Hmm… 10pm… time for my midnight snack.

What to eat? Cold chicken? Leftover spaghetti? A quick index finger through the peanut butter?


“Or better yet… just a glass of water. You’re on a diet… at least, you were on a diet.”

This had better be a dream because my mother’s voice seems to be emanating from the refrigerator.

“Yes, it’s me. Don’t you recognize your own mother’s voice? Plus, it’s 10pm… I know where my child is… in front of the fridge overloading on carbs!”

This has to be a nightmare. My mother lives 1,500 miles away, not in my vegetable crisper. I must be hallucinating… what is friggin’ in Lipitor?

“Sweetheart, you’re not dreaming though I often daydream about how wonderful it would be if you visited more. But that’s guilt for another day. Tonight, I am your connected conscience!”

“My connected WHAT?”

“You’re the hi-tech marketer. I’m just a retiree hooked on edibles. But I did see a segment on The Today Show that said all appliances are now connected to the Internet. So, if I can’t be there in person to talk you down from that cake, I can at least mother you from the meat bin.”

“I know about the connected world, mom. Mobile ordering, yes. Mother’s voice ordering you to go to bed, no.”

(Or was this a new line from GE… Guilt Gear for the Wayward Child?)

“Would you rather talk to Siri or Alexa? They’re artificial intelligence, Brian. I am the real deal… and you should see the deal I got on bread at Publix today!”

“And by the way, tatala… I have an axe to grind but I will let the Vitamix talk for a while.”

“The Vitamix?”

“Yes, go talk to the Vitamix… it has something important to say.”


“Why did you skip the burpees this morning? It was supposed to be ten burpees after the 25 sit-ups. And you need to get your pulse up… no pun intended.”


“Who else would it be? Remember, three protein shakes tomorrow. Add extra whey.”

First, guilt shaming from the fridge and my now my personal trainer whipping me into shape. What was next… the electric can opener?

“Did you say can opener?”

Oh god, it was my therapist.

“Yes, Dr. Mendelson here. My job is to open your subconscious, exposing the tuna… I mean, your inability to rip away from your mother’s apron strings. Think of me as digital Freud.”

“What the hell is that discount store can opener talking about? I am a great mother. I made brisket on Tuesdays. I helped you make a diorama. Let me at that can opener!”

Holy moly… my refrigerated mother was about to rip apart Dr. Mendelson, the can opener.

“Everyone… I mean, everything calm down. All connected appliances unplug. I need to think.”

What was happening? I was in a virtual electronic minefield, taken cyber hostage by Viking.

I started to panic. What was awaiting me at the top of the stairs?

My nutritionist in the scale? (“Only two pounds this week?”)

My dentist in the electric toothbrush? (“You’re not flossing!”)

I stormed back into the kitchen, confronting the stainless steel with my steely glare.

“Okay… Time for some rules!”

“I will be here every night for a nosh. You have 15 minutes to cajole, criticize and kibbitz with me. There will be no intra-appliance feuding. Otherwise, I am hitting the circuit breakers and pulling the Wi-Fi plug.”

Lights off.

“Wah, Wah… tell it to the juicer!”

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