GateHouse – I have a robot that vacuums my house.
I cannot stress how much I enjoy this development. As I imagine is the case in any household, things have been weird here for some time, particularly since we picked up what is now a small 3-year-old with relentless mucus problems and an apparent genetic default that causes him to never stop talking, for any reason, up to and including “Because he’s asleep” and “Because he just squished an entire full-size Oreo into his mouth.” Every household has its foibles, but — and I have to beg the reader to indulge me in repeating this — I HAVE A ROBOT THAT VACUUMS MY HOUSE.
This is exciting to me because:
- Robots are awesome.
- As long as the robot’s doing it, I don’t have to vacuum my house. This is way better than the plan I used to have for handling such tasks: cheap child labor.
- I can now pretend I’m living in some sort of futuristic Jetsons-like floating dome, a time capsule into The Future, albeit a date in The Future when though humanity has mastered inanimate objects that perform basic domestic tasks it has yet to successfully innovate a screen door that STAYS ON THE EFFING TRACK. Also the garbage disposal smells like fish. Otherwise, totally The Future.
I remember going on long-ago family vacations to EPCOT Center, looking at all the wild, fantastical, future-leaning attractions there, and thinking what I imagine most people did: What the hell am I doing at EPCOT Center? Why aren’t we at the fun parks? Why have I been standing in line for 50 minutes to learn about fossil fuels? But I also, eventually, remember getting the general vague sense from all the boring rides that one day robots would do something or another, and that I really, really wanted to get back on the monorail.
My robot, which will be familiar to you if you’ve ever been watching TV at 3 a.m., especially drunkenly, is the Roomba, which I have an obligation to report even though I’d prefer to tell you that the robot is 7 feet tall, has the name Interocitor, cannot be damaged by puny human weapons and crash-landed here en route to invading some other, stupider planet. No, the Roomba is a household tool, readily available on the Internet. It rambles around your floor sweeping things up and bumping harmlessly off of your valuable objects. Oh, and sometimes the part that contains the swept-up scuzz falls off and vigorously discharges dust and detritus back onto the carpet, thus making it more of the mathematical opposite of a vacuum, come to think of it.
Anyway, the Roomba is small and red and disc-shaped and travels on its own, so it goes without saying that the afore-mentioned 3-year-old son fears and despises it with every fiber of his small, oft-sopping wet being. Don’t feel bad. Frankly, I don’t think the Roomba cares much for my son, either.
Their constant battle is a fascinating one. You would think the robot would have the upper hand, right? It’s smart, tenacious and unstoppable, unless, of course, it runs into a staircase or a piece of paper or a larger-than-average ball of carpet fuzz. Then it panics, emits an absolutely pathetic whine and shuts itself down in what looks like the robot equivalent of sulking.
But the boy doesn’t know that; all he knows is that the robot is Programmed to Capture Him at all Times, even when it’s immobilized in a corner, unable to figure out how to successfully navigate, say, a TV Guide.
For this reason you’d think the robot would win their constant joust. Not so. Because the boy has figured out a particularly effective means by which to outwit the robot: Get on a chair. It is a magnificent strategy with a 100 percent success rate, although, of course, I have to go rescue him from said chair, which isn’t all that hard, but sort of annoying to keep doing over and over. Maybe I could buy a robot to help out.