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A fictionalized conversation between me and Amazon’s advertising algorithm

Amazon Advertising Algorithm: Hi!

Me:

AAA: Hi! Amanda, Hi! Hi, hi, HI, Amanda!

Me: Are you bothering me for anything related to hospital layouts? You know, the thing I’m researching right now? For the book I’m working on?

AAA: Um. Maybe?

Me:

AAA: C’mon, this’ll only take a minute. Three, tops.

Me: [sighs] Fine, what do you want?

AAA: Remember that tarp you bought like, a year ago?

Me: Kinda.

AAA: Isn’t it time you bought another one?

Me: No. What does this have to do with hospital layout?

AAA: But tarps! You bought a tarp in the past. This means you like tarps. Don’t you want another tarp?

Me: No.

AAA: Are you sure? That thing you wanted the tarp for, isn’t it coming up again?

Me: No.

AAA: But it’s been like a year since you bought a tarp—

Me: I don’t want another tarp. I still have the tarp I bought from you last year. It remains adequate in its tarp-ness.

AAA: I’ll email you. Hold on a sec.

Me: … three floors seems pretty common. So if I blow up the top floor…

AAA: OK, I sent the email. You gonna look at it?

Me: Trying to research, here.

AAA: Oh, just look. It won’t take long.

Me: [scans email, deletes, goes back to research]

AAA: Did you just delete the email I sent you?

Me: Yes. Maybe four floors is better…

AAA: But why? Don’t you want a tarp?

Me: No, I told you, the tarp I have is fine. I haven’t used it in nearly a year. It still exists if I want to use it again. I do not need another tarp.

AAA: How can you know that, if you didn’t even look at all the options I sent you? Green tarps, 10 by 20! Blue tarps, 20 by 10! Camouflage, 30 by 40 with reinforced grommets! SO MANY OPTIONS FOR ALL YOUR TARP NEEDS!

Me: I’m trying to tell you, I don’t have any tarp needs!

AAA: You don’t know what you need! [splashes tarps across all the web pages]

Me: [closes out all web windows, breathes heavily, changes Spotify to soothing string music. Returns to web after blood pressure has lowered to safe levels]

AAA: Hi! I thought of something else tarp-buyers like you need. [flings web page with tent stakes]

Me: [implodes]

AAA: Uh oh, looks like you had an accident! Luckily, I have just the thing. [splays suction cups and plungers across the screen]

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