The Impending Kamikaze Robots of Doom


Here’s the story of shyness, technology, and barriers.

Perhaps the hilarity of someone walking into a door is an example of schadenfreude, but I can’t say for sure because I don’t like the German language. Or the country. Or anything about it. ‘Typically British’, you could say. You’d feel awful if you laughed, but you’re in public, so you can’t laugh openly because people will think you’re crazy and there’s no coming back from that. I witnessed this happen in a shopping centre this week. It was an automatic door. But it closed just as some poor man went in to it. Later on, the same doors closed whilst another poor man was walking through. You could hear the whimper from a mile away. He walked passed me clutching his shoulder ruefully. But strangely, earlier that day, I saw a baby running toward and away from the doors to get them to open, to his endless amusement, like they do. But then the doors stopped opening, for some reason. At that point, the guy walked in to them. I think this is proof that technology is becoming sentient. Who knew the Terminator world would start with automatic doors? You heard it here first…

There is an outside chance it was a door malfunction caused by the numerous times it opened and closed in quick succession, but I’m not a door engineer, so I’m not sure. I’ve never walked in to a door, but I have had one close on me and it does hurt like hell. The doors don’t have a failsafe, though, they open a little, not enough to escape, and then try to close again. They do this endlessly. So from a distance, it could have looked like the door was trying to kill me. Mind you, it’s not as bad as that time I twisted my ankle after getting it stuck in an old-fashioned turnstile.

Technology often appears more alive than we give it credit for. I remember when I had one of those cathode ray tube televisions and they made all kinds of noises for hours after being turned off. It was like sparks, flicks and clicks of electricity. Like a bomb was about to go off. That would make sense if technology was coming to life, wouldn’t it? Kamikaze televisions. “We’ll kill all humans by blowing up!” There’s a terrifying thought. You thought the machines were going to be giant robots that you might have a fighting chance against. But if your television blows up, dear God, we’re screwed. You may have to sleep in a fireproof suit, but people like that are often locked up in asylums. Meaning the only people not locked up are those unprotected, which could mean that those in charge of the asylums are… ROBOTS! Oh. My. God…

I’m about 80% confident all this isn’t true, because why would technology start a rise against humanity with automatic doors? It’s a bit like charging in to a battle with a butter knife. You might cause some damage, but not a lot. I don’t think I’d have a fighting chance against the machines. It’s not something many people have thought about, but I have. What? I have no friends, this is what we think about. You’re welcome.

You might be wondering why I was sitting in a shopping centre looking at doors. Those of you who’ve been here for a while will inevitably have an answer to that question, but newcomers may be perplexed. I was on a course this week, it’s not important. But they didn’t have anywhere to have one’s dinner, so I headed to the only indoors place in my entire town where you can sit down and have something to eat. The shopping centre. We do have restaurants and cafés but, obviously, you can’t bring in your own food. Most shopping centres around the world have public areas where you can sit and eat, but not in the UK. Ours have benches in the aisles, with shops either side. So there I sat. By myself. With my ham sandwiches and crisps. Not a lot to look at, really. All I had was the speakers with music from the ‘80s blasting out, making me incredibly grateful I didn’t live in that decade and have to put up with that shit music…

So I found entertainment in the people coming through the doors. The babies in particular were incredibly cute. I’m not an elderly woman, so I couldn’t say the things they say. “Aww, your baby is so cute.” Perfectly innocent. But a 24-year-old man can’t say that to an 18-year-old mother. Not unless he was trying to chat her up, but I wouldn’t do that. Because I wouldn’t date a woman with children. Because they all suck.

I rarely leave the house. Usually once or twice a week. Usually to somewhere I don’t have to stay for very long or to an appointment. I’m not used to spending three days on a course with strangers. Being incredibly shy and suffering from a degree of social anxiety, three days with strangers may as well have been three days in a tank of hungry crocodiles. Wearing a meat suit and a sign around my neck saying, ‘Please eat me.’ Not that crocodiles can read. I think.

It actually went okay. We shy ones have good and bad days. It’s all about getting into positive habits. When I first got on a bus, I was terrified and remained terrified for a couple years. But as I got used to it, it got easier. Now I’m usually only terrified by outside forces. Like when I was shouted at by a dickhead. I mean, fellow passenger. So these courses are difficult for me.

I was quiet and didn’t say a lot. Eye contact was awful as usual. Here’s a tip. Shy? Wear glasses? Take them off. You can’t see so eye contact isn’t an issue. Three days isn’t enough to change a person but I certainly felt a bit more comfortable and even participated in a pub quiz at the end. I was team captain. We lost. Badly. Really, really badly…

It doesn’t sound like the actions of a shy one, but you have to do these things in life. You have to push yourself. You can’t say no. If you let your personality and your character dictate your life, you’re not gonna get anywhere. I really didn’t want to do that quiz, a sentiment all those inflicted with shyness and social anxiety will share. God knows mine is just about as bad as it comes. But that quiz was a barrier I broke through. Yes, I’m back to Square 1 now the course is finished, but the message remains the same. There is nothing you can’t do. From pub quizzes, to skydiving, to becoming a professional juggler. And the best part of all this is that you don’t have to abandon your character and personality to break through those barriers.

You have to remember something, readers. I participated in a pub quiz. Not like me at all. Completely out of character. Later that day, heading home, I slipped over on the snow and ice.

And if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that falling over, a lot, is my speciality…

Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami (b. 1949), once said: “Deep rivers run quiet.”

Peace Out :|:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You can leave a comment and/or like this post below, or by clicking the title on the top of this post if you are on the archives page. Likes and follows greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post

Hark Around the Words
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post


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