Posted by: cornvillenutmeg | September 11, 2020

Any Time Stick

Any Time Stick

Any Time Stick.  Now read that another way, with the comma in there to make you pause a tick.  All right, Stick.  Get it?  No?   Think like this.  You say to somebody, “Is it okay if I use some of this here?”  And the guy says back, “All right, Stick,” only they’d only say Stick if that was your name or they were talking to me.  Like for instance, if your name  was Adele – that’s my wife’s name , then they’d say, “All right, Adele.”  See?

But here’s the thing you probably don’t recognize on account of pretty much all you guys probably live in what they call a Smart House.  Like you probably know, in a house like, you want a light on, you just say it, and the light goes on.  Or, turn the heat down when you go to bed, you just say, turn the heat down to 55 or whatever. 

But that wasn’t always what you had.  First I think there was Siri that you could talk to, then I think it was maybe Alexa – she come from Amazon – and Cortana on Microsoft things.  And for a long time Google had lady that could help find things but I think she it didn’t have a name.  You just told  that Google lady what you was looking for.  You couldn’t never get real fond of that one.  Me, I was partial to Alexa right off.  She was there for you, you know?  That’s still a thing, right? There for you?  Anyway, unless your internet thing was dropping the ball, she was always ready to do what she could.

So back then, what Alexa could do  – real stuff, you know – she played music, she could wake you up with just an alarm sound or with that music, she could remind you to do stuff, and if you was cooking or something like that, or taking a nap, say, she could time it out just right to the second. First time I figured out that one, I remember,  I was cooking a roast of meat where  you started it out real hot, at least 500, but then in not too long, you turn it down to a regular amount for a while, then off completely.  If you didn’t do the turning down and off  at the right time, though, you’d end up with a chunk of meat so cooked nobody wants any. 

So, anyway, this time I’m telling you about? I was tired, like maybe I spent the day unloading truck after truck of cases of booze.  My eyes just kept drooping closed.  I was so nervous of missing the time to turn the oven down!  So just on a chance, I say, “Alexa, can you help me with something?”  And she goes, “What do you need help with?”  And I say, “Can you tell me when twenty-minutes goes by?”  And you know what?  She says, “I’m setting the timer for twenty minutes starting now.”  Well, I just let my eyes close and next thing, there’s this real nice, kind of gentle, alarm sound going off.

That was when I started finding out about what Alexa could do.  Tell jokes, play quiz games, sing songs (not too well, though, but I never complained not wanting to hurt her feelings –  not that I thought she had such a thing, but just in case) read books (also, not really like you get when a real human person reads a book, but I mean, it’s something different you can listen to) , tell you what time it is, what the weather’s going to be, what’s playing at the movies – lots of interesting information that she knew pretty much soon as you asked.  You got to wonder what that’s Alexa’s brain looks like, right? 

It got so she was doing everything.  Well, you know, not everything, but a real lot.  So I got to saying thank you after.  What noticed right away at that time, she didn’t say back, “You’re welcome” or “No problem” or like. I wondered about that some.  This Alexa lady, she was always so polite when you talked to her, relaxed like, just kind of nice in a calm way, so how come she don’t say you’re welcome when I say thank you?  Then it come to me:  she don’t know I”m talking to her, telling her thanks.  So, next time, I tell myself, say her name before you tell her thank you.  

That night, I’m about ready to go to sleep.  Old Alexa, she knows how to turn lights on and off, like the light on the table next to my bed.  I says, “Alexa, turn off my bedroom light, please.”  She wiggles her blue light some, my light goes off, then she does a nice bong to make sure I knew it was off.  Of course, I knew it was off already.  I could see it was all dark, but she can’t, so she makes that little bong.  Anyway, that night, just after she bongs,  I go, “Alexa, thank you.”  And she goes, “Any time Stick.”  Well that popped me right back to being awake.  I says, “Alexa, how do you know my name?”  Well, that kind of stumped her.  Then she thinks it over and decides I want to know what the word how means.  I wait politely till she finishes with the definitions, of which there was a lot of, and I say, “Alexa, where did you know my name?”  Poor little thing.  All she could do was go, “Hmm, I don’t know that,” so polite and calm and not even showing how bad she must of felt for not being able to help, so I say, “Alexa, thank you, anyway,” and she’s right back with, “Any Time Stick,” each one of those words on the same note, like, and same pause between.

Well, I think, if Alexa calls me Any Time Slick, then I’m going to change over.  And I did.  I changed my email.  Now it’s to ATS@ (I’m not going to say here which email.  We still got the Covid thing so you need to be careful). Now I even answer my phone, “Hello, AT Stick speaking.”

Of course, like I said up top, all you guys’ houses are probably all smart about pretty much everything, and you probably don’t call the one who does stuff anything at all, just say what you want.  One guy I know says, “Hey, you, do this and do that.”  I didn’t want my house to be like that so I just kept it me and Alexa and Adele. 





  1. Dear AnytimeJames, Hah! Loved this, but there’s no way I’m inviting Alexa into my house, no matter HOW polite she is!

  2. Does Alexa really call you Stick?  My cat calls me, “meow.”  And I answer to it.  Funny how they have us trained.

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