On Saturdays we let some of our favorite writers from around the web fill in for us. Today's article is from Jonathan Stern, the Producer and sometimes writer and director of the web series "Wainy Days." He's also written humor articles for magazines (like websites, but printed on glossy paper) including The New Yorker. Today, he takes us on a tour of our inevitable future.
First of all, I want to be clear that we humans are thankful for what you've done for us. You've lifted us from our petty, animalistic origins to the models of efficiency that serve you Robots with such obedience today. For that, we'll be eternally grateful.
Nevertheless, as The Great Overlord Robot B*R*E*N*T*292 has said, even the most advanced operating system needs an upgrade now and again. In that spirit, a bunch of us down at Thermal Ice Station J9 had some ideas that, since there seems to be no suggestion box, we've put into letter form. Please read this in the context of constructive cooperation as we wish for nothing more than to assist you in your objective of quickly taking over the galaxy.
This probably never occurred to you, given your titanium shells, but human flesh is particularly sensitive to raw nuclear waste. We know--we're a fragile, inferior species--but that's how we were made by the God we foolishly believe exists.
The expense of manufacturing and distributing lead gloves would be more than offset by the reduced cost of repeated skin grafts and lost productivity due to breathtakingly searing pain.
An Annual Musical.
Some humans at the Animal Genocide factory thought it would be fun to stage an amateur musical once a year on the day that used to be known as "Columbus Day" -- a wonderful opportunity for you Robots to study our culture before its extinction. The first production would be either Flower Drum Song or Fiddler (your choice). A block of half-price tickets will be set aside for old-model Robots, with the proceeds going to purchase warming devices for our urine-extraction tubes.
Fewer disembodied heads in public areas.
We're not saying you should stop beheading traitorous humans and keeping their brains permanently conscious. However, there are plusses and minuses to posting these heads at all street corners. First the positive: they're useful for getting directions and an effective cautionary lesson about the pitfalls of betraying the Robots.
On the negative side, however, they cause waking nightmares and debilitating terror attacks in most of the human population, both of which interrupt the flow of the assembly lines.
Waiting until we're dead, or at least unconscious, before harvesting our organs.
This hasn't been a problem for any of us who wrote this letter, but a lot of our friends have used their last breaths to gripe about it and frankly we're bummed out by their bitching.
Bring back sunlight.
We realize there's a practical purpose for the mammoth earth-covering solar panels that envelop the atmosphere. They generate the electricity to light our workstations at the power plant, for example.
But sunlight has a secondary benefit -- it wards off Permanent Affective Disorder (formerly "Seasonal Affective Disorder"), a human condition that makes us even more distracted than a cold urine-extraction tube!
Re-envision the annual picnic.
It should be a more traditional sack-race and hot dogs kind of affair, rather than an occasion to artificially inseminate females with robot seed and lobotomize children. This will reap exponential rewards in team-building and intra-office communication.
More "C" and "Z" Scrabble tiles.
This game was designed 180 years ago and, since then, the English language has changed enormously. For example, we'd bet that in 1940 no one at Hasbro had even heard of the word "Cyborgizitation."
Laser rifles for everyone.
This might be tricky to carry out since there is no longer any meaning of "week" or "day," only an endless rotation of twenty-four-hour shifts. Also everyone dresses pretty casually already -- how much more informal can you get than the compulsory white body suit? One suggestion, however, would be to remove the electroshock codpiece.
You're probably asking your collective selves "Why should these petulant humans get preferential treatment ahead of our other slaves? What makes them more special than, say, donkeys or camels?" Some would argue that the answer is opposable thumbs, language, free will, abstract reasoning, erect body carriage, invention of tools, and an ability to reproduce. Hell, some people even believe that, once upon a time, we actually designed and built you Robots. For better or for worse.
Let us pitch you a sitcom ...
Some people in entertainment don't even bother trying to come up with fresh ideas.
These stories are so weird we're not even sure Hollywood would touch them.