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

How Smart Is That?

They don't come dumber than this (Photo by Roger M. Kaye)

A long time ago there were dumb phones and smart people. Now we have smart phones and dumb people.

Today I went to my Health Club. In the good old days, that’s last week, I had to sign in using a pen and a piece of paper. (Younger readers, who might not be familiar with this concept can get more information from Google.) But today entrance is by smart phone only. Yes, I cannot go for my regular exercise without a smartphone clasped firmly in my hand.

The possibilities are endless. There are rumours of an app that will do the exercises for me. No more struggling to lift those dumbbells, there will be smartbells that lift themselves and record how many calories I would have worked off.

No more huffing and puffing on a treadmill or a bicycle that goes nowhere. Another app on my smartphone will do it all for me.

Just thinking about my smartphone exercising made me need some refreshment. I enter the restaurant; there is a dumbwaiter sitting patiently, curled up in a wall, but not a smartwaiter in sight. Dumbfounded, I check my smartphone and am relieved to find a menu app.

I return home, unlocking the door with my smartphone. Once inside, I find a woman. I quickly get out my smartphone and bring up the facial recognition app. Yes, it’s my wife, I thought I recognised her. I would like to talk to her, but I don’t have an app for that.

Luckily, I do have My Talking Pet, an app that works well on my Android smartphone, and I can get in touch with My Virtual Pet Dog. We have a long chat and exchange details of each other’s day. I am dumbstruck to learn that my virtual dog had a more interesting day than did I. It’s not much fun when your dog can outsmart you. I tell him not to be a smart-ass, but he plays dumb.

My wife comes over to me. She is still smarting from the time it took for me to recognise her. I blame my smartphone, it’s the smart thing to do.

I must apologise to my readers, but I could not resist copying Get Smart, an American comedy television series back in the 1960’s that made fun of secret agent films like James Bond. However, rest assured, I do understand that the smartphone is no laughing matter.

And as for the dumb people, there is What d’ye call him, Thing’em-bob, What’s-his-name and You-know-who. The task of filling up the list I’d rather leave to you.
(With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan for borrowing from the Mikado.)

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".
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