Prefeeding Announcements

From plaintive beeping to catcalls. With its colorful language and an attitude to match, nothing says "feed me" like the parroted expressions of a poorly trained kitchen appliance. Using synthetic speech as an excuse, yesterday's plaintive beepings have been transformed into exactly the sort of ear-popping dialogue predicted by past futurists, most of whom were ignored until it was too late to do anything but roll our eyes at their alarmist tactics.

Unlike eating in reverse, feeding forward ensures a steady supply of verbal nutrients when the cupboard is bare, or in poor taste. While feedback in the drive thru only amplifies the botched orders and disorders of life in the fast lane, feedforward neatly neutralizes the howling vowels and glottal slop that even the most refined parrot may learn to ape. This leaves open a channel of communication between the lost and the lonely, and indeed any marginalized group with the desire to reach out and touch the add-to-cart button.

Tonight, when you can't sleep because your microwave is making suggestive comments to your parrot, who only responds with porn-film clich├ęs, remember that your return privileges are every bit as valid at Amazon as they were at the brick-and-mortar outfit that sold you the loutish appliance, when it was weak, and needed a friend.



  1. Easily worth 1000 words. Maybe more.

  2. In a fun coincidence, the other day I was talking about past futurists (though not in those exact terms; couldn't love "past futurists" more!) with W. K., who imagined a novel about a school of grammarians a century ago developing a time machine to try to travel forward and kill the internet (and one of its hydra-heads--email)."

  3. Talk about a novel with guaranteed sales. The USPS would gobble up every copy.