said this, repeatedly, in the movie Short Circuit
. His (since he took a male name,
he's a he) search for input is due to his
awakening as a sentient being
. He said it in an almost plaintive
voice, as if
he needed to answer some unanswerable question.
My wife has a web site that provides advice for those in long distance relationships.
She and I were in a long distance relationship for a good number of years during our college careers.
She enjoys sharing advice based on our experiences so much that she openly invites people to email
her with stories, advice of their own, and questions. She gets a lot of questions.
I understand her desire to help others through the struggle we surmounted. I even aid her in it;
being driven to get responses out, I am more than happy to write a skeleton of a response.
Some of questions are familiar;
if a given question happens often enough, the answer often appears on the page itself, FAQ-style.
In fact, one could find similarities to tech support. There are some pat answers she likes to
build upon; for instance, she's a big fan of volunteer work, and recommends it highly for when one is pining.
She saves all the emails, too, so that when someone writes back after a response, she can quickly
recall the details of their situation. You could almost say it's like a ticket.
There is an email type, however, all too congruent to those that tech support people get, and all too
commonly received. Shaving off irrelevant
details such as names, it reads something like this:
I read your page on long distance relationships. Do you have any
advice for someone in a long distance relationship?
Whenever I see one like this, I sigh
. This is not the sigh
, nor the sigh
It is the sigh
. My wife has not merely created a screenful of information. She has created a fairly large pair of
pages devoted to the topic.
Obviously, it isn't that getting queries is tiresome. It's that being asked without any specifics on
which to focus a response is like being told "Something's broken."
I am lucky to create a one-sentence response. My wife, on the other hand, cares enough to try to at least
craft a paragraph in reply. Every time I see one of these emails, I can't help but think of that
poor lost robot, and its need for more.