This dystopian shambles of a year has reached a new, personal low, after a PR email revealed that a robotics company based in Reading has completed its first successful trial of a VR-controlled cybernetic bartender called R:O:B:.
We don’t want R:O:B:. Leading up to March this year, we’d had our eye on someone who works at our local. We spent the first lockdown thinking about them, and then all of July to November plucking up the courage to go back and ask for their number. We’d just started to feel ready to leave the house again when the second lockdown came in, and now it seems we’ve left it too late.
We know this machine won’t be in pubs as soon as they reopen, but is it so unlikely that a handover’s already taking place? What if our pint-pulling crush has been tasked with showing it the ropes? That hunk of metal could be flirting like mad, pretending it doesn’t know how much head you need on a Guinness, “accidentally” spraying a barrel everywhere so they both need to get changed.
Our only remaining hope is that, much like early-90s Grant Mitchell, R:O:B:’s incapacity for human emotion starts to give our Sharon some doubts and, much like Phil, we can swoop in with a shoulder to cry on. The one thing a robotic arm will literally never have to offer.