Friday, May 20, 2005


It seems like much longer, but to tell you the truth all this has only been going on for a year or so. And when people hear about it they’re always awestruck by the Hollywood notion, but it is really much more of a life style thing when it comes down to it.

Believe it or not, there truly is a flourishing community of “concisountious fugitives” experiencing fulfilling lives on the lamb. We share a network of resources which aid in obtaining identities, employment, housing and other necessities difficult to come by in our situation. The one thing we all have in common is our adamant repulsion to instruments of destruction. We are a collection of non-violent criminals, and any mention of weaponry by one of our number leads to immediate excommunication.

I am told that membership begins and ends in the same way, and having gone through the process of joining I believe it. You see, I thought I was going to get away with my crime and slip back into anonymity. That’s the dream I guess. And I had it for a few days before it all blew up in my face. The minute my name and photo hit the news I leaned with all my might on the panic button, but in those same moments saviors appeared like camouflaged natives emerging from shrubbery.

I had been on TV a few times before, and people did occasionally ask for my autograph, so you can imagine how freaked out I was. When I saw three squad cars coming down my peaceful lane I practically flung myself out the kitchen window and down the alleyway. An hour later, as I was riding the elevator up to Jenn’s apartment, the guy standing next to me casually says “ I wonder if they caught that Battlebots guy yet”, and when I turned to quickly he put out his hand in a reassuring gesture. Then he said “don’t panic, just listen to me carefully. They are waiting for you at Jennifer’s, I have a way out. I am not a cop. Do exactly as I say”. It was like some scene from “Brazil”, he used Jenn’s last name.

Now I’m a pretty average guy, which is the most radical thing I ever dreamed I’d become. I still hold my convictions, but I think I’ve done my part to further the cause. I’m about a million miles away from the walking dungeons-and-dragons pimple farm I used to be. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. I did kind of get a kick out of the slice of fame I received for my gadgetry, and it’s kind of sad to be denied claim to your best performance.


Most people who watched Battlebots on Comedy Central know me as the creator of The Excruciator, a sledge-hammer and buzz saw wielding remote control robot renowned for conquering its robot opponents on the show. But there was a few things the average viewer didn’t know: Non- builders paid me a huge wad to design and assemble their own competitors and teach them the skills necessary to operate them. And, more importantly, I secretly had Jenn hooked up to a remote in the stands, and from there she messed with other people’s controls on their own radio frequencies. In other words, I controlled the whole she-bang.

Well, I had one more secret not even Jenn knew about. Most of the money I got was used for a project I had been brewing for quite some time. I created a team of robots, 22 of them in all, constructed from steel, driven by high amperage motors and painted to look like porcelain. They each weighed 327 pounds and had hydraulic flippers on three sides camouflaged to fit into their benign appearance. They were controlled by a single cell phone frequency which had only one binary command: on. When the switch was thrown on these babies a fear inspiring growl blasted out of them as they went through a sequence of jumps with their flippers. The first jump was only a millimeter, but even that one landed and earsplitting thud as 327 pounds of metal crashed back down and the alternators roared as they geared up for the next, slightly higher jump. By the end of the first sequence, which took eight minutes, they launched themselves 11 feet in the air.

Inside my workshop they were unbearably loud, but in the tiled bathrooms of the Jacobs Javitts Center, where the Republican National Convention was being held, they were deafening. Within eight minutes of activation, plenty of time for everyone to flee, there was a 327 pound high voltage toilet bowl shaped robot bouncing off the ceiling in every bathroom at the convention. If you look carefully at the tapes of news coverage of the second night of the convention around 9:37 pm, you’ll see every TV correspondent put a finger to his ear-piece, pause while listening intently, then give the camera a deer-in-the-headlights glare as his tiny brain tries to comprehend what he just heard.

Anyway, that’s the romantic version of all I did to earn my place here. But to tell you the truth, for me the most remarkable fact is this: One can risk life and liberty to convey an important message and proclaim democracy triumphant. But it is folly to underestimate the extent to which every news outlet is controlled by large, conservative corporate entities, and to overlook the coordination they employ in sanctioning “worthy” events. This is the ultra-right in its vast and scariest form, summoning all available might against an army of toilets. Unfortunately though, even the censorship of it all was known only to me.

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