November 20, 2019

Satirical Semite: Hello, Siri Alexa

I am delighted to announce the forthcoming arrival of my first daughter. Her birth will be livestreamed on 18 social media platforms and she will be called Siri Alexa Freed.

Throughout the birth, I will update my wife’s status: “Feeling pregnant,” “Feeling dilated,” “Feeling nervous,” “Feeling a small prick” (the epidural, not the conception), “Feeling relieved” and “Feeling the ow of life-sustaining milk.”

Amazon just delivered my new wetsuit complete with tzizit attachments and a waterproof GoPro camera, as I will film the entire waterbirth. We are finalizing a VR sponsorship deal so that you also can enjoy it on your Oculus Rift, experiencing it in virtual reality from underwater epidural through postpartum celebrations. Hopefully, my wife will appreciate my enduring dedication to cinematic artistry.

Admittedly, it will help me to know my first wife’s name. Until we meet for the first time, her working title is “Future Mrs. Freed” or FMF. Some have asked how I could be so presumptive that she will want to take on my surname? As a post-feminist-wokeAF-   enlightened male, I am sure she will appreciate the retro-hipster style of uniting our family under one name.

Besides, the whole Jewish double-barreled naming phenomenon is confusing. If the daughter of the Rosenberg-Cohens marries the son of the Goldenberg-Levines, we pity their poor granddaughter who signs her name Chaya Mushka Rosenberg-Cohen- Goldenberg-Levine. She will inevitably envy the pert, pretty, utilitarian nomenclature of Siri Alexa Freed.

Our baby’s delivery might take place in November 2019, a few meters from the beach near the Malibu Pier. You may be concerned it will be too cold to stand in the freezing sea during the final hour of labor as we wait for the actual birth. Thank you
for your concern, but worry not! I already have reserved a table at the nearby kosher Fish Grill so I will wait patiently there with a hot cup of tea while watching the live feed Malibu surf cam, and run down to the beach as soon as my semi-submerged wife and her doula give the signal that the birth has begun (i.e., frantically waving their arms).

Siri Alexa is a great choice for a name. Whenever I call “Hey, Siri,” she will feel like the center of attention even if I am speaking into my phone. When she’s 3 months old, I’ll train her with simple commands like, “Alexa, play ‘Three Blind Mice’ ” before progressing to the “Rocky Horror” soundtrack.

Her name also works if the baby is a boy. My parents were going to call me Samantha Jane (really!) but my vigorous masculinity scuppered that plan.

Our next babies, Uber 1 and Uber 2, will be taught to drive at a young age. When they’re 13, we’ll get them trailer-park driver’s licenses, so that I can say, “Hey Siri, get me an Uber!”

There will probably be more artificial intelligence names to choose from by the time FMF gives birth to our next eight kids.

The downside is that when my firstborn daughter becomes a wiseass teenager, she may monotonically respond, “Sorry father, I cannot process your request.” Touché.

I love how social media reveals peoples’ compassion. Many kind souls provide airport “check-ins,” which are very helpful for thieves about to burglarize their homes. The burglars would then be able to work at a more relaxed pace. It would, however, be more compassionate if homeowners would also leave their Wi-Fi code on the fridge and a pint of milk, in case the thieves want some tea.

A remote viewing video camera clearly makes the house more secure. After all, it’s not like someone can say, “Hey Siri, how do I hack home security cameras?” and immediately nd hundreds of helpful instructional videos. If my daughter answers, I shall switch off her Wi-Fi.

It is entirely probable my plans will completely backfire. I can already hear the future requests of my daughter Siri Alexa. “Hey, Dad, take me to dance class”; “Hey, Dad, can we go to Disneyland?”; “Hey, Dad, will you please pay for me to go on the school Israel trip?” It will be a pleasure. I shall serve and obey, and be grateful for every single moment of parenthood.

Marcus J Freed is a Los Angeles-based actor. View more at his website.