maxbarry.com
Wed 12
May
2021

Have I Told You About My Robot Vacuum Cleaner?

Writing

It’s a chunky black hockey puck that whirs around the floor sucking up dust and cat hair. It can even monitor my heart rate. I was surprised by that. I was digging around in the app menu and there it was, my heart rate. And I was like, Wait, my heart rate? Because I hadn’t authorized it to sync with my watch or anything. So I wasn’t sure how it was getting that information.

It’s great on both floorboards and carpets, and can even climb stairs, by shooting out little black tentacles that grab onto the banisters. That was a heck of a shock for the cat. She didn’t like the robot vacuum cleaner at first, especially when it started clattering up the stairs after her. But they figured out their differences. Now I find them hanging out together in the sun room, thick as thieves.

It filed my taxes. This took me a while to figure out because they were done and I didn’t know how. My accountant said, Sure, I got your info from your robot vacuum cleaner. They’d been exchanging emails. I said, It can do that? And she said I should expect a nice refund. It’s effectively paid for itself.

My only complaint, and I hesitate to bring it up, is that the more extra stuff the robot vacuum cleaner has been doing, the less it’s cleaning. The other night, I came home and my wife was enjoying a candlelit dinner with the robot vacuum cleaner but there was cat hair all over the hallway. So I asked to borrow the robot vacuum cleaner for a minute, and my wife said the robot vacuum cleaner had been cooking all afternoon and now they were having a nice conversation, so why didn’t I get a broom, it’s not a big area. And, okay, I did that, but it didn’t feel right, me sweeping in the hallway while I could hear my wife laughing in the next room with the robot vacuum cleaner. I mean, I bought it to clean the floors. That’s why it’s here.

They’re so popular now. A few weeks ago, I caught up with a friend for coffee, and he said, Hey, have I told you about my robot vacuum cleaner? And I was like, Have I told you about my robot vacuum cleaner? And we both laughed. Then we stopped, because we realized his robot vacuum cleaner was outside, watching us through the plate glass.

I’d give it four stars. It would earn a fifth star if it cleaned more often, and if it stayed in its housing, instead of coming into the bedroom at night to watch me sleep. One morning I found my clothes strewn all over the front yard and I’m pretty sure that was the robot vacuum cleaner. There were tread tracks on my shirts. Once I heard noises in the night and went downstairs and found my clothes scattered everywhere again, and by the time I got back to bed, the robot vacuum cleaner was in there, on my side, emitting white noise to help my wife sleep. I had to sleep on the sofa. The next day, the robot vacuum cleaner spent the whole day sitting in the corner of the living room, charging.

If you’re thinking about getting a robot vacuum cleaner, this one can do practically anything. It can even find its way home. I mean, you can drive to the ocean and toss it in, and three nights later, it’s back in your house, dripping wet. There’s no way to lose it. Believe me. It’s indestructible, too. You can hit it with a hammer. Like, over and over. And it’ll just sit there, then quietly trundle away, leaving you to wonder what your wife is going to say when she sees those dings and scratches.

You know what? I take back my earlier rating. Five stars. Now I think about it, I don’t want to give this unit anything less than the maximum score. That wouldn’t be fair. Or smart. Five stars, for sure. Five stars. Five stars.

Comments

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Hank Mishkoff (#6424)

Location: Dallas, TX USA
Quote: "Purchase only authorized editions."
Posted: 158 days ago

Wow, and I thought Alexa was intrusive.

No, I'm sorry Alexa, I didn't mean that, I was just kidding around, please don't shut down my compu

1001.0010.0101 (#925)

Location: Turn left at your CPU
Quote: "How can something be deemed artificial if it is itself. e.g. A.I."
Posted: 158 days ago

I suspect the robot vacuum cleaner wrote this.

Better call up the boy and girl scouts hit squad, again.

Abrum Alexander (#8221)

Location: Vermont, USA
Posted: 158 days ago

It’s amusing how you can turn something, like a vacuum, into a humorous work of fiction.

I mean, where did this story even come from? What made you want to write this? Perhaps this isn’t a work of fiction...

Ade (#7871)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "I am Ebil Genius!"
Posted: 158 days ago

I can definitely relate to this, I can't stop Siri from talking mine!

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 158 days ago

@Abrum
> I mean, where did this story even come from? What made you want to write this?

I do have a robot vacuum cleaner, and I do talk about it a lot. I was thinking of telling someone about my robot vacuum cleaner, and then that line, "Have I told you about my robot vacuum cleaner," felt very suggestive. I thought it would be interesting if the story became increasingly absurd and kept violating your expectations, but the narrator didn't seem aware of it. So here we are.

More generally, I've been thinking about writing more blogs that are fiction but not immediately identifiable as such, a but like maxbarry.com/2008/09/18/news.html(I Should Buy Some Cement).

Machine Man subscriber Morlok8k (#4133)

Location: The Moon
Quote: "I like stuff..."
Posted: 158 days ago

Loved it! You made it feel like he's being held at gunpoint by the end.

muninnhuginn (#8286)

Location: Dittone
Posted: 158 days ago

You hit that "fiction but not immediately identifiable as such" dead on. I'd already filed the "story" under "I hope this is fiction". I may be reconsiering my desire for a robot hoover.

Machine Man subscriber Sara Leigh (#4075)

Location: Northern Virginia
Posted: 158 days ago

I've toyed with the idea of getting a robot vacuum. Having read this, I will never get one! I'm suspicious of Siri and Alexa, but this? No, I will continue to avoid them and now the robot vacuum at all costs.

Comfed (#8266)

Quote: "Shrimp conspire behind closed doors."
Posted: 158 days ago

This made me smile xD

towr (#1914)

Location: Netherlands
Posted: 158 days ago

> More generally, I've been thinking about writing more blogs that are fiction but not immediately identifiable as such, a but like maxbarry.com/2008/09/18/news.html(I Should Buy Some Cement).

And now I wonder if the vacuum cleaner could climb out of a hole filled with cement.

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 157 days ago

In all seriousness, I do love my robot vacuum cleaner. I bought a cheap Chinese thing for $300 and it's amazing. It is not making me say this.

Brenda (#7217)

Location: Berowra Bushland
Quote: "entering your world via the book portal is awesome"
Posted: 154 days ago

Okay I laughed out loud on reading this and then went ?? I am embarrassed to say I have a black hockey puck of my own named Passepartout, go figure! I was also enamoured at first and gave 5 stars in the online Product Review and took videos of it learning where the docking centre is, sigh. So my question is how do I differentiate Anthropomorphism and Personification. PS the battery has now died and I am considering do I renew it.

Comfed (#8266)

Quote: "Shrimp conspire behind closed doors."
Posted: 153 days ago

Of course it’s not making you say this.

(Run while you still can!)

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