Monday, January 31, 2011
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
To Mrs. McGrath’s Second Grade Class,
I have been asked to clear up some confusion surrounding a recent visit from a malfunctioning Engkey unit to the Lower Grockney School District during a good-will tour from a South Korean elementary school.
Due to a very minor glitch in the translating device that has since been corrected, Engkey made several statements which we would like to correct or otherwise retract, as they do not represent the programmer’s viewpoint or those of Engkey’s parent company, Tyrell Corporation.
Firstly, please allow me to say that Santa Claus is not depicted in Korea as “a many-tentacled horror beyond the limits of human comprehension” and obviously never should have been described as such.
Santa Claus is the same here as anywhere: A walking diabetes risk representing the excesses of Western consumer culture who lives on the moon with a horde of elven slaves.
However, we understand the mistranslation led to a certain amount of consternation among parents and wish to apologize for any night terrors, booby-traps or institutionalizations this might have caused.
(I would additionally stress that other concepts of “Ol’ Saint Nick” described to the class – such as the Norse “Mojlin’ra, Chewer of Souls” – should likewise be discounted as a translating error.)
Allow me also to apologize for any instances of casual racism, profuse swearing or theft that occurred while Engkey was visiting the children. These tendencies commonly manifested as bugs in earlier versions of the robot and were supposed to have been eliminated from later models.
It might seem a small consolation, but please take heart that other bugs – such as routine sexual harassment and protests ending in self-immolation – appear to have been wiped from the operating system (with up to 73 percent efficiency).
It has additionally come to my attention that there was some confusion about Engkey’s answers to mathematics questions. Obviously, projectile vomiting a black, poisonous fluid into the questioner’s face is neither amusing nor technically an answer, and the robot should not have laughed at its victims' reactions to the viscous fluid while taunting the other children with a sharp stick. This was a holdover response from an earlier prototype of the Engkey designed for military use.
Unfortunately, the weaponized anthrax canisters housed in the robot’s chassis were also still set to release upon a specific trigger phrase. In hindsight, that phrase probably should not have been, “Are you a real robot?” (especially taking into consideration the penchant of American children to ask horrendously stupid questions). But as they say, hindsight is 20/20 – which is coincidentally the kill-rate for Engkey robotic military devices.
I would also like to apologize for the wholly unintended response to history questions. When asked about a specific historical figure or event, the robot should offer a helpful hint to guide the child to a correct answer, rather than a violent and profanity-laced tirade about the Japanese stock market. Any semi-cogent diatribes on the societal benefits of cannibalism should likewise be dismissed.
We would additionally like to take this opportunity to extend our deepest condolences on the tragic and unexpected vivisection of the class guinea pig, “Burrito,” during a biology lesson.
Obviously, the creature should have been euthanized prior to the demonstration and, again, we apologize for any nightmares the animal’s screaming and thrashing may have caused.
As to any instances of Engkey teaching children Three-card Monte, pick-pocket skills and/or dirty limericks, rest assured those traits have been eliminated from the programming (with up to 67 percent efficiency).
On behalf of all of us here at Tyrell Corp., I would like to thank Mrs. McGrath’s class, as well as the patient and understanding parents of the Lower Grockney School District, for assisting us in field testing the Engkey robotic teaching device.
Please rest assured each of the many, many deaths strewn in the wake of Engkey development is not in vein, as each “teaching moment” offers ever more insight toward a human-robot utopia we all one day hope to reach.
Tyrell Corp. Robotic Division
Head Programmer, Engkey Teaching Robot
PS. As per the settlement agreement, we would remind all of you that speaking with the press is strictly forbidden and would also like to stress that you are all damn lucky the unit did not become self aware. You’d still be picking pieces of your principal out of your hair and carpeting.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
We all saw it coming...
Friday, December 3, 2010
Guess who learned how to strikethrough
Anticipated response from GOP Chairman Michael Steele:
"It is unconscionable that the president would pardon a man charged with
("Be sure to spend your tax cuts on foreign-made goods - that's the best way to stimulate the U.S. economy," he was later heard to say. "Woot! 'Merica!," he added .)
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Serious Ads for Serious People
With that in mind, here are a few spec scripts for spots I'd like to see running before we wrap this particularly hilarious installment in national politics:
Voiceover: Joe Sestak claims to like toast…
Image: Sestak seated at a Congressional Breakfast table.
VO: So why, during a recent campaign stop at the Nowheresville Café in central Pennsylvania, did he ask if he could substitute a bagel with his breakfast order?
Image: Close-up of a bagel with cream cheese; image colors suddenly invert with scary “Psycho” sounding music.
VO: Joe Sestak. Wrong on toast. Wrong for America.
Voiceover: Pat Toomey says he isn’t extreme…
Image: Toomey smiling serenely into the camera.
VO: So why does he regularly jump dirt bikes through flaming hoops suspended over tanks of alligators while drinking Mountain Dew?
Image: Mountain Dew can; image colors suddenly invert with scary “Psycho” style music. Can explodes.
VO: Pat Toomey? More like Pat TooExtremeforPennsylvaniamey.
Voiceover: Democrat Dan Onorato hails from Allegheny County, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL team, who have won a record six NFL championships.
Image: Steelers celebrating latest Super Bowl victory in slow motion; image colors suddenly invert. Steelers explode.
VO: Screw that. E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!
Voiceover: Tom Corbett’s hair.
Image: Close-up of Tom Corbett’s hair.
Voiceover: Joe Sestak likes to borrow combs from his co-workers.
Image: Sestak combing his hair while preparing for his 8,756th television appearance this year.
VO: But Sestak almost always forgets to return the combs to their proper owners. Or maybe he doesn’t forget at all. Maybe he just wants the combs for himself.
Image: Newspaper headline reading, “Joe’s Comb Fiasco.”
VO: Joe Sestak. Too many combs. Not enough answers.
Voiceover: If Pat Toomey hates aliens so much, why is he working with the lizard people from the 12th dimension?
Image: Photograph of what appears to be either the Loch Ness Monster shaking hands with Toomey and Grigori Rasputin, or a weather balloon.
VO: We’re through the looking glass, here, Pat.
Friday, September 10, 2010