My Stupid Robotic Arm
First my rainbow machine went on the fritz and now it’s my robotic arm. For those of you who don’t know, I have a robotic left arm. Note: this is not a bionic left arm, merely robotic. The biotic model was a lot more expensive and frankly the extra features (super-strength, hot plate) weren’t worth the cost. I got it just over a year ago. How do I know it was just over a year ago? Because the stupid robotic arm has a one year warranty, and when I called (using my right arm even though I am left-handed) they told me we warranty was expired. SO AGGRAVATING!
Here’s the problem: every time I try to make a kung-fu fist, the arm seizes up and I have to reset the entire apparatus to get it working again. If you’ve ever tried to reset a robotic arm, you know it’s a complicated process in which you need a Phillips head screwdriver and a straight pin or bent paperclip. Needless to say, I don’t want to go through my whole life carrying around a Phillips head screwdriver, especially because most of the time I prefer wearing VERY TIGHT jeans, and the screwdriver simply doesn’t fit in the pockets without causing unsightly wrinkles. (And, of course, when I put in my front pocket, I get a lot of “is that a screwdriver in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” remarks, which is funny the first million times you hear it, but after that it starts to wear a little thin.)
Now, I know the obvious solution is to not make as many kung-fu fists but you have to understand something: the whole reason I chose this particular model is because it is specially designed for kung-fu enthusiasts. That’s why it’s called “The Kung-Fu Model.” Also, I have a well-deserved reputation for making kung-fu fists at any and all times. Before breakfast, at the ballgame, during book readings, etc. People have come to expect the kung-fu fist. It’s kind of my trademark. For me to discontinue its use would be like Billy Idol changing his haircut even though he is sixty years old. Not going to happen.
When I talked to Best Buy about how much it would cost to repair they shuffled me around to their different departments until I finally spoke to their “Robotic Arm” specialist, who it turns out is a sixteen year old kid who knows less about robotic arms than I do. He in turn called the manufacturer who told me that it would not only cost over a thousand dollars to fix, but that it would take “up to six weeks.” Forget the kung-fu fist for a second - what am I supposed to do without a left arm for six weeks? They offered to send me a replacement arm to tide me over, but by the time I get it fitted and pigment-matched and everything it would be around six weeks anyway.
There are going to be those among you who say, “We warned you not to buy an off-brand Kung-Fu fist robotic arm,” but to quote the great Sarah Palin, “Now is not the time for finger-pointing and looking backwards.” Believe me, there is plenty of blame to go around on all sides regarding this issue, but now is the time to find solutions. I need concrete ideas that I can apply to my situation, not more of the same “gotcha” blog comments. To do otherwise would be to wave the white flag of surrender, something I am frankly not willing to do, even though that’s exactly what my enemies (Tucker Max and David Sedaris) would like.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. In the meantime, I am going to put a fake cast on my arm and claim kung-fu injury when people ask me to make The Fist. This will only wash so long, though, as everybody knows I don’t do any actual Kung-Fu, only make the fist. Frankly, I’m screwed.