Oreo versus Roomba

Every night, after everyone is snuggled up in bed, Oreo switches on the Roomba…and scampers away.

"oreo cat"

Sure, one of us could get up and shut off the Roomba, but we still haven’t resolved the question of WHO…and, frankly, I doubt we ever will.

“It’s YOUR f*cking robot vacuum cleaner,” I growl. “Go shut it off already. Also, I’m trapped under the dog.”*
In response, My Fella…continues to snore softly, no matter how many times I kick nudge him; the next morning, he wakes up and announces, “I had this crazy dream that the Roomba was running all night!”
And then I slam my face into my pillow to muffle my howls of frustration.

God, I hate the Roomba.

“Shhh!” My Fella cautions, because he secretly worries that the reason it won’t clean the floors is not because it’s an obnoxiously loud and overpriced** piece of junk, but rather because m0th3rf*cking Bartleby the iRobot has secretly achieved sentience and would prefer not to.

It doesn’t work properly, it never has. What it basically does is surge forth from its charging station like a doped-up racehorse, a burst of industrious energy that lasts six seconds or until it crashes into the nearest obstacle — after which it spins in agitated circles for several hours before its battery dies.

“Should we maybe turn it off?” I suggest.
“Give it a chance,” says My Fella. “It’ll learn from its mistakes.”
“I don’t think it will, actually,” I reply. “It’s had five years to figure out this sweeping thing, and it hasn’t yet.”
“Yes, but we moved. It’s had to relearn the topography.”

However, it also won’t break enough to put itself permanently out of commission. Tho’ to be fair, maybe it is trying to self-destruct; after all, it did try to eat a paper towel and (when that failed) a bunch of string, which did wreak considerable havoc upon its innards.

However, if the Roomba’s intention is suicide, it’s probably out of luck. My Fella is quite talented at repairing recalcitrant household appliances.

And so the Roomba remains.

I’m no Feng Shui expert, but I wonder if there’s an area of one’s dwelling that symbolizes “ongoing differences of opinion that will endure ’till death do you part.” If so, I nominate the dusty corner that the Roomba occupies.

*The Boxhound has a talent for sprawling across people and instantly falling into a six-hour coma, during which she gains approximately 75 additional pounds. She must be made of dark matter.
**Having initially invested too much money in something worthless is actually not a great reason to keep pouring in resources. In fact, it’s more or less how cults work. Just food for thought.
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