Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Stuff is getting smarter and people are getting dumber

Just say you got into a taxi. What's the first thing you're going to say, after "hello" if you're feeling friendly? It's going to be the name of the destination. Surely taxi drivers are aware of this?

After a bumpy flight, the transit through the terminal to the baggage carousel, out to the cab rank, on my big yellow square marked with the number "12" and into a taxi done in under 10 minutes, I thought the vibe would continue.

"Hello. I need to go to the Such and Such hotel on George Street please."

"Where do you want to go please?"

Good grief! Is it any wonder they've made Smart Televisions that take dictation and then send a transcript to ASIO. What I wouldn't give for one of them to be driving my taxi right now, I thought! I'd put my own bag in the boot too.

"The Such and Such hotel on George Street please."


"It's in Haymarket. Hang on, I'll get the street number for you."

"Could you give me the street number please?"

After a sigh that blew the windscreen out, I told him.

"Oh. It's in the Haymarket!"


I called my friend JC (no, not the Messiah). It was essential I do this to preserve the well-being of the driver. Our conversations are exactly like Crabb and Sales on their podcast, except no one else is listening to us. We've been friends since before music theatre summer school and can't understand why we're not stars of breakfast radio or variety television. Anyway, I was so entertained by our conversation about writing, satire, reality TV and Twitter, that I forgot to notice where the driver was going. After the extended instructions I'd given and his epiphanic confirmation at the end, I was confident we'd get there.

Something JC said bored me for a moment and I looked out the window. I was coming from the other side of town. Then I looked at the taxi metre.

"Um, the hotel is over there! Not over here!"

"Oh, you want to go to the Such and Such hotel?" he asked as if I had never mentioned where I wanted to go.

I paid the grossly inflated fare and walked to the hotel.

The carpet was the first thing that hit me when I opened the door to my room. It's like one of those 3D pictures that you stare at for ages and then either see something or faint from dizziness. The carpet is having the latter effect.

I went straight for the airconditioner and was suddenly nervous. It has a PLASMA screen and three pages of instructions on how to use it. I'm sure it doubles as surveillance - that's not a screen, it's a two-way mirror. It might be a smart airconditioner, but it's still too hot in here and it's one of those rooms that is hermetically sealed.

Meanwhile, everything is so minimally designed, I can't find the bed. Or the mini bar.

Can you see the hidden picture?
© 2014 divacultura

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