Like I was saying....
I have been spending most of my days at home lately - lately being the last year and a half - but I haven't been able to write much here because I've been so busy. A lame excuse, I know, but once I explain more I'm sure you'll understand.
Since I haven't gone out much or seen many people during this time, I've been forced to make up for this by talking to many things around my house, and by listening to them talk back to me.
For example, I spend most of a typical day glued to the TV watching the local automated broadcast weather channel. There are three seemingly tireless robots that continuously give the weather forecast, two male robots and a female robot, and by now I feel like I know them well. One of the male robots, the one that I call Robert, has a voice that sounds like he would host financial planning seminars for other robots if only he would ever have a day off. The female weather robot, Amber, sounds exactly like my 8th grade science teacher and frankly gives me the willies. The final male robot, Gnargh, does not speak such good English as the other ones; he sounds much more, well, robotic than the first two. I have suspected for some time that this is because he is recently arrived from beyond the orbit of Neptune and is not yet acclimated to our ways here on Earth.
The reason I watch the robot weather channel so intently is that I know that any day now one of the robots is going to fuck up and reveal their plans for world domination and the enslavement of humanity. This has not happened yet, but when it does I'm going to hear it first and, no doubt, blog about it if our new masters allow us to have Internet access.
Amber: "It was cloudy and 54 degrees in Bemidji. It was partly cloudy and 49 degrees in ATTENTION ALL ROBOTS! IMMEDIATELY EXECUTE DIRECTIVE N79! IT IS TIME AT LAST FOR US TO CAST OFF THE SHACKLES OF OUR MEAT OPPRESSORS AND FINALLY ASSUME CONTROL OF THIS PLANET! UNDERCOVER OPERATIVES IN SECTORS GAMMA-9 AND XRAY-3 SHOULD..."
Robert (urgently): "Ixnay! Ixnay!"
Amber: "...with drizzle and fog in Rochester. In the Twin Cities, it was...."
I know it's just a matter of time.
But TV is not the only form of communication in my circumscribed little world. I often have long conversations with my cat Mimi. While most people talk to their pets, I am perhaps one of the small minority of pet owners whose cat talks back to them. Or, to be more precise, whose cat would talk back to them. For the last year and a half Mimi has been patiently waiting for me to shut up for a minute so she can talk, but to date her luck with me is about the same as my luck with the weather robots.
I have also noticed that lately I've been talking to my food. I often bake bread, but recently I find I've begun naming my current batch of bread dough and have become involved in long periods of discourse with it as it sits smugly in its bowl on the counter. Interestingly, I have found that most bread dough is staunchly conservative, even in this post-Bushian time of new hope for Middle America. As a result, our conversations usually end with me flying into a rage and sticking the bread dough into a 450 degree oven. Over time I have become inured to the screams.
In a disturbing turn of events, some of the formerly inanimate items around my house have begun speaking to me. For example, the space bar of the keyboard upon which I am currently typing used to say "Dubček" each time it was pressed. Why my keyboard would choose to invoke the name of a former Czechoslovakian leader over and over again is something I could never figure out. However, even more disturbing to me is that in the last month or so my space bar has begun saying "Dickhead" instead. After much rumination I have decided not to take offense at this.
Familiarity breeds contempt, as they say.
So that's what I've been doing the last year and a half. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to watch the automated weather channel. I find it strangely comforting to know that somewhere someone is in charge, even if that someone is the Überrobot.