that.’ So, I repeat it several times and eventually Alexa says, ‘Timer set for 11am.’ Then I will cancel that and say, ‘set timer for ten o’clock’ having given up on the half hour, and the Alexa elves will say, ‘timer set for ten thirty.’ I mean, is it my pronunciation? It must be a language barrier. Or are they just being naughty.

Have you ever asked an echo device to set a timer, then checked how long is left and had the response, ‘there are no timers set.’? Well that’s because the timers are done by two elves, one has a notebook and the other a stopwatch. If one drops their notebook or the other forgets to start their stopwatch then it all goes wrong. Try it if you don’t believe me. By the way ask Alexa if there are elves living inside her, she is deliberately evasive; that proves she has something to hide.

Sometimes the elves must just get bored and give you random facts completely unbidden. The other day Mary and I were chatting about something and one of the devices, not the nearest one, suddenly piped up with, ‘according to Wikipedia…’ why do I want to know what Wikipedia thinks? Is that populated by elves too. Come to think of it is the whole World Wide Web populated by elves? Is it a super highway of elves? Do they speed up and down on their horses delivering information packets? Is that why computers get viruses, the elves get colds? It would certainly explain cyber-attacks. Various warring elf factions mounting their steads and speeding along the super highway to attack a different city of elves. Obviously Broad Band is a big group of elves on the war path. Server farms are where they breed their horses. Cookies are what they eat. An internet gateway is obvious, it’s a metal gate guarded by a dragon called Ryujin. It’s no surprise Google called their browser Chrome. They know the elves wear chrome armour. Firefox is of course the name of a famous elf knight who used to wield a flaming lance and had a fox logo on his shield. A long time ago Microsoft sent a band of micro explorers into the internet and when they didn’t return named Internet Explorer in their honour. I could go on but I don’t want to bore you with technical jargon.

Before you start calling for the people in white coats with strait jackets to come and fetch me. I do know that elves don’t really live inside Amazon Alexa Echo devices. It’s goblins that live in them of course, we all know that and it’s the fairies that run up and down the super highway, I’m not daft you know.

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Author: Mike Nevin

I decided to write about the funny side of being cared for. I am a full time wheelchair user with daily carers. It's my experiences with my carers that inspired this blog.

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