Tuesday, May 29, 2007

danger will robinson

brace yourselves. my family recently obtained, through means we need not address, a roomba, and my mother is already referring to it by gender-specific pronouns.

do you know what a roomba is? those of you who are familiar with the syrius cybernetics corporation no doubt have a clue. like the high-functioning and mildly depressed android of lore, the roomba (which is shaped kind of like a sting-ray) is supposed to be a cute, perky little machine that performs menial chores you don't want to do with a skip in its step and a song its 8-bit processor. from what i understand, the roomba's specific function is to vaccuum and polish your floors.

and the idea is that you just put it on the floor and it wanders around your house, cheerfully scanning for dirt (it has a little blue light that flashes when it's onto something), tidying up, until its batteries wear out and it has to go charge itself, at which point it shimmies merrily back to its charger. it does not purr 'a pleasure to be of service' or anything, but it does sing a little chipper song, kind of like your old nintendo did when it booted up. (when the batteries die, it plays another song, which i think is one of mozart's sadder symphonies.)

of course, this means that unlike your everyday vaccuum cleaner, the roomba is a semi-autonomous force to be reckoned with. it certainly seems to have a stranglehold on my family. let's go to the videotape:

yonina (standing on two stacked chairs behind the closed dining room door and peering through the door's little window): INCOMING!

mom: gah! perel, it's coming right at you! get out of the way!

me (dodging hastily in the other direction): IT'S FOLLOWING ME!

yonina: OH NO! IT'S A MONSTER!

mom: perel! quick! go find some d cells so we can set up the 'no-pass' thingies!

me (trying to mislead the roomba by climbing onto the counter): no-pass?! how's that going to help me?

yonina: is it safe to come down yet?

mom: i think it's still trying to get at perel...run yonina! run quick! go get the d cells!

me (shouting): abba, we need d-cells! the roomba's out of control!

mom: oh no! it's coming at me! aiiee!

yonina: errrrrr i think i'm just going to stay right here on the dining room table.

(i run down the stairs and bring up some d-cells. my father follows me up)

me: here mom! hurry! before it finds the pantry!

abba (looking at all of us briefly): you're all morons.

yonina: is it safe to come down yet?

(the roomba sings a song)

mom: perel, get out of the way! it's docking!

shua: it's like its own little starship.

mom (brightly): hey look! she cleaned up the pringles!

me: she?

mom (defensive): uh...yes. she.

the roomba: your plastic pal that's fun to beeee wiiiith!


Blogger the apple said...

Oh gosh, this was hilarious. It reminded me of those moments in life when everything is going berserk but you're laughing so hard that everything is okay anyway.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Chana said...

Oh my God, I started laughing out loud. That's excellent.

My father was planning on buying one of those things for our basement...however, he changed his mind (I don't recall why.)

As I said, excellent.


And I love the "one of Mozart's sadder symphonies" line.

9:18 PM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Actually, I think it's shaped more like a York Peppermint Patty.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"it's like its own little starship." Maybe Shua's on to something: "Extra, extra, read all about it--baby Cylon attacks!" :) :) :)

I can absolutely picture Yonina standing on a chair yelling "INCOMING!" What a riot!

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't have a Roomba (it would terrify the dogs), but we do have a pool robot we call Rondo. He likes to wait until you are standing at the side of the pool and then spray you with water. The dogs are scared of him too.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Neil Harris said...

I dream of the Roomba.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der ┼íteg) said...


6:37 AM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

I dream of the Roomba.

The robotic vacuum cleaner is the stuff of nightmares. Mark my words.

The Roomba will be the end of all of us.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Roomba will be the end of all of us.


Because now women don't have to vaccum and will actually have time to carry out their plans to take over the world?

you're right. the good times are over.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Wickwire said...

"she?" haha.

I want a Roomba.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually anonymous, I think pt was referring to Russ Manning's masterpieces of visual literature. But in any event, I'm glad I didn't become the owner of said device as my family doesn't have the same sense of humor as fudge's and my room is very messy.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Erachet said...

Oh gosh, that's hilarious! I keep thinking of the Jetsons.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous jackie said...


9:11 AM  
Blogger RaggedyMom said...

My Roomba's name is Alex, and when it remembers that I'm on "bedrest," (haha) it does the vacuuming :)

8:20 PM  

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