What’s the magic word?


I think I must be transparent to infra-red. The lights in the toilets at work are triggered by an infra-red sensor. At least, that's supposed to happen: when I walk in, the lights stay sullenly off. I have to go back and wave frantically at the sensor to persuade it to turn on. I don't know about you, but I often anthropomorphize technology, particularly when it's misbehaving (oops, there I go again...). I ask the computer why it's playing up, encourage my car while it's struggling up a hill ("c'mon, Molly, you can do it"), and generally curse at the products of Mr. B Gates. In my mind, the sensor has taken on a Sirius Cybernetics Corporation 'Genuine People Personality' - most likely the bossy schoolmarm that Eddie the computer reverted to when Arthur, Zaphod, Ford and Trillian got heartily sick of his incessant chirpyness.

"What do you mean by just barging in here, without so much as an excuse me? Now, I'm not turning the light on until you apologise properly. What's the magic word? Speak up, girl!"

Or perhaps I'm just too flippin' short to trip the sensor.