Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Daddy vs OnStar

So Sunday I went to visit my dad in Montréal. He's from Dominica in the West Indies and I never realised he even has an accent. He's been here since 1965 or so and to me he speaks English with just a tinge of Caribbean flavour. But apparently to OnStar, he's JarJar Binks.

The poor guy got a new car 2 months ago and he wanted to programme the hands free calling feature. For this you have to speak the phone number and the person's name into the car so that all you have to say the name later and the car dials the number for you. Easy enough, right? Well poor daddy couldn't get the car to understand him. Supposedly it kept saying "Pardon?" when he said a number, "Did you mean Kwanzaa?" when he spoke my name, and "Speak English you unintelligible old fool!" when he asked for directions. Okay, I made that last one up but suffice it to say he was frustrated enough to ask me to pack my kids in the car and drive 2 hours to help him..

So on Sunday when I arrived, he thrust a piece of paper at me with about 20 names and numbers on it and told me to read them to KITT his new car. As a reward, he gave me the GPS out of his old car. Score. But now I'm worried. Talk about hands-free distractions. I can picture him screaming at the top of his lungs inside the car, trying to get it to call "Altair"(the way he says it) instead of "Althea" the way I pronounced it, and swerving into oncoming traffic.

And they say technology is so advanced. You'd think it'd recognise a slight lilt, for goodness sakes.


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