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“I don’t think she can do it,” I said.

“Yes, she can,” Harrison argued.

“No, she can’t,” I replied.

“Yes, she can,” Jen said, taking his side. “She’s pretty intuitive.”

“But not that intuitive,” I answered. “She’ll never figure it out.”

“I’ll bet she can do it,” Evelyn chimed.

“You stay out of this,” I said, pointing.

“Me, too,” Joshua interrupted. “I think she can do it.”

“And me,” Madeline added, giving a glance from behind the protection of her older brother.

“Whatever,” I said, in mid-turn toward the device. “Hey, Google,” I continued, using exceptional enunciation, “it looks like you are going to have a chance to prove your worth.”

“I’m sorry,” came the device’s friendly female voice, “but I can’t help you with that just yet.”

“See,” I said, waving my hand in the diminutive machine’s direction. “She can’t even have a reasonable conversation when I’m making sense. How’s she gonna figure out what you’re trying to get out of her?”

“She can do it,” each offered with certainty.

And so a wager was set. If she accomplished the task, I’d say I was wrong, and that, dear reader, is as big a deal as ever to these squatters—especially the miniature ones.

“Well,” I prodded, “give it a shot. Let’s see what this baby can do.”

“Hey, Google,” Jen called, “play that mackalacka shamacka lalacka dacka fracka song.”

“Okay,” the virtual assistant replied almost immediately. “Playing ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ by Bing Crosby. Here it is playing on YouTube.”

The song’s notes teemed through the kitchen and living room like a Hawaiian stream. The whole family cheered, some demonstrating their prideful joy with arms outstretch and swaying like palm tree branches nudged by an ocean breeze. Others celebrated with some pretty uncoordinated hula moves.

Indeed, she did it.

I admitted my wrongness, turned to my whisky cabinet, and poured myself a dram of the Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve, which I must confess, I approached with the same level of expectation as our Google Home device. Because of the bottom shelf price, I just didn’t think it would succeed.

But once again, I was humbled.

The nose of the Copper Pot Reserve delivers a carefully enunciated phrase of caramel and sour citrus. That’s it. Nothing else.

The palate repeats word for word what it received from the nose, and then it adds a bit of clarifying commentary—roasted pecans and a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee, which in my opinion, is more tart than other coffees, but still quite enjoyable.

At first, the medium finish leaves behind something metallic, but only for a moment. It dissipates quickly in an agreeable conversation of caramel and rye spice.

A smile, a gulp, and the Canadian gem is gone. Yes, I’m wrong.


“Hey, Google. Do me a favor and pour me another dram of the Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve.”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t help with that just yet.”

“Hey, Google, you’re useless.”

“Got it. Wikipedia.org says that Ulysses S. Grant, born Hiram Ulysses Grant, was an American politician, soldier, international statesman, and author, who served as the 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877. During the American Civil War Grant led the Union Army as its commanding general to victory over the Confederacy…”