It was 11.21am, and the Smithson family home on 28 Westchester Street, Nundah, stood as imposing as any prison, if said prison was a three-bedroom Queenslander that could quite honestly do with a fresh coat of paint.
However, aesthetic qualities aside, the Smithson home was certainly a prison for one suffering denizen trapped inside its walls. A humble Roomba, an electronic contraption built to vacuum and to serve, remained locked inside, slowly filling its guts on the dust and detritus of Mr & Mrs Smithson’s second bedroom (ostensibly built just for ‘sex stuff,’ but after three kids, it’s now definitely more of a home office/home gym-type setup).
The Roomba whirred and whistled with a sound that approximated glee, as it came across a rather dense piece of lint. ‘This will take all my powers of concentration and my skills of vacuuming,’ thought the Roomba to itself, quietly surprising itself with rational thought.
Summoning all its might, the Roomba shot toward the rather dense piece of lint with reckless abandon, charging as Henry V might into the breach, or Jon Snow into the cavalry of the Bolton forces. Fear was unknown to this technological marvel, but with a lack of fear comes a lack of knowledge of one’s own capacity.
This piece of lint was not merely equal to the Roomba’s abilities, but far greater. The whirring motor which powered the vacuum spluttered, and struggled, wrestling with the many strands of cat hair, cotton, polyester, and very possibly pubic hair that formed this disgusting ball of fluffy lint.
A cough. An electronic cough. The Roomba’s lights began to flash red, indicating to all the world of its impending death, but alas, the world was not there to witness.
A lonely death. A quiet death. A death in a life of service.
The Roomba closed its eyes and waited for the end.
And in a way, aren’t we all Roombas just closing our eyes and waiting for the end? I’m George Orwell, and I think government and technology are spooky.