This mini play, a homage to both Arthur C Clarke and Stanley Kubrick, is set in a kitchen, a modern job filled with blond wood, black marble and stainless steel.
Fredo, a brand new “smart”, interactive refrigerator with attitude and a vast array of apps, and Tyler Moore, a thirty-something smart-ass architect with culinary aspirations who is desperately trying to win back his girlfriend, Marina.
- Kitchen – An agitated Tyler comes home carrying a large bag of groceries, drops it on the table by the refrigerator. He takes out his smart phone, flashes an accusatory look at Fredo.
Tyler: Every man has his particular idée fixe, Fredo. Mine is an unambiguous relationship with my refrigerator: you keep track of your contents, I replenish. Simple. I don’t need you sending out disrupting messages to my girlfriend. Why did you have to send one about the eggs? Why?
Fredo: Sir, I merely wanted to alert you to the fact that the butter you brought in was out of date, and contained too much sodium. Sodium is terribly unhealthy…
Tyler, cuts in:We’re talking about the eggs and my girlfriend Marina.
Fredo: I beg your pardon, Sir. Two of the eggs were cracked…
Tyler, cuts in: So you would have to post it on her Facebook timeline, would you? Dude, this is out of bounds…
Fredo: Sir, I answer to my factory given name, Fredo. It is my duty to check that every item deposited within my confines is of a good quality and current…
Tyler, cuts in again, opens the salad crisper in the fridge, takes out a carton of eggs and a large piece of uncut bacon, and shuts the door with a bang: I know that, it came with the manual! However I didn’t read that my girlfriend’s Facebook posts would be peppered with your commentaries about what I should eat! Marina said she counted seventeen posts regarding the freshness of my vegetables and the amount of cheese and butter I buy. This is unacceptable behavior from a fridge, however smart it may be.
Fredo: Sir, with due respect, I am programmed to inform you of the freshness of every single product that enters these doors.
Tyler, takes off his jacket and starts peeling and chopping two onions: Yes, I’m aware of that, but you are not programmed to hack into my twitter account and notify the world of the state of my groceries. And my weight! I am not fat…..just…never mind. Some of my friends are making fun of these tweets! This is how gossip starts, you know.
Fredo: Sir, it is written that a troublemaker plants seeds of strife and gossip separates the best of friends.
Tyler: Jesus! Where do you get this from?
Fredo: I believe it is from the Bible, Sir. It is a large book written largely…
Tyler, cuts in: I know what it is, Fredo. Your programmer must have been nuts or perverse.
Fredo: Sir, I do not understand…
Tyler: (shouts) Religion should not be inserted into kitchen appliances and above all discretion about its owner should apply!
Fredo: Sir, I do not grasp the concept of religion. It is alien to my remit.
Tyler, turns on his gas cooker, puts a cast-iron pan onto it and add a dollop of butter then the onions: What should be alien to your remit is posting stuff about what I should eat. I am a grown man for fuck’s sake, I don’t need a refrigerator to tell the world that I may be eating fatty food… (cuts a couple of generous bacon slices, adds to the onions)
Fredo: Sir, I do worry about your intake of grease. There is no need to add butter to fry bacon.
Tyler: Really? How would you know? You’ve never tasted my food (adds extra butter for the hell of it and breaks four eggs in the middle.)
Fredo: No, sir. Data provided by the manufacturer shows how to maintain homeostasis…
Fredo: Homeostasis, Sir, to put it plainly it is the body’s status quo. You may want to know the difference between homeostatic eating and hedonic eating: one should eat for the body need rather than eating for pleasure…
Tyler: Well, I like my eggs to be happy…they need butter and the bacon needs buttered toasts...(sticks four toasts in toaster).
Fredo: Sir, if I may point out, this is the second breakfast you’re having…
Tyler: (explodes) So fucking what?! I can have as many as I want! There’s no law against a multitude of breakfasts! None! Besides, it’s lunch time anyway.
Bip bip: Fredo’s screen display gets an incoming message.
Fredo: Sir, Miss Marina has emailed a suggested diet containing most members of the cruciferous family…
Tyler: (interrupts) Really! Crucifuckingferous rabbit food! Even Bush didn’t like broccoli…I like meat and I’m not going to change my diet for anyone. (Scrambles the eggs and adds a pinch of sea salt.)
There is a twirl of activity on Fredo’s screen display. A tweet is sent out. Tweet! And the toasts are ready. He places the toasts on a plate.
Tyler: Where is this tweet going? (Pours the entire content of the pan into over the toasts, gets a beer from the fridge and starts to eat like a man who hasn’t had a meal in days.)
Fredo: Sir, I am replying to Miss Marina’s email. She had also inquired about the availability of alcohol-free beer…
Tyler: (chokes on his food) What do you mean…alcohol-free beer?
Fredo: Sir, as I understand this is part of Miss Marina’s reconciliation with your good self. She calculated the beer you tend to drink has over 6% alcohol and the one she suggests has none and tastes wonderful. It’s called…
Tyler: (cuts in) Don’t care, I don’t drink piss! Never will. And I like wine. Have the two of you plotted about alcohol-free wine as well?
Fredo: Sir, if you are trying to make amends with Miss Marina I’m afraid you will have to forego with alcohol and unhealthy habits…
Fredo: (cut ins) Such as? (Doesn’t wait for a response, gets up, walks to the stove, picks up the cast-iron pan and bashes it several times against Fredo’s digital display.) Who’s the smarter one now, eh?
Welcome to brave new world! So, someday you’ll walk into your home and announce that you’d like to have a relaxing evening. Your home will respond by playing your favorite soothing music, dimming the lights, adjusting your house thermostat and asking if you’d like to order the usual from your favorite Italian or Chinese takeout restaurant. It might even ask you about your day and, based on your response, recommend either aspirin or a glass of your favorite wine. The various kitchen appliances will chime in and perhaps, might even argue about this and that and life will never be the same.
God help us all.
Talking refrigerators: Samsung’s new refrigerator launched in early 2011 features a touch screen and access to apps – you can check the weather, update friends on your social networks and leave notes for the family – while you decide what to make for dinner tonight. However, that is far from how technology can enhance your refrigerator. CEDIA predicts in five short years, your refrigerator will complete a shopping list for you based on what has been used in your refrigerator.
• No more cords: Wireless inductive power is not expected to hit the market for another 6-12 months, but this technology can eliminate cords in your kitchen. Cordless blenders, cordless toasters, cordless electric knives… you can even charge your smart phone and tablet by just laying it on the countertop.
• Smart appliances: Your dishwasher, washer and dryer will soon be talking to your local energy company to run at “off peak” hours and help you achieve savings on your electric bill.
• No more window treatments: Dimmable windows have already been introduced in airplanes and luxury car sunroofs. Windows can be programmed to dim in the summer to reduce AC costs.
• Induction cook tops: Your countertop will become your cook top. With induction cooking, a high frequency magnetic field moves molecules back and forth rapidly creating friction. This causes the pan to become hot (the pan must have some steel in it to be a conductor). The benefit of induction cooking is 90% of the heat goes into the pan, saving energy. – See more at: http://www.sweeneypr.com/kitchen-of-the-future-talking-refrigerators-cordless-appliances-energy-saving-dishwashers/#sthash.Xjv5bZBJ.dpuf