Thursday, February 24, 2011
"DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?"
Yesterday I went to sign a new cell phone contract at Verizon and receive my "free" upgrade cell phone. As I was second in line, the salesperson began telling another customer about all the wonderful features of the "Android". I asked, "Do they dream of electric sheep?" The salesperson had a blank look, but his associate, an obvious "nerd tech", answered, "Good one--are you a Philip K. Dick fan?" I said, "No, my husband is the sci-fi fan, but I love the title of that one!" I told him that I'd read only three science fiction books in my life, but I knew about a great number of authors, titles and plots from buying and filing my husband's vast collection. He asked about the other two sci-fi books I'd read and I told him that I had read Arthur C. Clarke's "2001--A Space Odyssey" in "self-defense" because my husband and I have had a 40+ year debate about the meaning of the movie!
I told him that when my sister-in-law told me that I was like a character in Heinlein's "Stranger In A Strange Land", I just had to read that one! He asked, "Which character?" and I told him, "Anne, the Fair Witness". He said, "Then you must have the world's best memory!" I asked, "Do you grok?" He laughed, and said, knowingly, "I grok!" [about "Fair Witnesses": in the book "Fair Witnesses" are a legal institution of people with total recall who cannot be disputed; they provide impartial and accurate testimonies of events.]
He asked, "That's two--what's the other one?" I said, "It's one by Zenna Henderson called "The People" and I saw the movie and wanted to read the book."
There were three other people waiting to be serviced and I doubt they shared our enthusiasm about the books; we had to cut short our delightful conversation.
The salesperson finished with his other customer and asked, "So can I sign you up for the Android?" I answered, "Oh, no, I just came in for the free cheap phone and scintillating conversation!"