Revelations from a PC Mind

Ha!  You thought this was going to be political.  Not at all at all.  You see, I‛ve been on a personal adventure into the matrix, or whatever you want to call it, of the cyber mind of my Personal Computer.  I‛ve been exploring PC‛s ability to communicate with me through voice recognition.

As for all explorations into alien territory a little background helps explain the adventurer‛s motivation.  In my case the motivation arrived rather suddenly.  Like many seniors I have had rotator cuff problems with both shoulders and as recently as last October and November had undergone very successful physiotherapy that had made a new man of me.  (At age 85 “new man” is at best a relative term.)  However, a couple of weeks ago, when returning from a month abroad and disembarking at Pearson Airport‛s Terminal 3, I found myself en route upward to immigration via a non-functioning escalator.  Being accustomed to the route (and there being no warning by either sign or personnel)  and being as much a part of the pre-conditioned hurrying human herd as other passengers I found myself inadvertently striving  to climb that immobile uneven stairway.  The next thing I knew I had tripped, fallen, and had put one rotator cuff back to square one and had virtually (definitely not a cyber reference) had one leg immobilized by sheer pain.

No bones were broken and in fact the whole episode escalated (forgive the term) into quite an intriguing tale that I may tell when it is not quite so painful to use a keyboard.  But right now it is painful.  Hence the journey into exploring the voice recognition powers of my PC.

I‛ve been practising using nursery rhymes and I can tell you this, either I have to clean up my diction or my beloved PC has to sharpen up its hearing.  On the other hand, there may be nothing wrong with PC‛s mind.  Let‛s not rush to judgement.

Come, take my hand (left hand please) and stroll with me into the verbal Never-never-land I encountered on my first explorations.  Thanks to our good friends “Google”, “Search”,”Copy”, “Paste”, and “Dictate”, the following has required very little use of the keyboard. By the way, I should emphasize that before venturing into this alien cyber territory I spent considerable time attempting to teach PC my language.  Whether PC’s seeming indifference is due to ignorance, willfulness, or — let’s not ignore the possibility — inspiration, is beyond my competence to say.

Ready? Here we go.

Me: (dictating)
Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full!
One for the master, one for the dame,
And one for the little boy who lives down the lane.

PC: (typing)
The bout like sheep have you any will?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full!
One for the master, one for the game,
And one for the little boy who lives down the lane.

(Well, not bad.  A nice bit of insight into the fact that the wool trade required will and was, like all business, partly a game. )

Me: (dictating)
Hickory dickory dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one
The mouse ran down
Hickory dickory dock

PC: (typing)
She hurried a curried OPS
The nose ran up the clock
The cops show up one
The nose ran down
The greedy hurried off

(Oh, oh. Easy does it.  Watch your step.  There be dragons here.)

Me:
Old King Cole was a merry old soul, and a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe in the middle of the night
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler had a fine fiddle, and a very fine fiddle had he;
Oh there’s none so rare as can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

PC:
All the King Cole was an aerial soul, she and a merry old soul whiskey cynical of
He called for is pipe in the middle of the night
Edie called for his tremors three.
Everything I had a find sale, and a very fine through the lead each;
All those none so rare it is can compare
She was King Cole and his tremors three.

(Hey, I swear I‛ve not fiddled with that.  And don‛t knock it.   PC is seeing deeper into this rhyme than I ever did.  Who ever knew that a woman named “Edie” was behind the throne?  And look at that last line.  “She was King Cole and his tremors three.”  Wow. Edie was the king and also his delirium tremens. There‛s grist in that  for a PhD in psychology.  Maybe PC should apply.)

Me:
The Grand old Duke of York he had ten thousand men
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again.
When they were up, they were up
And when they were down, they were down
And when they were only halfway up
They were neither up nor down.

PC:
The grand old duke of York he had 10,000 men
The march them up to the top of the hill
And he marched and down a game.
When they were up, they were up
And whenever it down, they were down
If and when they were only half way up
If they were neither up nor down.

(I like the “whenever” and the “if”s.  The time and place really don‛t matter a damn, do they?  But I’m not sure PC is taking this seriously.  I notice the word “game” has  cropped up again. As for me, I hurt too much not to take it seriously.)

Me:
One two buckle my shoe
Three, four, knock at the door
Five, six, pick up sticks
Seven, eight, lay them straight
Nine, ten, a big fat hen
Eleven, twelve …

(Oh, enough, enough.)

PC:
12 but my issue
Three, four, knock at the door
Chief five, six, she picked up stakes

(I don‛t blame her.  If I were in this game I‛d pick up my stakes and get the hell out fast.  For that matter, who is “she”?  Oh ho!  Hold on –)

Seven, eight, and may and straight
Nine, 10, and big fat and
11, 12, and Edie and alder

(Ah ha!  Edie again. But what’s with the alder?  Are the sticks really alder branches? Is Edie a dominatrix?  Better move on.)

Me:
Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor doggie a bone,
When she got there
The cupboard was bare
So the poor little doggie had none.

(I didn‛t know until I Googled this that it apparently referred to Henry the Eighth‛s ecclesiastical fixer Cardinal Wolsey who, for not fixing, was let go without severance or pension.)

PC:
Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor doggie up bone,
shack when she got there
The cupboard was bear

(Hold the phone!  That rhyme had nothing to do with Wolsey but with some dame — probably Edie — who intended to shack up with the occupant but found it was a bear.  Shades of Goldilocks, let’s not venture into that swamp! We’ll make for higher ground.)

Me:
Little Boy Blue come blow your horn,
The sheep’s in the meadow the cow’s in the corn.
But where’s the boy who looks after the sheep?
He’s under a haystack fast asleep.

PC:
Little boy blue come blow your alarm,
The sheet sin in that old account is in the cord.
But where is the boy who looks after the sheep?
He’s out of a sack fast asleep.

(I don‛t know about you but this is rather disturbing.  Apparently there is a sinful sheet out there on the pasture, possibly stashed in a cord of wood, and somebody is settling accounts.  And if Little Boy Blue is now out of the sack he must have been in it, which makes me very suspicious that Edie‛s been here, too.

I‛m not sure we should tread much farther into this cyber swamp of PC interpreted nursery rhymes, but let‛s have a go at one more.)

Me:
Little Bo peep has lost her sheep
And doesn’t know where to find them.
Leave them alone and they’ll come home,
Bringing their tails behind them.

Little Bo peep fell fast asleep
And dreamt she heard them bleating,
But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
For they were all still fleeting.

(Hey, I never knew there was a second verse.  Oh, oh — Only a second? My foot!  There‛s more than that.)

Then up she took her little crook
Determined for to find them.
She found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,
For they left their tails behind them.

It happened one day, as Bo peep did stray
Into a meadow hard by,
There she espied their tails side by side
All hung on a tree to dry.

(For Pete‛s sake is there no end to this thing?)

She heaved a sigh, and wiped her eye,
And over the hillocks went rambling,
And tried what she could,
As a shepherdess should,
To tack again each to its lambkin. ♣

(Well, if you‛re still with me, hang on and we‛ll take one final cautious step and see what PC has to say about this sheepish version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.)

PC:
NATO bowl because loss to sheep
And doesn’t know where to find them.
Leave them alone and they’ll come home,
She bringing their tails behind them.

If noble peak fell fast and sleek
New lines and rent she heard them billy king,
If but when she awoke, she founded a joke,
ff for they were all spilled fleeting.

In a sheet ochre little crooked
Determined four to find them.
Chief album indeed, by mayor art bleed,
Fish for the last eight tales behind them.

I happen one day, as Bo peep did stray
Into a metal hard by, and
She never see as spite of their tails side by side
All hung on a tree to dry.

See he has just signed, and wiped her I,
Fish and over the hill looks like rattling,
And tried which she could,
As shepherd is shared,
If to attack again needs to its blanket.

(If that’s not fodder for a PhD study of a PC mind, I don’t know what is.)

What I am now tempted to do is to go back to the airport, bang my head on that escalator –I missed the first time  — and then dictate the Book of Revelations into the voice recognition program and let dear old PC take it from there.  Should make a fortune as an abstract revelation of Revelations.  PC and  I may use it to found a new Sect.  Then maybe we can save Edie.

—————————————————–

♣ I refreshed my memory for nursery rhymes here. I recommend the link as a charming window on history.

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About Munroe Scott

Munroe Scott is a veteran of the freelance writing world.
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4 Responses to Revelations from a PC Mind

  1. Jean Koning says:

    Hi Munroe:

    Very funny – and a warning to me! I’ve thought I may have to go the same route – my hands are giving out from overuse on my friend the computer … so this is a valuable alert for me! Many thanks, Jean.

    Jean Koning Peterborough ON 705-743-2270 http://koningskomments.blogspot.com “I am a Treaty person”

  2. evmustang says:

    I remember “mayor art,” now senator Art. I don’t know if he’s bleeding, but if he is, I’m sure it has something to do with Edie and Little Boy Blue.

  3. At first I was laughing my head off. Then I realized this may be the way modern poets ply their trade. Check out these lines by poet laureate Richard Blanco:
    “the ghosts of the sand castles,
    the sorceress of the coconut.”
    Heck, he probably just read his lunch into voice recognition:
    “toast a la Spam, cashews,
    sausages, and a coconut.”

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