There's a search engine developer in my bedroom

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

Geoff and I were watching Two and a Half Men on the laptop the other night. Well, we were planning to watch it but it was a rerun - which was incredibly disappointing, even though we're not completely sure we even like watching someone as pretty as Ashton Kutcher for more than 5 minutes at a time. But that's not the point.

The reality was that Geoff and I were in bed with a laptop and no plan, so we did what any other happily married couple with a 3 year old fast asleep in another room would do in this situation.

We decided to Google ourselves. Literally. This isn't some sort of code for something else. Really. It isn't.

Google Chrome is the default browser on Geoff's laptop and on that particular evening, a tiny little microphone appeared on the right hand side of the search bar. Of course we clicked on it and when we did, we were presented with an invitation to speak.

Voice search. How cool is that?

I went first and spat out a number of terms. When I said "Geoff Slater", Google heard,  "just later." When I spoke my name,  "Andrea Mulder-Slater" clearly into the microphone, Google misunderstood and thought I said, "mostly."

I tried again with terms relevant to the both of us...

What I said: Art lessons.
What Google heard: Craigs list.

What I said: Line paintings
What Google heard: 1 piece

At that point, Geoff decided that because I have a lisp, Google couldn't understand me. So he took over.

He uttered the word boobies (of course he did) and Google gave us a list of websites featuring articles and videos related to birds and busts - including one which promised a "pick-me-up" featuring kittens and lady parts.  No, I didn't look.

To counteract Geoff's mischievousness, I grabbed the computer and said the most wholesome thing I could think of. "Oatmeal cookies".  Google responded by presenting me with a nice selection of recipes. No misunderstanding there. So much for the lisp theory.

Geoff tried again - this time with a topic that interests him a great deal..


Guess what Google heard?


At this point, we were convinced that someone was most certainly at the other end of that tiny picture of a microphone. Why not? It was late. Search engine developers get bored, don't they?

Getting back to our original plan of Googling ourselves,  I spoke our names - loud and clear - for a final time.

What I said: Geoff Slater
Google's response: Shit

How insulting. And then...

What I said: Andrea Mulder-Slater
Google's response: Overslept

Which is funny, because that's what I did the next day. The cheeky web developer who infiltrated our home was psychic to boot.

Well played Google. Well played.

Incidentally, I haven't seen that microphone since.

No, really.

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