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Old School Alexas

There are numerous instances on social media (SM) where individuals have posted their belief that in contemporary times smart phones are guilty of ‘Big Brother’ like surveillance. This paranoia fed by logging onto the likes of Facebook or Instagram timelines to witness advertisements for random products of which the ‘victim’ recently spoke.

As I’ve experienced these episodes first hand on numerous occasions, it’s a topic I find thought-provoking. After all, you can bet you’re ass if, in the presence of your mobile device you advise the lawn needs seeding, within hours an advert regaling the virtues of ‘Uncle Frank’s Lawn Restoration Seeds’ will proudly stand at your timeline pinnacle.

Yours truly has oft thought of testing these paranoid notions by, adjacent to phone, discussing the most random of items I’d aspirations of procuring. For instance, loudly mentioning to my mother (in whose house I currently reside) “I tell you what, mum. I’m gonna have to buy a cat holster!”

An item of such randomness if, shortly after the revelation, I was confronted by marketing for ‘Auntie Madge’s Cat Holster’ would prove conclusively someone was ear wigging into my verbal exchanges.

To be honest, I’m not even sure if such a cat holster product exists. A fact which, along with certainty my mum would mar the plan with a response akin to “Why?…. We haven’t got a cat!”, ensures the ploy to trick Alexa, or whoever it is undertaking the eavesdropping is doomed from the start.

After all, I’m assuming the electronic version of comedian Les Dawson’s gossiping character Ada Sidebottom listens to the complete conversation. The busybody not dashing off immediately tattling to who it may concern that GJ Strachan wants a cat holster. In doing so missing the important segment where my mum let the cat out of the bag (so to speak) that we don’t own a moggy.


Comic actors Roy Barraclough and Les Dawson playing gossips Cissie & Ada….. A pair of old school Alexas

As alluded to, I’ve no idea if a cat holster is actually a thing. If it is, the product strikes me as quite a dangerous way of transporting a feline. Lugging a moggy around in a sling inches from your visage seems a risky venture if you’re keen to avoid cat scratched cheeks……. I’d venture feline journeys are best in a cat transporter box, especially for those pets of a more capricious nature.

Anyhow, at almost 400 words into the piece, I’ll eventually get to the point of raising the subject of whether smart phone devices eavesdrop into conversations. The inspiration coming from an incident which occurred within the last 24 hours.

Yesterday evening, minding my own business while dining room in situ, waxing lyrical, the door opened with an almighty screech. A ear-piercing aural accompaniment which led me to conclude, in thought, I needed to purchase some WD40 for the door hinges.

Footnote – When writing I was waxing lyrical, I’m referring to penning fictional prose. Not that I was grooming my cat Lyrical…… I’ve not got a cat remember!…… And even if I did I’d not wax the moggy!……. Or, indeed, call it Lyrical!!

This morning, on powering up my laptop the first online advertisement to render my screen was marketing details for WD40….. Oh my god, can these devices now also read your mind!!!

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