Friday, September 17, 2004

Music makes everything more enjoyable

My phone / internet provider is Telus. Telus has just recently - within the last few months - added a voice-recognition telephone directory. This means that, whenever you dial Telus, the first thing you hear is a recording of a woman's voice, and she asks you what you want; you say what you want, and over 50% of the time, the software gets it right! If not, she asks you to clarify; if you have to clarify more than three times, she then connects you to a real person. When I first started dealing with this new system (which I like to call Eliza, for slightly obscure reasons), I would usually just say into the phone - quite loudly - "I would like to speak to a REAL PERSON," and she would do my bidding.

Today, though, I decided I wanted to sing my bill payment to Eliza, to make it more fun and whimsical. To my chagrin, I discovered that she really can't follow pitch contours very well; more than about one and a half tones and she needs clarification. Most of my replies were just one note, or short chromatic sequences. Still, it was fun to sing "I would like to pay my bill, please," to the tune of "Blitskrieg Bop" - in honour of Johnny Ramone, may he rest in peace.

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