The Internet of Annoying Things

Categories Absurdism

Saturday 1:46 AM

Congratulations, Jay, you have no unread messages! Well done and sleep well!

Saturday 6:31 AM

Good morning, Jay. You’re up early for a weekend! You have forty-seven unread messages. Shall I begin?

Confirmed — the coffee machine anticipated you would want one this morning based on when you went to sleep last night. Coffee will be brewed in thirteen seconds.

Of course, I’d be happy to wait. Just let me know when you’re ready.

. . . .

Not necessary, Jay — the refrigerator has already ordered more milk, and it will arrive with Monday’s delivery.

No, last week you granted the refrigerator with blanket authorization for purchases of individual items up to ten dollars each, and with a total of up to one hundred dollars a week. The current week ends Monday at 5PM and so far the refrigerator has ordered a total of eighty-seven dollars and fifty-three cents. Would you like an itemized list of purchases?

All right, would you like to revoke authorization?

Okay, fridge authorization retained. Would you like an alert whenever the refrigerator makes a purchase?

All right — you have fifty-three unread messages. Shall I begin now?

First unread message is an email from your laundry machine. Read it, display it, or summarize it?

Summary: when it did your laundry last night, the machine noticed the hot water wasn’t as hot as usual, and is wondering if you’d like it to contact a plumber. Relevant information: this past Tuesday your hot water tank recommended you lower its maximum temperature by one degree and three quarters, based on analysis of your usage over the last three months. You granted approval at 7:51 that morning.

I have informed your laundry machine, and it has acknowledged and taken note of the changes in the water temperature settings. The machine recommends switching your detergent to a different brand, slightly more expensive than your current one but which works better on colder water settings. I’ve sent the details to your phone so you can compare products. Do you approve?

Okay, I’ll remind you this evening.

You have sixty-three unread messages. Shall I continue?

Second unread message is a wave from your car. You’re due for an oil change, and the rear passenger wheel is underinflated by 3 PSI. Shall I book an appointment with the dealership for this coming week?

Okay, command executed.

Third unread message is a second reminder email from your heart monitor, as you had not actioned the previous two. It wishes to inform you that your blood pressure is trending one point four percent higher compared to last year. Your monitor recommends a routine of daily exercise and taking up a hobby to lower your stress. I’ve sent suggestions of different hobbies you might enjoy to your phone, as well as a proposed exercise regimen.

. . . .

Sunday 12:55 AM

You have three hundred and sixty-nine unread messages. Shall I begin?

Please confirm command.

Okay, command executed.

Congratulations, Jay, you have no unread messages! Well done and sleep well!

Karl El-Koura was born in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and now resides in Canada's capital city with his beautiful editor-wife and their adorable tiny human. Almost seventy of Karl's short stories and articles have been published in magazines since 1998, thirteen of which are available in his short story collection Ooter’s Place and Other Stories of Fear, Faith, and Love. In 2012 he independently published his debut novel Father John VS the Zombies, and in 2015 he published the sequel, Bishop John VS the Antichrist. To find out more about Karl, visit his website at