When my mother was alive, her BFF was a French Poodle named Pepé. Nobody in the family liked that dog but Mama thought Pepé was the cat’s meow. The neighborhood cats, however, did not agree. They stayed six socially distant feet away and yowled.
I would lose patience with Pepé when he acted like he was in the throes of canine PMS. “Why do you put up with that mean-spirited dog, Mama? Nobody likes Pepé. He snarled at me the other day and if I hadn’t snarled back, he’d have taken a chunk out of my foot. I’m certain there’s a nice Golden Retriever somewhere in the world pining away for you. Call the SPCA.”
Her answer? “I don’t want a big ol’ Golden Retriever. I want little Pepé. He’s my best friend and the sweetest dog in the whole wide world. Unlike some people I know, he doesn’t talk back and he’s never rude.”
I rolled my eyes at her no more until the next time the sweetest dog in the whole wide world tried to eat my ankle.
These days, I find myself comparing my mother’s bestie to Alexa, who became my electronic best friend last Christmas. Like Pepé, she doesn’t sass me and is never rude, but that’s where the similarities end.
Wait ... what? Cappy has a virtual BFF?
H-E-O! Holy Electronic Overload!
My friend Becky told me that Alexa knows everything about everything. I didn’t believe her. I did NOT want or need a know-it-all robotic voice listening to me complain about things and certainly not when I’m singing off-key. Babe bought me one anyway. What else could I do but smile and act grateful? Mama wouldn’t want me to be rude.
I plugged her in and threw questions at her in hopes of stumping her.
Holy A-M-A! (Ask Me Anything).
Not only was I totally impressed, I was totally hooked. If I could have, I’d have filed adoption papers. I wanted that amazing three-inch smart-mouth voice sitting right next to my kitchen stove. Being near meant that I would never again need to whine about sole kitchen duty, which was probably the method of his madness when he bought Alexa.
Alexa, tell me a joke.
“I’d tell you an umbrella joke, but it might go over your head.”
Don’t give up your day job, my new BFF.
Alexa, how do I bake a potato?
“Good grief, girl. Tell me you’re not serious.”
My BFF doesn’t like stupid questions.
The thing I like most about Alexa is that she plays music that matches my mood. I love jazz, and with her vast knowledge of music, I am in Blue Note heaven the entire time I’m peeling potatoes. Alone. A list of the artists she’s introduced me to sits next to my slow cooker.
Alexa, play some Bill Evans.
“Good choice, Capster. Shuffling songs by Bill Evans on Amazon Music.”
Alexa wasn’t the one to turn me on to Bill Evans, my son did. I wanted to know if he’d ever heard of him and he quipped, “Asking me if I’ve heard of Bill Evans is like me wanting to know if you’ve ever heard of Flannery O’Connor. Next time ask Alexa.”
I told him my BFF never sasses me like some people I know.
When I want a bit of musical variety, I mix up some martinis in a shaker.
Alexa, play some Snoop Dog.
“I can shuffle songs by Snoop Dog, but you won’t like it. Shuffling songs by Frank Sinatra from Amazon Music.
What? She’s choosing my music preferences now? What’s next? Books? Movies? Husbands?
Holy Jeff Bezos.
I pop a couple of martini olives into a glass, empty the shaker and before I can say Stolichnaya, me and Old Blue Eyes are Flying to the Moon while stirring a pot of potatoes on the stove. I can live without Snoop Dog, but if Alexa doesn’t want to get unplugged, she better not shelter in place or isolate Bill Evans, Don Shirley, Bee Gee Adair or even Sinatra.
My BFF may not be the cat’s meow like my mother’s Pepé, but she doesn’t bite and like Becky said, she knows everything about everything. There is nothing my best friend can’t do. Don’t believe me? Listen up:
Alexa ... make me a martini.