My 5-Year-Olds Face Off With iPhone's Siri
At the end of November, Trinidad James, a 25-year-old Trinidadian rapper living in New York, released a video for "All Gold Everything," the unsuspectingly gargantuan single found on his otherwise mostly middling mixtape, Don't Be S.A.F.E. The video was PERFECT, and flung James, then of a tepid amount of buzz, into the rap cosmos.
Despite being littered with curse words (the first 15 words of the first verse: "This ain't for no fuck nigga, if you a real nigga then fuck with me"), and despite featuring zero guest verses from Pixar characters, my sons, 5, are aware the song exists. And that's because LeBron James is aware the song exists. And they're aware LeBron James exists because I kept shouting "LEBRON JAMES!" every time I dunked on their heads while playing 1-on-1 on their tiny basketball goal.
Not long ago, some very auspicious human took a 0:09 clip of LeBron rapping the song's signature set of lines ("Popped a Molly, I'm sweatin'. Popped a Molly, I'm sweatin', WOOO!") and looped it into a five minute clip that becomes more and more preposterous as it plays. See above.
That clip, I showed it to the boys this weekend. They were delighted. And they became obsessed with a variation of the phrase -- "Hot tamales, I'm sweatin', WOOOO!"
They never asked what the actual song was; they just assumed that those two lines were the entirety of it, which I guess isn't really too far off from the truth. I assumed their relationship with young Trinidad would never extend past those moments, same as I'd assumed when I showed them that video of DMX singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," same as I'd assumed when I showed them a video clip of Leprechaun In The Hood. But I was wrong with "All Gold Everything" same as I was wrong with those other two. (Dudes, for realsies: "Lep In The Hood" is not a good look for five-year-olds. Like, not even a little bit.)
Two nights ago, while trying to find a place to eat Mexican food (or, as I prefer to call it, since I am a Mexican, "food"), the boys wandered over. I was using Siri, iPhone's "intelligent personal assistant" that you'll likely remember as the e-antagonist in that commercial where Zooey Deschanel grumbles and orders tomato soup and has bangs.
Boy B: Daddy, who's that that you're talking to?
Me: It's Siri.
Boy B: Who?
Me: Siri. She lives in the phone. Her job is to answer whatever questions you have.
Boy B: She lives IN the phone?
Boy B: OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK!?
I mean, he didn't LITERALLY say that, but he basically did. They were coked. From there: a million questions. How does she live? What does she look like? Is she a robot? Does she know Wall-E? DOES WALL-E LIVE IN THE PHONE TOO?! CAN I HAVE A WALL-E PHONE FOR CHRISTMAS?! HOW MANY DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS?! CAN YOU CALL SANTA?!
Can we talk to her?
I said, "You can talk to her, but listen: You know your little brother, who was just born? You know how whenever you start thumping at his soft spot I get mad? Okay, he was free, and this phone cost $600, so if I get mad over something that's free, imagine what it'll be like when you break something expensive." Then I explained how to activate Siri. And then I let them go.
The conversation, it started out simple enough but unraveled quickly. They asked Siri to play Trinidad James's "All Gold Everything," to which she replied, "I couldn't find China James 'Almost Everything' in your music." They were not deterred.
Boy B: Umm... oh, ask it for "Everything Is Gold."
Boy A: Siri, please play "Everything Is Gold."
Siri: I couldn't find "Everything Is Gold" in your music.
Boy A: DADDY, SHE WON'T PLAY IT.
Me: Dude, I don't... I mean, just ask her for something else.
Boy A: Like what?
Me: Ask her whatever you want. Music or toys or whatever.
Boy A: ...
Boy B: ASK HER FOR THUMPBACK, ASK HER FOR THUMPBACK!
Thumpback, FYI, is a Skylander. Skylanders, FYI, is a weak ass first-person video game where you walk around and collect fruits and coins and occasionally have tickle fights with very adorable creatures that, were they left to their own, would do little more than attempt to smile you into a coma. You are responsible for shooting and/or killing precisely zero percent of the things in Skyland (where everything takes place, obvs), which means the game is 100 percent weak. Even the guys that you do have to "battle," once you beat them they don't explode or bleed or anything, they just sit on the ground and explain why they're not so nice. ("I just wanted the Apple Fairies to think I was cool," one of the elves might've said -- I don't know. I shut my brain all the way the fuck down for the thirty minutes I let them play each week.)