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October 04, 2008

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. 


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"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?”

Dang..you beat me to the punch there. Sorry,I can't help you in that area, but I can give you a great teriyaki marinade recipe. When your arm is able to function again,of course.


This might be nature's way of telling you to get the bionic model. Make sure however that it's a kung-fu hot plate.


Is the problem restricted to making kung fu fists? If you have no other problems with it, might I suggest swapping out your trademark kung-fu fist with a Shaolin-Style Cobra-Strike Palm of One Thousand Tiny Deaths? When those who might question your change, you can persuade them that the kung-fu fist is out of style and that you know when it's time to strike down a new path. As for suggestions to persuade them, using the strike is the obvious one, but you could also insult the person's masculinity and question whether that person might be a shill for a competing robotic arm company.

For Serious

I just want to know why you neglected to mention that Michael Patrick Jann directed Little Britain USA.

If the robotic arm can't make a kung fu fist, does that mean you can't have a Tommy Tank with it either?

All I can suggest is either going back to good old fashioned flesh and blood, or trying a different martial art move.


It's a good thing you didn't go with the bionic model, I've heard some things...

Ok, all I know is there is some joke out there about a bionic hand and people laugh when I ask to hear it. They wouldn't tell me before because I was too young and they won't tell me now because they've conveniently forgot it. This post brought back my intense curiousity to know this joke.

Why did you have to do this Black? And why won't anybody tell me the joke? Does anybody know the joke? I'll pay you in gold cougarants to tell me!


It's a good thing you didn't go with the bionic model, I've heard some things...

Ok, all I know is there is some joke out there about a bionic hand and people laugh when I ask to hear it. They wouldn't tell me before because I was too young and they won't tell me now because they've conveniently forgot it. This post brought back my intense curiousity to know this joke.

Why did you have to do this Black? And why won't anybody tell me the joke? Does anybody know the joke? I'll pay you in gold cougarants to tell me!


Krugerrands, Bailey. Cougarants would better describe what Michael must think of poor old Renee and me, hanging around here for oh so long. Oh well.
Michael, I would guess that a faulty robotic left hand would prove awfully inconvenient for you on those lonely nights in hotel rooms with nothing to entertain you but dozens of electronic love-letters from pretty 17 yr olds. Good luck sorting that out and, as always, if you ever get stuck alone here in San Diego, I would be happy to lend you a (left) hand with whatever you might need. ;)

Stacey E

Oh, so you do like to be "jerked" by a metal hand. Freak.

Brian S.

I almost wish you would indulge Z so perhaps we wouldn't have to read the subtly desperate come-ons anymore.


“Now is not the time for finger-pointing and looking backwards," even when the question asks you specifically how the future will be different from the past. So, even though looking backwards is actually required in the requested question, you must describe the past by not mentioning the past! I don't care if it makes sense! Now, that is exactly the kind of outsider Maverick logic I have come to expect. Let's ruffle some feathers!

Oh, I mean, robotic arms. Yes, ok. (See, me and Reen is ready Mike, haha)

Given that I am named after the bionic woman Jaime Sommers, I fully endorse bionic appendages. Further, if you spring for the bionic nostril, your sneezes will be legendarily powerful, and fairly tasty (the soft serve nasal gland option is totally worth it). Good luck!


Awww, c'mon Bri! Sorry, but you can't question why a lady is hot for Michael. It's like asking a kitten not to meow, or a rainbow not to be pretty. It's just the natural order, and the way God intended things, moon moon moon pine pine.

Go Mike, indulge her! Take one for the team lady :)


Oh Brian (or whoever you really are), I'm just kidding around, for heaven's sake. Tell me what comment you have written on here that anybody wants to read? "$240. worth of pudding?" "Awww Yeahhhh!" "Gay?"

Who doesn't want to be cherished a bit, particularly on their own website, by adoring fans? What does it matter to you? Jealous?

Oh, and thanks, Jaime, for sticking up for me in that sort-of slam way. Unfortunately, I don't much see Black as a "team player" , and it's all okay. Really. I'm actually just fine with where I am at. But again, thanks.


Thanks Zane! Yes, krugerrands are what I meant. And I'll still pay anyone that knows and tells the bionic hand joke with some. I can also arrange to pay you in cougarants (older female ants) as well and I can spray paint them gold. Will they be delivered to you live? I promise nothing, except that I'll pay up.


Wait no, clarity: Since Michael (very famous) can't service the entire team (team Ladies), I nominate you (Ms. Z) to take "one" (hot innuendo) from Mike (busted fist), for the team (team Ladies), on our behalf (for all the ladies). See? Nice. But if you don't want it (crazy), I'm sure someone else will (but who?) for that is the beauty of being Michael (very adored).

See Michael? Even with a busted robotic arm, you can still stir up some trouble. Clearly, with such ado, you deserve the upgrade to bionic wushu fist (neon pink qi included). It's true :)


Wait, why would you want to STOP making the Kung-Fu fist?


I don't know why, but as I was reading this, I thought of it as some extended metaphor where you're McCain and your faulty left arm is Palin. Again, I don't know why I thought this, except maybe its because I couldn't decipher any other reason to write this post. Or am I completely and utterly off base?


The faithless Jaime opined
>>>Wait no, clarity: Since Michael (very famous) can't service the entire team

Can't service the team!! Good lord this man is a maverick! (I'll bet he still wears his Maverick jeans too.) In addition to his robotic arm he is outfitted with a pneumatic dick.

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I like your interpretation, but went a whole different direction. I did, however, sense a peppering of Palin.

The missing left arm, coupled with the reminder that the rainbow machine is broken = Michael has a form of writers block. The rainbow machine = creativity and where the magic happens, and the missing left hand, represents the inability to use his hand to communicate. (FYI: Michael is a Southpaw, this sad fact will rear its ugly head later, just like Putin does over Alaska).

But then, David, friends,(foes), a stumbling block. It's 2008, and the keyboard and screen have replaced the pen and paper. He doesn't really need his left hand to communicate at all. He can peck away at the keyboard with his right hand only, if need be. Plus, he doesn't appear to actually *have* the chained symptoms of a writer with nothing to say. His post is both funny and creative. I respectfully submit (to myself), that no one with writers block can conjure up the likes of Billy Idol. Gotchya!

So that theory and metaphor, in essence, sucked.

But then...an epiphany! Michael is very religious, as we all learned in that authentic interview he recently posted (see: "Something Strange"). And therein lies the true meaning to this blog.

The left arm needed to be removed as an act of faith. There's a verse in the bible (look it up) that reminds all of Sarah Palins folks to just "go ahead and chop off what is causing you to sin". Michael, a longtime Palin enthusiast (Moonie), has complied. What does the left hand do that causes him to sin? No, no, masturbation and/or nose picking is too obvious. It's something more sinister. I don't know. You tell me.

Did anyone catch the off hand remark "in 6 weeks" he will have the arm back? I did. Six is the devils number, especially when tripled. Why would he want the arm back if it caused him to sin?

Because he's a leftie.

He's topsy turvy. What is right is wrong and what is black is white. He doesn't think like the rest of us. He can't help it, being the devils spawn.

Sadly, in 6 weeks, he'll be sinning with that left hand again, sure as shit.

As the writer himself declares: "Frankly, I am screwed".

But then again...aren't we all?


You have the worst luck. Maybe it's time for you to stop being a chincy bastard and shell out the cash for higher end models.


Why don't any of you care about the rainbow machine?!?! Our children need rainbows. Think of the children, folks.

By the way, am I the only one who didn't know that the devil's number is 18? ...
"Six is the devils number, especially when tripled."


Erm, I assumed the "Six is the devils number, especially when tripled." isn't referring to 18, but rather to 666.


Jaime, thanks for the clarification. I don't quite "get" a lot of what you write most of the time, but I picture you with a big smile on your face and a happy, up-for-a-good-time-wherever-you-are attitude. Actually, I don't understand a lot of what people write on here, and I think it is interesting that people are so all over the place with their thoughts, as in, "All these OTHER people are morons, but Michael will LOVE what I have to say. We are like minds! So Fuck Tucker Max and bring back The State!!"

I wish more commenters on here were as upbeat as you, Jaime, and not just looking to bash anyone that comes on with something (that they consider lame) to say.


What was I thinking dzon?! You are absolutely right. Oh faithless me. Well Michael -- maybe you could borrow some parts of the pneumatic phallus to repair the arm? What?! What am I saying?! (I clearly need coffee.)

Scrap that plan.

Perhaps then, since as dzon rightly pointed out you are clearly able to get the whole team involved, lend yourself out for a Good Old Fashioned "I service you, You service me" Party, eh? I'm sure you'll raise the funds to go bionic in no time. However, then one must consider the safety of the common good, mustn't one? Can't let all the advanced technology you will then be touting (bionic arm, pneumatic member, and, hopefully, bionic nostril) fall into enemy hands can we? Thus we should also institute a safe house plan for you, shuffling you off from lady house to lady house to keep you safe and satisfied (wink wink). For the greater good of course. Kind of like the Underground Railroad, but much much hotter. I'm sure some lady houses might even accept the wife, see? Everyone wins. Good -- I like it!

Keep that plan.


haha, thanks Zane. Yeah, I'm a weirdo, but a happy one. Glad you got that no slamming was intended :)


I agree with Davids idea of the beasties number.

As for all the rest, words are never what they think they are.

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