Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On Why Mankind Will Not Survive the Coming Robot Apocalypse

I recently went to Wendy's for lunch.

("How mundane! How ordinary! Why is he telling this story!", the reader thinks to herself <--note how progressive I am for inserting the female pronoun.)

BUT something funny happened! There was a long line! Half of downtown eats at this particular Wendy's so of course, this is not unusual or funny, but be patient! What is interesting about this long line is that it was formed in front of the fountain drink machine as opposed to the cash register. "Why?" You ask yourself, as I did. "Why would there be a longer line in front of the pop machine than in line for ordering?!" The answer to this question is, ultimately, why human kind will lose its impending battle with the machines for dominance on the earth.

This new pop machine had: one dispenser for all drinks and ice, a touch screen to select the type of beverage desired, an additional touch screen for any added flavors and a sarcastic, smug attitude. This complex scheme of touch screens and single dispenser was too much for us, the lunch crowd at Wendy's. We were utterly befuddled.

Below is a word description of the process that was confounding the elite of my fair city. Lest anyone think I am condescending, I gather this sequence from my own personal experience. (E.I. I am dumb too)

"I... why... do I. Where do I get ice? Why is there a computer screen? Oh... ice button."

*pushes Ice Button with meat mitten (or hand in the vernacular)*

"But, uh, where do I get my tasty beverage?!"


"OK back out of ice screen."

"What do I want to drink?"

"Well I want coke, but my pants are tight. Go for diet. But that's embarrassing.... Maybe Coke zero? yes, no one will know I'm a fat ass! Perfect! Select."

I now have the coke zero display up... no... NO! MORE CHOICES... the Coke zero button is surounded by things like "coke zero with cherry, coke zero with Lemon" There are 12 additives for my beverage choice. That's 12 more decisions than I was expecting today. Clearly, way too much pressure. So I hit the center button got my drink and told the next person, "good luck." It was an old lady. That is just mean. She should have just gone for dehydration.

On the bright side, I'm pretty sure if Wendy's had wi-fi I could send an e-mail from the drink machine. (drum strikes for the one liner please)

The real problem is of course the machine designer. He had too much faith in us. We, who are accustomed to simply and lackadaisically presenting our paper cup to an outdated mechanical lever which serendipitously pours things what we wish to imbibe, were not ready for his version of the future. (<--note lack progressiveness with assuming the designer was a man). Instead his vision of a Utopia unlimited drink choices became a dis-topian line of confusion.

A dis-topia where we are bested regularly by machines and optimistic male drink engineers.


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