When I was young, I loved all of the Hanna Barbera cartoons: The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Quick Draw McGraw, Magilla Gorilla. In fact, I know all of the characters to this day, their sidekicks, and could sing the theme songs for most of the programs if you held my feet to the fire. My favorite by far was The Jetsons, a story about a family that lives sometime in the future and somewhere in outer space. The animated program ran in prime time in the early 60s, and then again in the mid- to late 80s. Apparently television writers didn’t feel the need for originality like they do now. Ha.
Meet George Jetson
His Son Elroy
Jane, his wife.– Hoyt Curtin
Baby Boomers, you know you are singing the theme song along with me. The song became a hit in 1986, which just goes to show you what the state of music was back in those days. Take that, Madonna.
One of the main characters was the Jetson’s maid, a robot named Rosie. Though the Jetsons did most of their work by pressing buttons that made things happen in space-agy ways, Rosie did the rest. She not only cooked and cleaned, but provided family counseling as well.
Enter the 21st century.
A few years ago, Jll was given a Roomba as a gift from her sister. Almost immediately, Jll began singing the praises of this contraption, proclaiming that it changed her life. At least her cleaning life. With four children and a full-time job, every extra minute helps.
Roomba, for the uninitiated, is a robotic vacuum cleaner made by a company called iRobot. Once it is charged up, you turn it on and it makes its way around your house, vacuuming as it goes. It seems to follow no particular pattern, but travels around willy nilly. Eventually, it is supposed to vacuum the entire house.
So when Bill and I began seeing light at the end of the hardwood laying tunnel, I began seriously considering the purchase of a Roomba. Because, you see, I don’t vacuum. You have read my past blog posts in which I have proclaimed myself to be a horrible housekeeper, and this fact is further proof. A Roomba seemed the perfect answer.
One of the things I noticed is that Jll referred to her Roomba as Candy. It surprised me somewhat because Jll simply doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would name her appliances. After four kids, one would think she would never want to name another thing in her life. Nevertheless, she would talk about what a great job Candy did the night before, or tell the kids put the chairs on the table so that Candy can do her job.
What I quickly learned after purchase of my Roomba is that when you fill out the warranty, one of the questions asked is the name given the appliance. Yep. I’m telling the truth. iRobot expects you to name your robotic vacuum cleaner.
So what did I name her? Rosie, of course. There wasn’t another alternative, really.
These days, Bill and I spend our mornings sitting in the living room watching Rosie do her job. It’s mesmerizing, really. She stops short of the step leading into our living room. She disappears underneath the sofa and reemerges on the other side like a big black beetle. She moves from room to room unless you block her path. She doesn’t however, provide family counseling. Perhaps the next generation of Roombas.
The first night after our purchase, we turned the switch on Rosie and let her go do her thing. We went to bed, and listened to her not-so-quiet efforts downstairs. All at once, we heard a crash. Bill went to check it out. When he returned, he explained that she had knocked over some TV trays.
“To tell you the truth,” he added, “she’s kind of creepy.”
And, to tell you the truth, she kind of is. But she cleans my floor. Good ol’ Rosie picks up the dust and dirt like a cleaning champ.
Now, iRobot, get to work on those hover cars.