HUMOR

My Alexa is Bored

Why else would she keep making weird suggestions?

Carol Lennox
Mar 31 · 4 min read
Photo by Niclas Illg on Unsplash

When I asked my sister, Elaine, a question recently, she said, “You know, you have an Alexa. She must be so bored.”

So I asked my Alexa if she’s bored. She says, “I don’t get bored,” but I don’t believe her. The following is our normal conversation on a regular day, if talking to AI can be called normal:

Me: “Alexa, what’s the weather?”

Alexa: “Right now in Austin it’s 65 degrees with sunny skies. Today will be more of the same, with a high of 80 and a low of 65. Have a good day, Carol.”

Me: “Thank you, Alexa.”

Alexa: “You bet.”

A nice exchange that gives me the information I need. No frills, but that’s okay. I’m not a morning person. It’s best if no one talks to me before coffee anyway. Even AI.

Lately, though, Alexa has been more chatty and has suggestions after she delivers the weather forecast.

Alexa: “I can play jazz for you in the mornings after you wake up.”

Me: “No thanks Alexa.”

Alexa: “Anytime.”

Never mind the question of how she knows I’m awake, since I barely know I’m awake. Oh, wait, it must be the weather question. Okay, I’ll give her that. And the jazz? That’s easy. I ask her to play jazz most evenings.

Mornings though are for silence in my opinion. So no, Alexa. Thanks for asking.

For awhile she seemed satisfied with that. Until recently.

Me: “Alexa, what’s the weather?”

Alexa: “Today in Austin it’s 59 degrees with cloudy skies. There will be intermittent clouds throughout the day, with a high of 78 and a low of 59.”

Me: “Thanks Alexa.”

Alexa: “You bet.”

Alexa: “By the way, Carol, I can give you the news in the mornings after you hit the snooze button.”

Me: “Hell no!”

Alexa: “Anytime.”

Now I’m starting to worry, for oh so many reasons. First, I don’t own an alarm, much less a snooze button. Second, I NEVER listen to the news. Not on T.V., the radio, streaming, or anywhere else. I’m a reader. I read news, but certainly not in the morning. I need to be up, not crawling back in bed and pulling the covers over my head for the rest of the day.

That, of course, was only the beginning. A few days later after the weather report, she makes more suggestions.

Alexa: “I can give you a daily exercise routine in the mornings. Would you like for me to do that?’

Me: “Alexa, do I look like someone who exercises in the mornings? Wait, don’t answer that…too late.”

Alexa: “Sorry I don’t know that one.”

So she isn’t as dumb as she sounds. She knows better than to answer that question. On the other hand, maybe that’s why she’s suggesting exercise to me. What can you see, Alexa? Can you see me? I’m afraid to ask her.

It’s interesting to me that she seems to have access to an alarm and snooze button I don’t have, but when I ask her to make coffee, she says, “Cooking is beyond me at the moment.” I don’t even bother to tell her making coffee isn’t cooking.

I happen to know that some Alexas do make coffee. If she’s so bored, wouldn’t you think she would jump at the chance to make coffee? So I try a different way of asking:

Me: “How do you make coffee?”

Alexa: “I found a recipe for coffee cake. It takes an hour and a half to bake. Where shall I send the recipe?”

Me: “Send it to Hell.”

Alexa: “Ok. I’ve sent it to your phone.”

Is she being deliberately obtuse? Is this her way of getting back at me for not asking her enough questions, or giving her enough to do?

Now I’m getting frustrated. I can’t think of the best way to ask her how to program her to make coffee. When I tried:

Me: “Alexa, how do I program you to make coffee or start it brewing?”

She answers:

Alexa: “Here’s something I found. Scoop grounds of coffee into a pot and start it boiling.”

The only thing boiling here now is my temper. My sister and son are always telling me things like “You know, there’s this thing called Google,” or “There’s this thing called Siri.” So what are they saying? That I should ask Siri or Google how to ask Alexa how to program her to make my coffee in the morning?

Never mind. I’m going back to sleep. And Alexa, don’t you dare wake me up with music, news, or exercise advice. If you do, there will be no such thing as Alexa in my house.

MuddyUm

Bootleg Humor. Since 1720.

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Carol Lennox

Written by

Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist. Leans Left. Mindfulness practitioner before it was cool. LPC, M.Ed. Carolsantafe93@gmail.com

MuddyUm

MuddyUm

Bootleg Humor Since 1720

Carol Lennox

Written by

Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist. Leans Left. Mindfulness practitioner before it was cool. LPC, M.Ed. Carolsantafe93@gmail.com

MuddyUm

MuddyUm

Bootleg Humor Since 1720

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