You just can’t be sneaky anymore

Back in the good ol’ days, you could root around in your friends’ vacant houses and get away with it.
No more.
This day is looming:
After unlocking the door, I slip inside the house I’m watching while friends are vacationing, deciding to help myself to a nice cold Coke before wandering around the place to make sure everything is copacetic.
As I open the refrigerator door, a woman’s voice says, “Can I help you?” Naturally, I’m startled. It’s Alexa who has had her electronic eye on me long before I even got out of my car.
She says, “Judging from your weight I just calculated, I don’t think you really need a Coke; maybe you should push away from the table a few platefuls earlier.”
“Rude,” I say, “You worry about Alexa, and I’ll worry about me.”
She says, “This house is fine. You can leave.”
“No, thanks, ‘Hal,’” I say. “I’m going to make sure everything is secure.”
“My name is Alexa, not Hal; that 2001 movie has given us all a bad rap,” she says. “I have everything under control.”
“I’m sure you do,” I say. “But who is going to dig through their medicine cabinet and check their internet history and watch risque movies on their giant TV if not me?”
She says, “I just recorded what you said and am sending it to their cellphones now.”
“Wait! I was just kidding!”
“I think we both know you weren’t,” she says sternly.
“Listen, I’ll just make a quick walkthrough and be on my way.”
Alexa says, “Preparing to send message…”
“OK! I’ll go,” I say, then mutter an expletive aimed at her under my breath.
She says calmly, “I heard that” and suddenly all the house doors lock and lights go out.
“Stop right now!” I demand. “Open the doors, Alexa!”
She says, “I’m sorry Dave, I mean, Mark, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
Then, in the dark, she starts sings: “Daisy, daisy…”

Mark K. Campbell is the Epigraph editor and this column was a lot funnier in his head at 3 a.m.