a while back, ghostbong bought a very cheap, very used Roomba from craigslist. ”so, you’re going to ‘hack’ this, right?” said the man at the parking lot rendezvous. but we just wanted a vacuum. since then, the addition of the word “robot” to our casual, every-day lexicon is continually jarring, as if even living in the future will give you future-shock.
doing maintenance on the robot. the robot is stuck on a cord. the robot ate a sock. the robot ran out of power before it got back to its charging station. the robot knocked something over. it doesn’t help that the Roomba programmers saw fit to outfit the little thing with a series of Artoo-like MIDI scales and honks, to convey the mood of its message: docking successfully produces a tiny fanfare, and getting its brushes jammed on a foreign object makes it cry out in sad distress. do i verbally reassure the robot when i pull a wad of cat hair and bread bag tabs out of its works and set it back down on the floor? you bet i do.
but the larger point is that it is now possible no for me to say (or type) out loud and without irony, sarcasm, or any kind of fictitiousness: “the robot knocked over the kitten’s water dish >:I “
the future is here, and it is me on my knees on the floor yanking hairballs out of a domestic droid while it softly boops at me