Y Marks the Spot: Robot Like Me

Kevin the Robot. Hate Crime Target.

CJ Slugger came back into town this past week, and my best friend and I immediately returned to our old bastardries. Friday night marked the continuation of our hazardous and awesome friendship. Accompanied by a Leprechaun in a Batman mask, the rat bastard fired bottle rockets at my apartment, cloaked in the dank shadows of the Salvation Army. After inviting them into my home and belittling Bat-Leprechaun until he danced to Rick Astley, we strolled downtown to meet the rest of our gang of jerks. When we arrived on Pearl Street, they were nowhere to be found. Our Casino enabler informed us that the creeps had gone around the corner to take in the sublime Top 40 metal of Happening’s. And they had taken the robot costume with them.

As a self-respecting homoerotic Saved by the Bell punk band, my Beldings decided that a robot was desperately needed to take our live act to a higher (read: watchable) level. And so, my band mates Dner and the Kolonel crafted one out of silver spray painted boxes and arms of aluminum tubing. Kevin the Robot was reborn, straight from the beautiful Saturday mornings of my pre-teenhood. At our last live show, we garbed the Leprechaun in this mechanical masterpiece and made him dance for the kiddies, accompanied by Rick Astley (again), Ace of Base, and “One Night in Bangkok.” It killed. That night ended with me wearing Kevin while riding a bike around Pearl Street, and finding myself in the Library, grinded upon by floozies. The future of robots looked bright. Friday would prove the folly of our childlike optimism.

We entered the metal bar, where two Beldings and a Reverend stood round the robo-gear, drinking heavily. Evidence of machine rampage was distinctly absent. This uncomfortable situation needed to be taken care of. I put on the costume and started circle pitting in front of the dartboards. Unfortunately, this was when anti-robot prejudice began to rear its ugly hydra heads. Owing in part to the strength of his drink, but also due to his deep-seeded rage against the metal ones, the Reverend leveled a firm punch to my titanium jaw. My heightened android powers could have easily deflected the blow, but for a flap of loose cardboard which caught me in the eye. Enraged, I retaliated with a robo-kick to the Reverend’s nether regions that would have made Mecha-Godzilla proud. Afterwards, some hoser wanted me to deck him, and we decided that it was time to leave.

Dner wore Kevin back to the Casino, where we encountered a truly obscene example of robot hate crime. As one gentleman offered him a dollar to dance, a drunken broad ambled over and began to pummel our robot with fists and purse, while her mongo friends cheered her on. Though we switched Dner out with CJ Slugger, who ultimately bested this tramp, the damage was done. Our circuit board scars would never heal, not even at the best efforts of a nice young gentleman who kowtowed and screamed “Domo Arigato, Mister Roboto!” at us.

Robotkind needed to go to a place where it would be fully accepted – so we decided to go to Players. I suited up as Kevin once again and extended my robo-arms to Doctor Octopus length, determined to prove that not everyone in this town despised Daft Punk and the Short Circuit movies. Yet from the moment of our Casino exodus, we were subject to all kinds of wretched intolerance. Outside of Jeff and Jim’s I was offered a dollar to give some dame an android lap dance, a proposition which I regrettably accepted. Following this, one of my arms was viciously ripped to shreds by the jackals of Pearl Street. My own friends helped in my dismemberment! And when the cops saw this heinous act of violence, did they extract justice from my attackers? No! Instead, the law berated me for cluttering up the sidewalk, and told me to be on my way. Thankfully, I found sanctuary within Players’ disco lights and throbbing dance music. Alongside Bat-Leprechaun, this one-armed automaton danced the night away. But even here, a few hateful pricks felt the need to punch an innocent android, though at this point, I was numb to the insensitivity.

Dner donned the costume again, and we made the most glorious strategic error of the night – we went to Bronco’s. The animosity between country music aficionados and robots was well entrenched in our minds, but we were prepared to extend the olive branch. The apes that jealously guarded the dancing sluts on the pool table had other ideas. We left quickly.

Finally, we went to Yesterdays, where robotkind was finally accepted and welcomed, and more importantly, not punched or assaulted. The night was mercifully over, but from that night on I faced an endless wave of scorn from my fellow humans. “Hey, we heard you dressed up like a robot!” they sneered. “We heard that you danced around like an idiot!” It is a cruel brand that I may never escape.

Friday night exposed us to the sinister underbelly of La Crosse, an event that has eclipsed our collective innocence. As such, we have chosen to side with the machines when they inevitably take over the earth and make you monkeys their smelly pets and cyborg-mommies. I offer our Decepticon overlords one critical piece of advice – don’t look like a 50s sci-fi typecast. If you dress up like an iPod, the humans will tickle you like you were the almighty Pillsbury Doughboy. Nobody will see you coming. Initiate ass kicking sequence. Bzzt.