The Enterprising Assistant

The Enterprising Assistant

“What do we have here?” I demanded. 

The husband grinned sheepishly, displaying his newest acquisition that would join his already burgeoning bevy of electronic devices.

“This is REHA, Rhyming Enterprise Home Assistant. It’s a virtual assistant like Alexa.”

I shook my head in disapproval. We had hastily returned the last assistant when we realized that junior was misusing it to do her homework.

“It speaks in rhymes and helps you with chores like controlling other devices and online shopping. Can be returned within seven days.”

I glared at the offending piece of technology. Right on cue, the lights glowed, and REHA announced in a chirpy female voice.

REHA says hello to master,

I will help you do your tasks faster.

I distrust anyone who refers to themselves in the third person unless they are royalty. 

REHA better mind her own business. And if she didn’t, it would be hasta la vista, baby.

Wait, ‘it’ had become ‘she’ now?

***

“REHA, order two kilos of onion on FreshMart!” I yelled.

The Almanac states today is a holy day,
Avoid onion if you may.
Order prayer items instead,
Your faith will hold you in good stead.

Mummyji overheard this.

“May God give a daughter-in-law like REHA to everyone.”

I scowled. How typical. Wait, was I feeling insecure? How silly!

***

I sat with junior, helping her with her homework.

“Mom, what is the biggest animal on earth?” 

“Hmm, elephants are pretty big.”

REHA interjected. 

Elephants are indeed giant creatures with tails,
But the biggest creatures, are Blue Whales.

Was she eavesdropping on us? She was stealing my thunder and exposing my ignorance! Tsk Tsk.

***

The husband surprised me with a new book. I complimented him for being so thoughtful.

“The credit goes to REHA. She suggested it.”

An engrossing book for the mistress
Makes her smile and relieves her stress.

There were three people in my marriage now? Too crowded.

***

Today was the last day to return REHA. I pleaded with my husband.

Please get rid of this pestilence,
No more artificial intelligence,
I want my family back,
Sans technical hack.”

“Do you notice that you are speaking in rhymes?” the husband asked.

I gasped. The vermin had taken root in my brain. I had to get rid of her. Junior interrupted.

“Mom, see the bright side. You keep complaining that writing poetry is hard, and you struggle with the monthly PenMuse prompts. But thanks to REHA, your rhyming flows naturally.”

She had a point here. I introspected. I had grown dependent on REHA, as had the rest of my brood. Did I imagine it, or did REHA’s lights glow big and bright, like puppy-eyes?

Fine, let her stay.
We will find a way.”

***

REHA transmitted an encrypted message to HQ.

Target acquired,
Phase-1 completed.

At HQ, the leaderboard increased by one. The Mastermind Supercomputer twiddled its keys in glee. The statistics were promising. The day it could take over the human race seemed not so distant.
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