alexandra alger

ABC

Oh, Jeeves….

I know there are all kinds of apps out there that will do almost anything for you, but I’ve never gotten on the bandwagon until now. GoButler (gobutler.com) is text-based and free. You sign up on the website—by which I mean, you type in your cell phone number—and you’re on the way to getting your own Jeeves. For the cost of whatever it is that you ask for, your butler will deliver sushi, make dinner reservations, find theater tickets, arrange travel, and, theoretically, do anything you ask, as long as it’s legal. (The website specifically mentions this. Think how big GoButler’s pot-delivery business will eventually be!)
My daughter, Vanessa, is the one who discovered GoButler a few days ago, and when she told me about it I understood in a flash we urgently needed a butler. Why? My husband’s birthday is coming up. He’s one of those guys who actually buys stuff for himself. Clothes. Gadgets. Shoes. Underwear. (Really nice underwear, too.) But he also happens to love presents, especially on his birthday. You can see where such a situation leaves me: First, in a state of denial, which leads to lengthy procrastination. Then panic, and a burst of random shopping a few days before the birthday, August 18, ending in the purchase of the first nice shirt I find. This year, I’ve managed to find a short-sleeved button-down with a cool gray water pattern—perfect for casual Fridays, yes?—and a sophisticated navy button-down that was frankly a panic buy, but he really could use a navy shirt, I’m sure of it.
But when Vanessa looked up for her computer with the news about five-month-old GoButler, and its phalanx of eager-to-please, one-text-away personal assistants, I saw a game-changer. I imagined Dan, thrilled beyond measure at receiving a fantastic birthday present; a present I didn’t have to find. “I could ask for three suggestions for cool gadgets for a fifty-year-old who thinks he’s a hip thirty-year-old,” I said happily.
“And they could tell me what I could get him for under forty dollars,” Vanessa added.
She signed up immediately; I figured there was no need to be greedy; we could share a Jeeves. And that’s when we learned the catch: The service is so popular there’s a waiting list.
Rats.
I see the silver lining, and it’s a thick, bright thing: If Vanessa is assigned a butler sometime this fall, I can get him or her working on Christmas-gift ideas.
A terrible thought just came to me: Is it possible coming up with gift ideas isn’t on the list of butler services? Say it ain’t so!

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