FROM THE VALLEY: Seriously, is this real?

Tom Valley

“I am not a robot”

Most of us who have worked or ordered something online are familiar with that verification request. It's an assurance check by whoever or whatever we are dealing with, that we are actual, living, breathing human beings. Humans capable of thinking for ourselves. Not some sort of a brainless mechanism put in place to be programmed and directed by someone with ulterior motives.

Or is it the other way around? Deception, by the way, is a conniving attempt to disguise a hidden agenda. But you knew that, right!?

I know what you're thinking: “Uh oh, there he goes, again. He's going to veer off and slide into one of his Mr. Know-it-all political rants.” Well, relax, I'm not. It's tempting, but I'm not.

Back to that robot thing. After tapping/checking the box, to attest to the fact we are not (robots), we are further asked to verify and prove it. Why? Because distrust is now, sadly, ingrained into the fabric of our society more than ever before. I'm not sure why.

So you know the deal. We're shown about a dozen thumbnail-size or larger pictures and asked to mark each box that has a specified item in it.

Slight embellishment dead ahead. That's when I, personally, freak out. I'm like a fifth grader who is asked to spell “surreptitiously” right after the person ahead of me got to spell “fake.”

I'm instructed: “Check all the boxes with trees in it.” Holy crap. I fret: “Are those leaves from a branch in the upper left corner? Does that tractor-trailer have a load of Christmas trees, tied and bound in the back of it — and, if so, does that count?”

I get stressed over such a silly thing. I worry that if I submit the wrong answer, the robot-police are going to burst through the door, swing through my windows and arrest me for intentionally falsifying a purchase form while simply trying to buy a $6 bag of golf tees. It's a tough battle. Whatever.

That's all I got ... at this time. But I'm not conceding defeat, I'll be back. For now, let's move on and act like it never happened.

Next: I was shocked to learn that in a recent vote, the Buffalo Bills were not more popular than all the other teams put together. Listen, I've been to a lot of their games, and every single time I was there, tens of thousands of people were in the stands rooting for them. How then, I ask, is it possible that they are not the most popular … by a landslide? I saw the people myself! Seriously, to pound this point right through an imaginary wall, it had to be a rigged survey, a complete hoax … a hoax like the world has never seen.

And speaking of the stadium, isn't it odd that the "stands" are actually seats? They say one thing, yet mean another. Weird stuff.

Next: Speaking of weird, I wonder whether Adam and Eve, when they disagreed, ever thought of seeing other people?

Next: How do they know (whoever “they” are) that no two snowflakes are alike?

Something else: Lately, after reading something from Microsoft News on my computer, I notice there's been a survey at the end of the article asking my opinion about what I just read. There are usually four choices: 1) Agree; 2) Disagree; 3) Not sure; 4) No opinion.

OK, how much information can a pollster garner from “Not sure”? Seriously. I don't get it. And why in the name of a spineless politician would they list “No opinion” as a choice? I mean, if you have no opinion,, why would you even bother to submit it? Apathy fundamentally means a void of response. And how do they interpret/classify the differences between 3 and 4? Both mean nothing.

Give me a break. These morons are simply trying to see whether you read it. Another deceptive, not-so-slight of hand misdirection — a hoax.

That's it. And so, seriously … how did you like the column? 1) Agree; 2) Disagree; 3) Not sure; 4) No opinion; 5) How did you ever become a columnist?

Disclosure: Tom Valley is on vacation. The preceding was written by a robot.

And that's the way it looks from the Valley.

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