I received a mailer recently that advertised a new miracle advance in hearing aid technology.
Yes, hearing aid technology.
Now, despite my rapidly advancing age, I’m not remotely old enough to fit into the key demographic for people with hearing problems. In fact, as far as I know, my auditory abilities are above the norm.
Yet, I do get these sorts of mailing materials from time to time, probably because I happen to have the same name as my father and grandfather (as do many other men in my home state). There’s probably some confusion on the part of these companies about who exactly I am, or what my age may be.
So, getting an advertisement like this in the mail isn’t all that unusual—but this one was quite unusual in one very important respect.
The letters plastered across the top of the card, in a huge font, didn’t say “hearing” or “aid” or “fight deafness” or “hear again” or anything of that sort.
They said “Nanotechnology.”
The ad continued “Miniaturization taken to a whole new level,” explaining on the reverse side that “a computerized digital hearing instrument so small it hides out-of-sight, while it performs millions of precise calculations per second to give you the highest range of comfortable hearing.” (emphasis mine)
Even more curiously, the company responsible for this ad and the accompanying $500 off coupon is never identified.
All I can say in response to this is: Nice try.
I know how this works. I come in for a consult, you inject me with your little nanomachines, ostensibly to “improve my hearing.”
Once the “hearing aid” nanomachines are safely inside me, you’ll smile slyly and break the bad news: I’ve been infected with a virus that will kill a target of your choosing once I come into contact with him, making it look like the mark had a “heart attack.”
You’ll explain that your “hearing aid company” is merely a front for the Pentagon, and that I’ve been unwittingly conscripted into service on your behalf. Oh, and, by the way, you’ll mention that, because you mistakenly believed I killed someone close to you, you modified the nanomachines so that they’ll take me out as well at an unknown date in the future.
Then, years later, this all ends with me putting a gun in my mouth at my dead father’s grave site, only to have dad show up with some old guy in a wheelchair to tell me that not only is he alive, but that he helped put all of this into motion indirectly. Then my dad kills the wheelchair dude, I inadvertently kill my dad, and then I walk away, mostly just confused.
So, you see, I know what’s going on!
Don’t you realize that I know what’s going on?!?
I won’t do your bidding, hearing-aid-company-that-is-really-a-front-for-black-ops.
Better luck next time. But I’ve seen this movie before.