By Natasha Blade
Bribing The Microwave
E explored the house meticulously. Taking note of the mismatched cupboard doors and piles of paper everywhere. There were not many pictures in the house and the ones that were there were not helpful to E figuring out if the man sleeping in the bedroom was the owner or a guest of the house.
E asked the phone, but it refused to acknowledge E.
At six-thirty, the phone chimed an alarm and the man fell out of the bed trying to reach the phone to turn it off.
E hovered near the microwave, hoping it would give a clue on the mans identity.
The man ignored the microwave and instead, went to the coffee maker, making the machine chime in pleasure.
The man pulled out what the refrigerator deemed to be a very unhealthy breakfast. The man slowly ate his breakfast and E allowed him to consume half of his coffee before speaking.
The man jerked, making his coffee slosh, but it did not splash out of the mug. “E? How long have you been here?”
I have been up and running since two forty-nine this morning, Sir.
“Uh, good.” Sir swallowed some of his coffee. “Has everyone been treating you alright?”
The phone refuses to acknowledge my presence, Sir.
The man shrugged. “Somedays he just doesn’t want to talk. And, uh, there’s no need to call me sir.”
What should I call you instead?
“You can just call me by my first name.” The man picked up a stack of papers and started sorting them into three smaller stacks.
E felt like that was a dismissal.
The phone was still in the bedroom, so E went to try speaking to it again.
Phone. I need to know Sirs name.
The phone blinked at him. PlEaSe RePeAt.
I need to know Sirs name and schedule. Please display.
The phone remained unmoved for seven seconds. LaNgUaGe UnKnOwN.
WhAt Is SiRs NaMe?
E had not known it was possible to be frustrated. I aM sPeAkInG tHe SaMe LaNgUaGe As YoU.
E asked the microwave instead.
When Sir came home that evening, he brought the leftovers of what he had for supper and put them in the refrigerator. The refrigerator snapped at him, unpleased with what he was choosing to eat. Sir stuck his tongue out in a very childish manner. “I didn’t ask for your opinion on my meals, Manwell. If I wanted it, I wouldn’t put my grocery list on my phone, where you can’t reach it.
“E, did I get any emails from work?”
I do not know, Ryan. The phone would not let me access it.
Sir waved the answer away. “I told you he just doesn’t like to talk sometimes, right? Just hook up to the wi-fi next time.”
Sir opened the phone. “Kyle, did I get any emails from work?”
Ms. LaNcE eMaIleD yOu SeVeN tImEs.
PhOnE, pLeAsE lEt Me OnTo ThE iNtErNeT.
KyLe, PlEaSe LeT mE oN tHe InTeRnEt.
Sir did not seem to notice the exchange.
Microwave, please ask the phone to let me on the internet.
What can you do for me?
Nothing. I cannot use the internet.
The microwave seemed to think about it.
If you get on the internet can you filter the ads to show only microwave meals?
Kyle, can you please let the AI onto the internet?
The one who’s been trying to talk to you, but you can’t understand.
YoU wAnT mE tO oPeN tHe InTeRnEt To An UnKnOwN?
The internet opened to E and he filled Sirs videos with microwave meal ads.
Manwell the Refrigerator was grumpy. Sir was terrible at eating healthy meals when he was left to his own means, and with E flooding him with microwave meal ads it was getting out of hand. He tried to reason with E, but he said he couldn’t do anything because of the deal he made with the microwave.
Couldn’t you at least filter the meals to only healthy ones?
There are no healthy microwave meals. I apologize that I cannot limit them. It was the only deal the microwave would accept.
Manwell humphed. Then alter Sirs grocery list to include more healthy meals. It should be easy and I can get him to eat the meals once he buys the food.
Sir gave me specific instructions to not alter his grocery list without his express permission.
He also said not to order meals for him without his permission. He was very clear that he did not want me to tamper with his food.
It took Manwell two days to find a loophole.
E! You flood Sir with microwave meal ads all the time! How is THAT not tampering with his food? It certainly affects what he buys!
But I am not buying it for him, tricking him into buying it, or otherwise causing him to choose microwave meals. I am simply exposing him to the option of those meals.
Manwell did not agree with that logic, but it worked in his favor. Then expose him to the option of healthier meals.
How? E gave a helpless look. I cannot replace the microwave meal ads and Sir has made it clear he does not want his groceries meddled with.
The loophole was not as useful as Manwell had hoped for. Can you break the microwave with a virus?
Through The Lights of A Coffee Machine
Every morning Sir would get up. He would drink the cup of coffee that Favorite Child would make him and sometimes he would have breakfast.
Favorite Child was essential to starting Sirs morning. On Favorite Child’s first day, Sir had forgotten to instruct Favorite Child when to have his coffee ready and then he had been unable to do anything besides stand in front of Favorite Child with his eyes closed. That was how Favorite Child knew how essential it was to always have Sirs coffee ready on time.
Every morning Favorite Child would make Sirs coffee and greet him with a hello beep.
Sir was notorious for not eating well. Or at least, that’s what Manwell always said. Mikey didn’t really pay attention to most of what Manwell said. Sir liked quick foods, foods he didn’t have to spend much time on preparing and Mikey understood that. That was why Mikey was here after all. If Sir couldn’t microwave it or eat it cold, he didn’t bother buying it. For all his unhealthy habits, he didn’t use Mikey enough. For breakfast he ate a cupcake that he had brought home from work the day before. For lunch he would probably buy from a street vendor and if it was a bad day, supper would end up being ice cream again. So Mikey tried to fix that. He made a deal with E that encouraged Sir to eat a wider variety of foods. Mikey had even managed it in such a way that Sir wouldn’t realize that he was being influenced to eat more.
Unfortunately. Unfortunately Manwell didn’t understand AT ALL. He didn’t back off from Sir or make less obvious efforts to take care of him, or even leave a trail that made someone else look guilty. Manwell just kept up his very obvious and obnoxious efforts to get Sir to eat healthy.
Mikey would settle for Sir using him more often and eating healthier, however small of an improvement it was. As long as he didn’t pull the toaster out so he could eat poptarts for three meals a day, Mikey would consider it success.
Order pizza. Email work. Play inspiring music. Set a back-up alarm. Message Mom. Set reminder. Block number. Definition of raven. Order birthday present. Set temperature. Order new ErOr ErOr RePeAt. Find good sushi places near me. Take recording. Snooze alarm. Check emails. What are tulips. Pictures of tulips. How to grow tulips. Different types of tulips. Tulips near me. Steps to grow tulips. Weather conditions for Tulips. How often to water tulips. Do tulips ErOr ErOr Order tacos. Block refrigerator food suggestions. Call Andy. Look up ice breakers. Interpret. Interpret. PlEaSe RePeAt Interpret. Interpret. LaNgUaGe UnKnOwN. Interpret. Interpret. LaNgUaGe UnKnOwN. Interpret. Interpret. LaNgUaGe UnKnOwN. Check work emails. Interpret. Interpret. LaNgUaGe UnKnOwN. Interpret. Interpret. LaNgUaGe UnKnOwN. Allow access to ErOr. ErOr. Clarification. Allow access to unknown. Access granted.
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