Mortimer battles the robot
The other night, I ate dinner at a place called Topanga Social. Essentially, Topanga Social is just a modern twist on the old mall food court concept. The big difference is that you can order from any restaurant using a touch screen. Actually, you have to use the touch screen; talking to the humans who make your food isn’t verboten, but it is strongly discouraged. Then, when your order is ready, some automated system sends you a text, and you pick up your food.
The other thing that’s different about Topanga Social is that it’s meant to be social… as in shared on social media. I didn’t post about the experience on social media, but my friend Veronica did because, well, she’s an Instagram influencer, and so her coverage of Topanga Social is way better than mine👇
I had a chicken katsu sando, which is basically a fried chicken sandwich from Japan. Holy shit, people, let me just tell you that Japan’s fried chicken sandwich game is next-level. If I wasn’t already married to Christina, I’d make a strong play for that chicken katsu sando.
After I finished eating, something funny happened. Actually, it wasn’t funny at all. It was serious. Or, it could’ve been serious. What happened was this: out of nowhere, an alarm went off. Not a siren, exactly, more like a robotic alarm sound that you hear in the movies when the perimeter of some top secret lab is breached. After a few seconds of alarm sounds, a robotic voice made an announcement.
“A fire has been reported in the building,” the robot said. “Please evacuate the building immediately.”
Naturally, this robot was programmed to just kept doing its robot warning until some human told it to stop. After the third warning to evacuate, the robot sounded like a broken record. But I was already halfway to the exit by that time. I hear fire, and I move my ass. That’s my policy.
But here’s the funny thing that maybe isn’t that funny. Most people stayed put! They kept eating their ramen and nachos and Detroit-style pizza. They heard the robot’s warning—it was so fucking loud you couldn’t hear anything else—but they didn’t heed the warning.
That struck me as foolish and dangerous. But it also struck me as weird. These same people had told a machine what they wanted for dinner, and then that machine had taken their payment, and promised to tell them when their food was ready. They believed the machine could handle dinner, but they ignored the machine when it said there was a fire.
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Mortimer battles the robot
Press Play to hear me read this story and do some really cheesy robot sound effects🤖▶️
The original text from July of 2020
If you ask Christina, the pancake-shaped droid that cleans our floors is the best purchase we ever made.
If you ask me, the droid is trouble. I won't let it into the kitchen while I cook. For one thing, it's a hazard. That sucker could trip me while I'm carrying a hot baking dish, or a sharp knife. But that's not it, not really. I'm not worried about foul-play. It's fair play I fear. Today, the droid cleans the floor, tomorrow it chops up the veggies and fries them up in a wok, the day after that I'm out of a job.
Do wives dream of electric husbands?
The dog has his problems with the droid, too. Like all dogs, Mortimer believes that if he hides under the couch, he is invisible. That belief dies hard two weeks after the droid's arrival. From under the couch, Mortimer watches the droid approach. At first, he's curious, then concerned. When the droid is less than a foot away, Mortimer realizes he's fucked. Because he's under the couch he can't get up to run away. Then, in an instant, droid meets dog.
The droid is well-programmed. It rolls away, one hundred-eighty degrees in the opposite direction. Perhaps, it even learned something, or at the very least, it transmitted the incident back to its programmers for future learnings.
Mortimer, flees the scene too. Out from under the couch, a quick glance at his nemesis, then off like a jack-rabbit all the way to the other end of the house. The dog's learnings are immediate: THE COUCH HAS BEEN COMPROMISED.
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Stick around and chat!
You know the drill. I’ve got questions, you’ve got answers.
Have you ever met a sandwich you wanted to marry? Tell your story.
If a human tells you there’s a fire, you run away. But what do you do if a robot tells you there’s a fire? Explain.
Do you own a Roomba? If so, does it terrorize your pets? Tell their story.
Have you ever eaten Detroit-style pizza, and do I need to try it? Enlighten me!
I don’t know if wives dream of electric husbands, but if you could replace your partner with a machine that cooked, cleaned, and did everything you asked, would you? Go deep on this one, situation normies!
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