My younger daughter is about to leave home, following her sister to college on the east coast. This means an empty nest; for the first time in twenty years, I’ll have no kids to kick around any more.
I will, however, have the companionship of our golden retriever, Oliver, which is why I was thrilled to learn of a device called the Bowlingual. The gadget has two parts, one of which is a dog collar that picks up and translates his barks, sending the translation to the second component, a hand-held speaker that spits out the dog’s message in a human voice.
I can imagine, when the kid-free silence around here gets deafening, having a Bowlingual chat with Oliver. I would probably stay away from subjects like the election in Afghanistan or Tom Delay’s appearance on “Dancing With The Stars,” since the dog is bored by politics. At least, I think he is: he sleeps right through Jim Lehrer. (Okay, I know, who doesn’t, right?)
Oliver is an avid foodie, however, so that would be a good conversation starter. I’d like to ask him how he felt about that free-range chicken he swiped from the kitchenâ€”should I have adjusted the rosemary?–or why he finds it so appealing to chew on newly purchased teal suede pumps, while he won’t touch Junior Mints.
The only trouble with the Bowlingual is that the current (second) generation of the device offers the translation only in the voice of a Japanese woman. So, you have to hire a translator to translate the translation, which may or may not be cost prohibitive.
So, until I hear that the Bowlingual has gone English, Oliver and I will continue to stumble through life without understanding each other’s food preferences. (Kinda like it’s been with the kids for twenty years.)
P.S. Click here for Oliver’s chicken recipe.