Our xBox (which is what we use to watch Netflix, among other things) has a Kinect…unit? Camera? Thing. One of the functions the Kinect thing can do is operate the xBox via voice command. If you say, “xBox!”, a little menu of things it can do for you (none of which involve putting away the laundry or emptying the dishwasher, much to my disappointment, but I digress), will pop up on the screen. You can tell it to play the next episode of the show you’re watching, exit to the main menu, shut the console off, etc.
Ever since we got the xBox and Kinect thing a few years ago, my husband has been kind of fixated on the voice command feature. He has a British accent and the xBox doesn’t always seem to pick up / understand what he’s saying…so I think part of the fixation is that he maybe wants to prove to the xBox that he is, in fact, in charge.
Now, I’m an asshole. I like to fuck with my husband by trying to talk over him while he’s talking to the xBox because he gets all exasperated when the xBox doesn’t recognize him or doesn’t do what he tells it to do. Consequently, any exchange he has with the xBox while I’m around usually goes like this:
(xBox chimes and pops up the menu)
Me, cutting him off: “xBox, nooo!”
Husband: “Main Men…”
Me: “No, xBox, noooo! Cancel, cancel!”
Like I said, I’m an asshole. He knew this when I married him.
Anyway – so this morning, we were sitting around watching The League on Netflix before Husband had to go to work. The last episode ended and true to form, Husband piped up with his “commanding” voice:
The xBox chimed and popped up the menu. The game was afoot.
Husband: “Exit Netflix!”
The xBox went to the main menu. I was going to have to try harder.
The xBox popped up its menu like an obedient little robot.
Husband: “Main Menu!”
Me, talking over him loudly: “Raaaah! No, xBox, noooo!”
The xBox didn’t respond.
Husband, louder: “MAIN MENU!”
The xBox popped to the main menu with a happy little chime. At this point, I knew I was going to have to bust out the really big guns if I was going to win this game. I took a stealthy deep breath, readying my diaphragm. I used to be a singer – if there’s one thing I can do, it’s project my voice.
When my husband opened his mouth to give the xBox the “Settings” command, I unleashed what was later described by him as a reasonable facsimile of a pterodactyl cry. Husband screwed his face up in the most precious display of bemusement I’ve ever seen on another human being and I just completely LOST it. I went into one of the longest bouts of no-breath silent-wheeze laughter I’ve ever experienced. I finally managed to claw my way out of it long enough to gasp for air only to get sucked in again just as hard because the whole time, I could hear Husband in the background STILL trying to talk to the fucking xBox! The xBox must have picked up my wheezing gasping laughter, (possibly it’s programmed to pick up signs of bodily distress?), because it just sat there with the menu up, still waiting to be told what to do next even though Husband was booming “SETTINGS!” at it in what I can only imagine is his best impression of a British headmaster. This, of course, made the entire thing all the more funny to me and I remained incapacitated, wracked with sobs of laughter, for a good five solid minutes after Husband had finally got the xBox to shut itself off and had stomped upstairs.
Moral of the story: Even when pterodactyl doesn’t win, it always wins.