Hi, George here. Welcome to my world. Won’t you decide whether you are allowed to come in or not.

As you know after much pestering, we were actually permitted to have an Alexa earlier this year. Not before every other single person in the world had use of one.

Up until recently I had only been brave enough to ask her for music. But then I thought everyone says Alexa is a Nellie Know-all. So, I thought let’s put her to the test. Make her earn her keep.

I started off by asking Alexa “Can people come into my world?”

I was most disappointed with her answer: “I’m sorry I am not sure.”

Next, I said to her: “Alexa, Welcome to my world. Won’t you come on in?”

She replied: “Should I play the song.”

What was she going on about? I’ve not asked for a song. But I thought I would say “Yes.” To see what she said.

She announced “Welcome to My World” by Raul Malo and this slow dreary grandad type song starts to play.

A week or so ago me and Sister Freya were so excited because our cousins Cousin Rory and Cousin Ewan were coming to eat a McDonald’s Takeaway with us on our back lawn. We love them to come and visit us especially in these Covid-19 times. But the problem is you never know what time they are going to turn up. It could be in the next two minutes or in five hours and forty-seven minutes.

I thought, I know who will know, Alexa. So, I asked her: “Alexa what time will Cousin Rory and Cousin Ewan get here?”

Do you know what her reply was? “Sorry, I don’t know that one.”

She’s hopeless if she doesn’t know the answer to that question.

I began to question her ability. Well, wouldn’t you? I think she is basically just a DJ playing tracks.

I personally do not think she knows anywhere as much as I do. Ok, I do admit that I do have a big advantage over Alexa. I have been home schooled and by my Mum. Alexa has not had that privilege or advantage.

I needed to find out by testing her. I came up with my version of Set Alexa Tests (SATs).

These are the questions I asked her and the answers she gave.

  • “Alexa, give me some good news”

She told me about a family of four children who learned to ride their bikes in lockdown. That’s nothing special. Ewan did that.

  • “Alexa, what’s on your bucket list?”

She said a bucket. Is she taking the pee or what?

  • “Alexa, how do I keep fit at home?”

She said, exercise and keep fit videos online.

  • “Alexa, sing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’”

She answered “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, how I wonder what you are.”

  • “Alexa, open White Noise”

She played this noise that sounds like sausages sizzling in the pan. What’s that all about?

  • “Alexa, give me a book recommendation”

She answered, “Granny Franny’s Big Red Bus”.

  • “Alexa which cupboard does Mum keep the goody biscuits in?”

She answered, “I’m sorry, I don’t know about that.” You wouldn’t would you?

  • “Alexa, is the bank open?”

She answered, “Yorkshire Bank”.

  • “Alexa, how are you?”

She said, “It’s Friday and I feel fine.”

  • “Alexa, tell me a joke about unicorns”

She said, “What do you say when you bump into a unicorn at a party? Ouch!”

“A unicorn once kicked Chuck Norris that’s why they no longer exist.”

  • “Alexa, play Trivia Hero”

Me and Grandad got 4 right that made us 660th in today’s list

  • “Alexa, what can I do with the kids at home?”

Alexa says give them a Scavanger Hunt

  • “Alexa when will Covd-19 be over allowing me to hug Mamma again?”

Alexa says, “It is impossible to know how long the current Coronavirus Pandemic will go on for.”

  • “Alexa when can I have a snake of my very own?”

Alexa says, “I don’t know that one.”

  • “Alexa may I have a tarantula?”

Alexa said, “Tarantulas are mygalomorphs (suborder Orthognatha), and thus they have jaws that move forward and down (rather than sideways and together, which is characteristic of araneomorphs [suborder Labidognatha]). Tarantulas are distinguished from other mygalomorphs by a collection of traits that include not only their size and hairiness but also their two pairs of book lungs and their three-segmented spinnerets. While the behaviour of tarantulas can vary, many make burrows in soil and feed mainly at night on insects and occasionally small frogs, toads, and mice. Theraphosids are generally harmless to humans, although they can inflict painful bites if provoked. They are often kept as pets.”

As you can see, she never gives straight forward answers, just bizarre ones.

I asked “Alexa, what is the best TV programme?”

Ahe said “Game of Thrones is the Best TV show of all time based on its rating of 9.3 out of 10.0.”

I asked “Alexa, what is the best Children’s TV?” She said “Kipper on Prime Video.”

I asked “Alexa, what is the best Children’s Film?” She said “Spirited Away” by master animation director Hayao Miyazaki.”

I asked “Alexa, what is the best Children’s book?” She said, “I’m not sure how to help you with that.”

Finally, I asked her if Spiderman could bring an end to Coronavirus. Her reply was: “I don’t know the answer to that one.”

I’m not too impressed. I think I’d be better at providing answers than Alexa.

“George, when can George have a snake of his very own?”

George’s answer, “Next Wednesday.”

Any way eventually I got my answer for “Alexa what time will Cousin Rory and Cousin Ewan get here?” Not from Alexa but in real time. It was four minutes past four when they actually turned up. That is the most realistic answer.

Me, Sister Freya and our two cousins and Mamma and Grandad had bags of fun on that day and all without Alexa’s input. That shows what fun you can have in lockdown. Alexa is just a time waster. She needs a bit of home schooling from my Mum.

That was on Saturday and we had loads of fun on Sunday too. It was Grandad Reed’s 70th birthday. Both my Grandad’s are very, very old but my Nanny and Mamma are not, I don’t know why that is.

No, don’t go there. I refuse to ask Alexa why that is. But it does make you wonder. Grandad Reed had an Alexa for his birthday. She may be able to answer his questions better than mine.

For his birthday Grandad Reed cooked us a barbeque in his back garden. He is amazing that way. I’d love to see Mamma’s Grandad cook a barbeque, or maybe I wouldn’t.

I would like to ask Alexa, “Why can Nanny’s Grandad cook an amazing barbeque and Mamma’s Grandad can’t cook at all? I bet she’d say, “I’m sorry, I don’t know that one.”

That all shows we are slowly getting back to normal ways.

But then on Thursday we had a great day of almost back to full normality. My Mum and Cousin Rory and Cousin Ewan’s Mum decided to have an “End of Term Home Schooling Trip” to White Post Farm, for the four of us. Oh and with Mamma and Grandad as helpers.

It was so much fun. First, we saw snakes and tarantulas. I like them both but particularly snakes. They are my favourites. There was a great big white one. I want one for my birthday.

We saw these owls that were in the brand-new Birds of Prey section. Owls are very, very super intelligent you know. They know far more than Alexa.

We, then went on to watch the Sheep Racing I knew immediately the one which would win. The one in the front of course.

The pigs looked just like Grandad. Lying in the mud fast asleep all the time.

Next we hit the Adventure Playground. The huge climbing frame was a challenge. We jumped forever on the trampoline. But the best thing of all were the Go Karts. I put all the driving skill and techniques I had learned from my Dad (and Mum) into full practice. Boy did I take those corners fast. But I didn’t turn the Kart over once!

All too soon the day was done. We had an ice cream and I bought a frog. Not a real one but a toy one. And a slippery, slimy slug. Not a real one but a toy one. We said goodbye to everyone and made our way home. The nearest thing we’d had to a normal day since lockdown began in March. Who needs Alexa’s advice and guidance, anyway? Not me

Talking of being off, I think I’d better be away now.

Bye, Bye. George

Ask Alexa where I’ve gone. I bet she doesn’t know.

PS. And I had a haircut and Sister Freya did. How normal is that? But we had to wear masks. How abnormal is that? Not my Darth Vader or Hulk or Tiger mask but a Spiderman mask. Not a mask that makes me look like Spiderman but it has pictures of Spiderman on it and covers my mouth and nose. The hairdresser has one like Sister Freya.  You have to wear a mask or Coronavirus creeps up on you and gets you in your mouth and nose so you can’t breath. The coronavitus comes up to me and sees Spiderman guarding my nose and mouth and runs off screaming, “No, no, you can’t catch me Spiderman.”

After a haircut I do feel my normal stylish self again. I feel confident enough to go out on the pull, if Mr Johnson would allow us to do so.