A Plea from the Lonely Magic 8 Ball Collecting Dust in Your Basement

I am begging you: rely on me, not Google.

A childhood toy’s plea

I cannot believe it has come to this. But consistently plummeting sales have forced my hand (metaphorically, as I do not have literal hands). I write to you (again, without hands) as a concerned Magic 8 Ball, urging you to reconsider your dependence on Google for answering all questions, when I am clearly the superior alternative.

As a novelty item invented in the 1950s, I am uniquely qualified to give up to 20 possible responses to any yes or no questions you may have about life, love and the universe in general.

For example:

“Should I propose to my girlfriend of six months?”

Ask again later.

“Can I drink from this carton of milk one day past its expiration?”

You may rely on it.

“Is Outlook a good choice to use for my personal email?”

Outlook not so good.

Imagine googling the answers to those questions. Ha! You’d be so overwhelmed by the options that you would inevitably watch nine hours of YouTube hedgehog videos instead of coming to a conclusion. Prolonged screen time is bad for your eyesight; it is decidedly so. Prolonged time with me, your steadfast and mystical Magic 8 Ball, is good for your inner eye. Why lose vision when you can gain visions?

Google may help you prevent identity theft, but can it save you from petty theft? Consider the following scenario:

Would-be mugger: “Give me your phone, which has Google on it.”

You: “I don’t have a phone or Google. I simply have this Magic 8 Ball.”

Would-be mugger: “No phone? Your circumstances are clearly dire. I’ll be on my way.”

Alternatively, you could just throw me at him as a self-defence tactic.

If you shake me, not only do you enhance your grip strength and gross motor skills, you also always get an answer to a question that you may or may not have been asking. If you shake Google, you are going to end up with a broken laptop.

Can Google fall out of your pocket and roll down a busy side street, causing you to look down as you try to catch it and accidentally bump into an attractive stranger who turns out to be the love of your life? There’s a reason that rom-coms don’t start with Google searches, and it’s not just copyright, baby.

An appeal to academics: I make researching a lot more open-ended. How boring is it to “cite sources” and “study”? Bleh. You can ask me what you like and know I’m the definitive yes, no or maybe source on it.

Still need convincing?

Can Google make your enemies sneeze? Dust me off instead.

Can you put Google down your shirt and pretend you have a tiny baby bump? Didn’t think so.

Can you substitute Google for a regular 8 ball? Absolutely not.

And most importantly, did Google take even a moment out of its day to write this plea to you in a respected magazine? Because I did (full disclosure, I had to use Google’s voice assistant to do so).

Sincerely,

Magic 8 Ball

Forgotten Box of Childhood Junk, the Basement

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada