Roger M. Kaye
A retired physicist reinvented as thriller novels writer

Hapless but not app-less

I looked for the handle to flush the toilet; it used to be such a simple matter. But the wall was smooth and featureless. I felt a slight tremor in my hand. I looked down, could this be the start of some unpleasant disease? But no, it was my Smartphone offering me the Toilet Flush App. I quickly scrolled through the options; Long Flush, Short Flush, Flush and Repeat. The Short Flush was marked as the Recommended Option, so I chose Long Flush just to show who is in charge. I could have sworn that my Smartphone gave a long sigh of frustration.
Finished with the flushing I turned my attention to leaving the toilet. The door had no obvious lock, only a small keypad. My hand trembled again. This time my Smartphone offered me an OTP with a stern warning not to share it with anybody.  A few weeks ago I would have been completely flummoxed but, by chance, I had been offered an OTP by another app and had got my younger grandson to translate for me. I still wasn’t sure why I couldn’t share my One Time Password, surely the essence of one-time is that it would only work once. After that, I could shout it from the rooftops, it wouldn’t work again. But ours is not to reason why, so I tapped my OTP into the keypad and the door swung open.
I dressed and started towards the stairs. My Smart phone went crazy; Clean Teeth, Clean Teeth. I didn’t have time for that but found the door to the stairs firmly locked. I returned to the bathroom and took my toothbrush. My Smartphone counted down for me – 25 strokes bottom teeth. 25 strokes upper teeth, a little slower ….
By now, I needed my breakfast. The fridge, of course, can only be opened with the Breakfast App. I don’t need an OTP for this, I have my password, ‘grubsup’, firmly in my memory, that’s the one in my head not in the Smartphone. I quickly opened the App but it’s ten minutes too early. I was given a mild warning that I must wait. Last week I was nearly 20 minutes early and was given a severe dressing down with the threat that my favorite blackberry jam would be replaced by that awful strawberry stuff.
While waiting for my Smartphone to allow me to have breakfast, I decided to take the dog for a walk. I opened the WoofWoof App and found my virtual dog wagging its virtual tail in anticipation. Good dog, I said, although he couldn’t hear me, I had taken the cheaper version of the app, without sound. From WoofWoof’s menu I selected a one hour beach walk and left them to it. I would get a notification when the App had finished and the dog was back in its virtual kennel.
I woke from my dream with a start and looked at the clock on the wall; nearly 9 o’clock. How could that be? I had set the WakeMeUp app for seven thirty. I picked up my Smartphone – the fading screen was crying for help; Charge Battery, Charge Battery. If it couldn’t help itself, I thought, how could it help me? Next time I will wind up my old clockwork alarm, that would be the Smart thing to do.
About the Author
The author has been living in Rehovot since making Aliya in 1970. A retired physicist, he divides his time between writing adventure novels, getting his sometimes unorthodox views on the world into print, and working in his garden. An enthusiastic skier and world traveller, the author has visited many countries. His first novels "Snow Job - a Len Palmer Mystery" and "Not My Job – a Second Len Palmer Mystery" are published for Amazon Kindle. The author is currently working on the third Len Palmer Mystery - "Do Your Job".