In one of his novels, “The Ganymede Takeover”, Philip K. Dick imagined hotel rooms that can sustain a conversation. Well… sort of:
The hotel room, second-rate, dirty and dilapidated as it was, managed to cackle in a senile but penetrating voice, “Mr Paying Guest, do not attempt to leave without settling your bill at the desk downstairs”.
– You don’t keep yourself too clean, do you?
– At the minuscule rates charged for me…
To the autonomic articulation circuit of the hotel room - feeble, of some crude pre-war design - she said “What can you tell me about the local ethnic folk singers?”
– What’s that, Mr Paying Guest? Repeat your query.
She had already told it several times that she was a “Miss”, not a “Mister”, but it was, it seemed, programmed to use only one form of address. Firmly, she said, “This area, the south in general has for a century and a half produced the finest native jazz and ballad singers in the entire country. Buell Kazee, for instance…”
– A dime.
– If you’re going to interrogate or pontificate you just insert a UN silver dime in the appropriate slot mounted handily at eye-level slightly to your left.