Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hootbot’s Big Adventure

You may remember that some time ago I did what many high-rollers do and purchased a robot owl. It’s been perched on my dining room table ever since, spying on me with its glowing, red eyes. In my post about Hootbot, I expressed some frustration about how he doesn’t perform most of the activities I associate with owls. He doesn’t hoot or screech, but just kind of dumbly whistles. He doesn’t fly so much as flutter this plastic wings. And he surely doesn’t impart wisdom, which I could really use, seeing as how I spent money on a robot owl. It turns out I’d sold Hootbot short, however, because he can do one thing I wasn’t aware of.

A comment on the previous post alleged that Hootbots could scuttle around if removed from their pedestals. I immediately tried. This would have explained the wheels on his bottom, after all, but he didn’t act any differently on the floor than he did on the pedestal. It was only when someone else tried did he bop about aimlessly, Roomba-style. I felt betrayed, to be honest. It was a reverse Michigan J. Frog moment, initially, but I eventually figured out Hootbot’s hang-up: He needs perfectly smooth surfaces, for his wheels are a little jacked, a little needy, and he simply can’t navigate the subtle grooves of my floorboards.

So here, then, is Hootbot doing his thing, charging toward the camera at a leisurely pace but with menace in his heart nonetheless.

Trigger warning: Robots, owls, robot owls, death as a result of antiquated technology, atonal whistling. I won’t say it escalates quickly, but it does escalate over the course of two minutes.

It goes without saying, but now I can appreciate the joys of parenthood.

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