“Can you do some local robots?”

Robot was originally created as a nameless, genderless, guileless entity. It had no place and no history. Robot was meant to be the sort of character anyone could identify with. A sort of naive, open, ever-honest stranger.

But because characters either develop histories or get boring, bits of me, and of the place I live, started to creep in around the edges pretty quickly. “Robot disapproves of these shenanigans”, inspired by the headlines of Fark (my favourite news source for the last decade or so), was the first to appear. Then there was the first Newfoundland Robot (“disapproves of snow in June”). Then for Christmas there were the Mummerbots.[1]

Then some more people started asking about locally-inspired Robots for the summer. Tourists and people Coming Home, y’know. Droves of ’em. Gotta have something to sell ’em.

So far, I have “Robot goes fishing” (in a green boat, of course), “Robot aspires to stardom” (accordion variant), and “Robot doubts that kissing a dead fish is a real tradition.”

I really hope I don't lose the fine detail on the fish (by fine detail I of course mean the X for the eyeball).

I’m a little bit scared of the reaction to that last one. But honestly, in my heart of hearts… screech-ins baffle and frighten me, and I will be forever grateful that we happened to move here when I was well under drinking age[2]. So there.

[1] You would think that the cross-section of the population that likes both robots and mummers would be small. My research tells me you would be wrong.

[2] Not that being four years old will actually keep your parents from giving you the odd sip of booze. Not when one of them is Dutch and the other’s from Quebec. It’s just a deterrent to them doing it in public.

3 thoughts on ““Can you do some local robots?””

  1. I LOVE the cod kissin’ robot. That tradition has always struck me as particularly odd as well. When the moratorium struck, there was a variant that involved kissing a stuffed toy puffin’s arse (due to a lack of fish).

    What kind of a tradition holds that a bird bum = a dead fish?

  2. I came across the robot-ware while on vacation in NL. I have the “robot disapproves of double dipping” bowl, and it is my treasure from NL. In the 70s I worked on the software for another nice Canadian robot, the Canadarm. Thank you for your clever and surprising work.

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