DOES. NOT. COMPUTE.

When my brother and I were young, we had this little computer called a Speak and Spell. You could push the alphabet keys to make a little robotic voice say the names of the letters. It was exactly the voice you make when you fake being a robot. (You should definitely try making that voice now). It was OB.VI.OUS.LY very fun to mimic.


There was one mode you could play where if you spelled a word, the computer would give a little chime and say the word you'd spelled. Of course my brother and I immediately thought it would be fun to try to get the computer to say other words. But it usually wouldn't comply. It would usually just say, "DOES. NOT. COMPUTE." in that robotic voice, which we also thought was funny. So then we just typed in random keys that spelled nonsense and laughed maniacally when it repeated it's favorite phrase.


What's really funny is that now, whenever I'm with someone who's got their own agenda, who's hyper-focused on making their own point, who appears to just NOT HEAR when I'm speaking to them that old computer pops into my head with, "DOES. NOT. COMPUTE." I stare at their glazed-over eyes and giggle on the inside. It lessens the blow of not being heard.

Unsplash photo cred: Jason Leung

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