November 24, 2013 in City

Doug Clark: It’s not just a truck, it’s a demon on wheels

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Today we pose the physics question …

Can anyone recommend a good exorcist?

I’m no expert on spirit eradication, but I’m fairly certain that a jealous she-demon is living inside the new truck that I bought after my collision with a suicidal moose trashed the last one.

Yes, demonic possession.

That’s the only logical explanation for why the invisible Siri lady wouldn’t let me call my lovely wife, Sherry, when I tried to use the truck’s voice-recognition phone feature the other day.

OK. I suppose “operator error” could be one other possibility.

But let’s not confuse our story with silly, far-fetched theories.

Now, I don’t want to sound like a technology-fearing Luddite.

But if you ask me, this country would be a whole lot better off if the government confiscated every cellphone. Then we could all go back to texting and tweeting each other the way our forefathers did, with quill pens and Western Union telegrams.

There’s no going back, I suppose.

Microsoft and Apple wouldn’t allow it.

So after a guy at the dealership synced my iPhone with the pickup’s “hands-free” communications system (whatever that means), I’ve been making all my calls by pushing a button on the steering wheel and asking the sultry-voiced operator to connect me to whomever.

And everything was working fine until …

TRUCK WENCH: “How may I help you?”

DOUG: “Call Sherry.”

TRUCK WENCH: “Calling Jerry Fischer.”

DOUG: “NOO!! Not Jerry Fischer. Ha. Ha. That’s Sherry’s uncle who lives in Alaska. I said, ‘Call Sherry.’ ”

TRUCK WENCH: “Say ‘cancel call’ if you’d like to cancel.”

DOUG: “Yes. Please. Cancel call. Cancel call.”

TRUCK WENCH: “All right. Say the full name of the contact.”

DOUG: “You’ve got a memory like a sinkhole, huh? Sherry Clark. I’d like to call Sherry Clark.”

TRUCK WENCH: “Calling Jerry Fischer.”

DOUG: “You lousy ($%^!). I mean, cancel call. Please.”

TRUCK WENCH: “I’m sorry. I didn’t get that.”

DOUG: “You’re just screwing with me, aren’t you?”

TRUCK WENCH: No answer.

DOUG: “All right. Let’s start over. (Pushing call button.) Call Sherry Clark.”

TRUCK WENCH: “Calling John Clark.”

DOUG: “Are you (%$&%*ing) kidding me? I said Sherry Clark. (Speaking slowly.) Sherr-rrry Claa-rrk.”

TRUCK WENCH: “I’ve found three listings for Clark. Please say the number or the name of the listing you would like to …”

(The following Clarks appear on the screen: Dan, David and John.)

DOUG: (Beginning to sob.) “NO. You. Idiot. None of those Clarks are Sherry Clark.”

TRUCK WENCH: “I’m sorry. I didn’t get …”

DOUG: “Call Sherry Clark. Call Sherry Clark. Call: for the love of gawd: Sherry CLARK!!!”

TRUCK WENCH: “Calling Jerry Fischer.”

This illuminating discourse went on for what seemed like several days. Then, my head throbbing like the target of a knockout game, I realized I had only two options.

I could …

A. Jump out of my moving truck.

B. Offer my soul to the demonic she-monster that was lurking somewhere deep inside the bowels of my Tacoma – which, when you think about it, “Bowels of Tacoma” wouldn’t be a half-bad new name for Washington’s third-largest city.

Just before jumping, however, I realized that another choice existed.

I pulled over to the side of the road and deleted “Sherry Clark” from my iPhone directory.

Then I quickly renamed the contact: “Lovely Wife Sherry.”

“That’ll do it,” I told myself just before punching the call button.

TRUCK WENCH: “What would you like to do?”

DOUG: “Call, Lovely Wife, uh, Sherry?”

TRUCK WENCH: “Sorry, I missed that. Let’s try again.”

DOUG: “Skip it. I’ll mail a letter.”

Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 ordougc@spokesman.com.


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