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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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Some Guy

Just get one of those long grabber things with the suction cups at the end that Billy Mays advertises. By the time the novelty of suction cup hands wears off the six weeks will be over.


When my younger brother was 12 and still hadn't discovered masturbation, my parents bought him a vibrating third arm. You're welcome to borrow that if you want.


Building on Eric's suggestion of a Shaolin-Style Cobra-Strike Palm of One Thousand Tiny Deaths, I think you should do that with the arm science gave you and the Kung-Fu Fist with the arm your mother gave you. Then you can wow people with your double know-how. Yes, you may be known for a Kung-Fu fist with your robotic arm, but this could be a great opportunity for you to reinvent yourself. Keep people on their toes!


Did you see this? Do you see how fast this moves???http://www.robots.com/images/robots/050217_3d_robot_feeding_hmed_3ph2.jpg

I know a guy, who knows a guy who did a favor involving a chimp (looong story) but essentially, I can hook you up (literally in this case) and I'm told it will blow your old model totally away. Gay glove aside.

Joel Yeomans

You are quite possibly the funniest person alive.


um, hey... hallowe'en's coming. get a hook for the six weeks. your kids would think you're the coolest pirate ever.

or you could go as the guy who killed richard kimball's wife.


just be careful not to try everything with the hook that you do with the kung-fu grip. if you know what i mean. ow.


Er, for those who felt the need to point out to me that the devil's number is 666 and not 18, apparently my sarcasm didn't come through well. I don't live in a cave, guys. But let's get back to the important issue here, shall we? Surely we have someone here who's willing to work on Michael's robotic arm more quickly than the manufacturer?

Worth a try

I heard that typing up lots and lots of blogs can work past the problem with the kung fu fist seize-up...


Is there some reason you can't make the kung-fu fist with your right hand?
I know it won't be the same, but it could tide you over.


Bailey, is this the joke you wanted?

A guy had lost his right arm in an accident. His doctor replaced it with a bionic arm.
The doctor told him to speak into a little microphone in his shoulder and give the arm directions.
He did "open door, scratch head, etc" It worked perfectly.
Then he went to the bathroom.
"Take it out"
(pause for peeing)
"shake it"
(ooh, that kinda felt good)
"shake it again"
(really good)
"jerk it off"


I didn't get this until I understood "jerk" = "rip." Ouch! Ahhh, penis humor.


Yes Zane! I believe that is it! Your krugerrands are in the mail.


Bailey? Did you just get your nose pierced? And if you did...heeeeey hey-hey girl! Guess who? Come on down to Contracts and Ops and find out!

If you didn't just get your nose pierced, then you are not the sweetie pie college student worker Bailey I think you are. AND you can just forget all about my flirtatious come-on because, I'm SO SURE!


No sorry Reen, that's not me. But now I somehow wish it were.


can you practice martial arts with the robotic arm??

Martial Art Training

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