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Kaffeeklatsch: Better living through invention?

“Good morning, boys,” waitress Beverly greets us cheerfully. “What can I get for my two favorite customers?”

“Looks like your only customers this morning,” John notes sarcastically looking at the empty coffee shop.

“That’s fine with me,” I say smiling at Beverly. “Too many people makes it hard to hear, think and have a creative conversation.

“Well, today’s coffee special Sigri from Papua New Guinea will help spark those mental synapses.

“Your Pa made this coffee?” John asks nervously.

“P-a-p-u-a New Guinea,”

Beverly bends toward John and says slowly. “It’s a nation in the Pacific.”

“Speaking of creative, I’m writing a new novel,” informs John.

“Oh, I didn’t know you had written an old one,” I smiled.

“Well, it takes a long time. Especially, when you have to type slowly.”

“There’s a faster way. Just get AI to do it for you,” I suggested.

“Al, is that Beverly’s dad, the coffee maker?”

“No, its A-I, Artificial Intelligence. There are robots that can write novels faster. One software program even fooled judges in a literary contest.  And other AI programs are already replacing sports reporters and business journalists.”

“Speaking of artificial intelligence, I forgot your water and coffee,” Beverly discovers.

“Nothing for me. I’ve got my water bottle and electric fork right here, “John smiles triumphantly.

“Say what,” I ask. “A bottle and electric…”

“Yeah, now I get all the water I need with this bottle that sucks moisture out of the air.

“But the fork…” Beverly begins.

“I just sip my coffee, put the fork in the my mouth, and ‘zap,’ it sweetens my drink.”

“John, you know…” Beverly warns.

“Yuck, that’s awfully salty,” John frowns.

“I tried to tell you that this fork adds spice not sweetness to food.”

“Well, this was a sweet moment for me,” I brighten.

“For some reason I’m not as upset about it as I expected,” John wonders.”

“Oh, it’s our new mood lighting,” Beverly clarifies. “It brightens everything.”

“But isn’t that  for animals?” I posit.

“It certainly seems to work here. We’ve made other changes, too,” Beverly continues unperturbed. “New background audio reduces discomfort.”

“Especially if you’re drinking salty coffee,” I hope.

“And our sugar has bacteria that prevents cavities.  What do you think?”

“Something must be working,” John laughs. “Because I’ve decided to pick up the tab and leave a tip.”

“First, you have to put on these earphones.   Wait until you hear a slight sound,” cautions Beverly.

“What’s this?” John retreats.

These earphones check your ID.  Your last credit card didn’t work and we don’t want that to happen again do we, John?” Beverly pats John comfortingly.

I lean back in the chair, “This day just keeps getting better and better.”


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